At the 97th ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in June 2023, James Gilchrist, the Ruth H. and Sam Madrid Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lehigh University will give an invited keynote talk entitled "Granular-like Collective Dynamics of Janus Particle Microrollers". This work was performed by his former postdoctoral research associate Dr. Samuel Wilson-Whitford, who is now a Lecturer at The University of Leicester in the UK, and Lehigh undergraduates Marietta Sisca and David Kramer. 
Drawing on their knowledge of granular dynamics and observations of magnetically-responsive Janus particle microrollers, fabricated by his graduate student Jinghui Gao using technology developed from a NSF Scalable Nanomanufacturing grant, Gilchrist will show how a single particle rolling along a substrate works with other particles to mix, segregate, crawl, and climb obstacles similar to granular flows and the way swarms of bugs move. "This is a great example of how research can take you in different directions," says Gilchrist.  "We never expected these particles to behave this way, and we are finding new potential applications for them almost every time we are in the lab."  Professor Gilchrist will also give an invited seminar at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems in April on this topic. "Both granular systems and bug or microrobotic swarms are examples of complex systems, and we are finding a clear intersection between these two areas."  This summer he plans to host a group of undergraduate students who will creatively explore novel applications utilizing these dynamics in Lehigh's Mountaintop Summer Experience.