Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Sarles wins 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award


Dr. Andy Sarles, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE), has received the 2015 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, which recognizes outstanding new faculty who excel in research, experience, and academic leadership.

The award is administered by 3M’s Research and Development Community in partnership with 3M’s Community Giving Program. For more than twenty-five years, the award has been given to help outstanding new faculty achieve tenure, remain in a teaching position, and conduct research. Sarles was recognized for his project entitled, “Liquid-infused, mechanically activated porous materials for tunable transports.”

The work is focused on understanding how to make stretchable materials that are infused with liquids to create active pores (i.e. ones that can open or close based on the state of stretch).

“This work relates to my other research projects focused on synthetic cell membranes, which exhibit many mechanisms for tunable transport, including mechanically-activated poration,” Sarles said. “In year one, we will develop and apply finite element modeling methods for understanding how both the shape of a pore changes in response to stretch and how the infusing  liquid wets to the walls of the pore as it is deformed by the stretch.”

The potential impact of this work extends into multiple scientific fields and the potential outcome is a new class of liquid-infused materials for tunable transport properties that can be applied to filtering, water purification, sensing, drug-delivery, thermal transport, and self-healing.

Sarles received his PhD in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech in 2010, his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech in 2006, and his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2011. He joined the MABE faculty in 2011.