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"For creative and groundbreaking contributions in developing soft functional materials using mechanical and hydrodynamic instabilities, elasticity, and flow, from bubble casting for soft robotics to pendant drops coated on the underside of a substrate."Background:
PT Brun received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique in 2008 and his Master’s degree in Advanced Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge in 2009. He then received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Sorbonne University in 2012 for work on the dynamics and instability of viscous and elastic threads. PT was a postdoctoral fellow at EPFL, specializing in interfacial fluid mechanics and instabilities. In 2014, he joined MIT as an instructor in Applied Mathematics before moving to Princeton, where he has been a faculty in the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering since 2017. PT is the recipient of the 2020 NSF CAREER Award. His curiosity-driven research combines experimental investigations and the quantitative modeling of fluid and elastic processes in soft materials. He is best known for his work on interfacial flows and pattern-forming instabilities in the context of solidifying liquids and his studies on elastic rods and morphing materials. While the epicenter of his work is fundamental, his research naturally connects to critical societal challenges, e.g., developing new manufacturing paradigms and facilitating the distribution of soft robots into our daily lives.