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May 22, 2020

Alumnus earns highest honor from Society of Rheology

Written By: Jason Daley

Ole Hassager
Ole Hassager

Ole Hassager, a graduate alumnus of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has won the 2020 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, the highest honor in the field.

Rheology is the science of deformation and flow of matter, with a particular focus on complex materials whose behavior defies simple characterization as solid or liquid. Such materials range from peanut butter to blood and play an important role in technology and daily life.

Hassager is a professor of chemical engineering at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. He earned his PhD at UW-Madison in 1973, studying under R. Byron Bird, a previous winner of the Bingham Medal.

According to the citation, the society chose Hassager for the award due to his fundamental contributions to the dynamics of complex fluids. Along with Bird, Hassager developed the influential two-volume series Dynamics of Polymeric Liquids. His group also perfected the technique of filament stretching rheometry to make definitive measurements of the steady and transient rheology of polymer melts and entangled solutions.

“Ole developed one of the most important experimental tools we have for characterizing materials such as molten plastics during flow,” says Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Harvey D. Spangler Professor Michael Graham, current president of the Society of Rheology. “This work has led to a much better understanding of how flow behavior is related to processes going on at the molecular scale.”

Hassager will receive the award and present a plenary lecture at the 92nd Society of Rheology Annual Meeting held in Austin, Texas, February 21-25, 2021.