Charles M. Schroeder III

Charles M. Schroeder III

University of Michigan

Chemical Engineer
Fellow, Elected 2023

The cutting edge of soft materials research lies in the ability to manipulate and control single molecules. Schroeder has developed a unique and powerful brand of molecular engineering that allows for the precise design and characterization of single molecules, in problems ranging from polymer physics to lipid vesicle dynamics. Schroeder’s work aims to understand how form and function arise in soft materials given precise control over molecular synthesis, structure, and processing. His independent research has led to significant contributions in several areas of rheology. In the area of single polymer dynamics and molecular rheology, Schroeder’s work focuses on understanding how the collective behavior of individual molecules gives rise to bulk properties in polymeric materials. His group has extended the field of single polymer dynamics to new materials including rings and branched polymers. His work has provided a new molecular understanding of non-equilibrium polymer dynamics, bridging the gap between molecular behavior and bulk properties in polymeric liquids. His group also developed a new analytical framework based on nonequilibrium thermodynamics (e.g., Jarzynski equality, Crooks fluctuation theorem) to determine fundamental properties for polymers such as elasticity, free energy, and entropy from non-equilibrium dynamics. In the area of vesicle and membrane dynamics, his group studies the non-equilibrium conformational dynamics of lipid vesicles in flow. Recent work focuses on the non-linear deformation of lipid membranes, including phase separation and dynamics of multi-component membranes under tension. Schroeder’s group developed the Stokes trap, which is a powerful method for manipulating particles or molecules using only fluid flow. The Stokes trap offers a new approach for precise manipulation without the need for optical, electric, acoustic, or magnetic fields, which is currently opening new vistas for studying particle dynamics and interactions in flow (e.g., vesicle fusion, particle cluster dynamics, drop coalescence and dynamics).

Charles Schroeder is the James Economy Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He leads the AI for Materials (AIM) Group in the Beckman Institute and holds affiliate status in the Department of Chemistry, Department of Bioengineering, Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and the Materials Research Lab. He previously served as Associate Head in ChBE at Illinois. Dr. Schroeder received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999, followed by an M.S. in 2001 and Ph.D. in 2005 in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University under the supervision of Professors Eric S. G. Shaqfeh and Steven Chu. Before joining Illinois in 2008, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Professor Schroeder has received several awards, including the Arthur B. Metzner Award from The Society of Rheology, the Publication Award from The Society of Rheology, a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and an NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). In 2022, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS Fellow)

Based on the documents submitted by Eric S.G. Shaqfeh.