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Dunn awarded by ASME for contributions to field of tribology

11/15/2019

Julia Stackler

Dunn received the award from Professor Said Jahanmir, president of ASME, and Aaron Greco, prior winner of the Newkirk award and group leader of the Argonne National Laboratory’s Materials for Harsh Conditions group. Photo courtesy of STLE.
Dunn received the award from Professor Said Jahanmir, president of ASME, and Aaron Greco, prior winner of the Newkirk award and group leader of the Argonne National Laboratory’s Materials for Harsh Conditions group. Photo courtesy of STLE.
Assistant Professor Alison Dunn has won the 2019 Burt L. Newkirk Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for her notable contributions as a young scientist in the field of tribology.

Dunn was awarded for “first-of-their-kind contributions to the understanding of soft-soft interface lubrication by interpreting the slip interface through poroelastic mechanics and complex fluid mechanics.” ASME defined tribology as the science and technology associated with surfaces in contact and relative motion with each other, as well as the study of friction, lubrication and wear. She was presented with the award last month at the Tribology Frontiers Conference, co-sponsored by the ASME Tribology Division and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). 

Dunn’s most notable contributions in the field are focused on ways of understanding soft-soft slip interfaces by considering the mechanics of the materials and interfaces as a whole. Among other accomplishments, Dunn successfully tested hydrogels by pushing them in a sliding interface while observing the results in real time. She was the first to describe the lubrication behavior of hydrogels specifically in terms of their permeability, and she was also the first to describe the lubrication behavior of hydrogels by treating the surfaces of the hydrogels and any water interlayer as an effective complex fluid.

The annual award is given to an individual under age 40. It was named after Burt L. Newkirk, who made notable achievements in the theory and application of tribology during his industrial career and was an outstanding teacher following his retirement from industry.

Earlier this year, Dunn had also won the Early Career Award from STLE for her work on hydrogel interfacial slip.