Skip Navigation

Brian Grady

Brian Grady

Brian Grady

Douglas and Hilda Bourne Chair of Chemical Engineering Professor
Director, Institute for Applied Surfactant Research

Office: Sarkeys Energy Center, T-223
Institute for Applied Surfactant Research

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering (1994)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S. Chemical Engineering (1987)
University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign 


Research Focus

  • Polymers
  • Surfactants
  • Polymer recycling
  • Interfaces

Experience and Awards

  • Project Engineer, Procter and Gamble (1987-89)
  • NSF CAREER Award (1998-2003)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (2000-2001)
  • President's Associate Presidential Professor (2006-2010)
  • Vice-President, Society of Plastics Engineers (2008-2011)


Our research has three focuses: the first is on polymer systems with two different components, such as polymer-matrix composites, especially those with carbon nanotubes, phase separated copolymers or polymer blends. The second interest is fundamental properties of oil-water interfaces, especially at high pressures and temperatures.   The third interests is fundamental characteristics of surfactants in solution with an emphasis on adsorption at the solid-liquid interface. The goal of our research is to quantify how and why the separate components influence properties by understanding the underlying micro- or nano¬structure. In other words, we are interested in determining the fundamental interrelation-ship between chemical structure, morphology, and properties. Our group uses extremely high-tech equipment to explore these characteristics including x-ray and light scattering, electron and atomic force microscopy, shear rheology, and drop-shape analysis/rheology.  Our laboratory is involved in collaborations with both academic and industrial colleagues in which we bring these important characterization tools to study relevant and practical problems. As of August 2014, the results of our research have been featured in over 115 refereed papers and 10 book chapters.   Dr. Grady is also the author of a single-author book on carbon nanotubes in polymers.

B.P. Grady, Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites: Manufacture, Properties, and Applications,  (New York: John Wiley & Sons), August 2011 (ISBN: 978-0-470-59641-8).

G. Yu, K. Karinshak, J. Harwell, B.P. Grady, A. Woodside, M. Ghosh, “Interfacial behavior and water solubility of various asphaltenes at high temperature”, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. Eng. Aspects, 441, 378 (2014).

J. Guo, Y. Liu, R. Prada-Silvy, Y. Tan, S. Azad, B. Krause, P. Pötschke, B.P. Grady, “Aspect Ratio Effects of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes on Electrical, Mechanical, and Thermal Properties of Polycarbonate/MWCNT Composites”, Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 52, 73 (2014).

N. Patil, J. Kelsey, J. Fischer,  B.P. Grady, J.L. White,  “Creating polymer templates and their use in the in-situ synthesis of biodegradable composite networks”, Polymer, 55, 2332 (2014).

M. Suttipong, B.P. Grady, A. Striolo, “Self-assembled surfactants on patterned surfaces: confinement and cooperative effects on aggregate morphology” Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, 16, 16388-16398 (2014).

M. Suttipong, B.P. Grady, A. Striolo, “Surfactant Aggregates Templated by Lateral Confinement”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 119, 5467 (2015)

J. Weston, R. E.  Jentoft, B.P. Grady, D.E. Resasco, J.H. Harwell, “Silica Nanoparticle Wettability: Characterization and Effects on the Emulsion Properties”, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 54, 4274 (2015).

G. Yu, S.A. Long, K.A. Karinshak, B.P. Grady, J.H. Harwell, G.B. Arhancet, “Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Surfactants Based on 2-Hydroxy-4-(Methylthio)Butanoic Acid: 1. Anionic Surfactants,” Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 18,  895 (2015)

J. Guo, N. Briggs, S. Crossley, B.P. Grady, “Morphology of polystyrene/poly(methyl methacrylate) blends: Effects of carbon nanotubes aspect ratio and surface modification”, AICHE Journal, 61, 3500 (2015)

H. Yazdani, K. Hatami, B.P. Grady, “Sensor-Enabled Geogrids for Performance Monitoring of Reinforced Soil Structures”, Journal of Testing and Evaluation, 44, 391 (2016)

G.Z. Yu, Z. Shahrashoob, S. Long, G. Arhancet, Y.J. Liu, A.A. da Silva, B.P. Grady, J.Harwell, G. Arhancet, “Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Surfactants Based on 2-Hydroxy-4-(methylthio)butanoic Acid: 2. Nonionic Surfactants”, Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 20, 503 (2017)

M. Suttipong, B.P. Grady, A. Striolo, “Surfactant adsorption on crossing stripes and steps”, Soft Matter, 13, 862 (2017).

K. Carr, G.J. Ratcliff, B.P. Grady, J.D. Wance, “A Reexamination of the Aging of Organ Leather”, Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association, 112, 184 (2017).

 J.A. Zapata H., S. Crossley, B.P. Grady, “Influence of tapped density on the degradation profile of multiwall carbon nanotubes”, Thermochimica Acta, 654, 140 (2017).

A. Striolo and B.P. Grady, “Surfactant Assemblies on Selected Nanostructured Surfaces: Evidence, Driving Forces, and Applications”, Langmuir, 33, 8099 (2017). (appeared on cover)

M. Saeidijavash, J. Garg, B.P. Grady, B. Smith, Z.L. Li, R.J. Young, F. Tarannum, N.B. Bekri, “High thermal conductivity through simultaneously aligned polyethylene lamellae and graphene nanoplatelets” Nanoscale, 35, 12867 (2017)

K. Bootdee, B.P. Grady, M. Nithitanakul, “Magnetite/poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) and hydroxyapatite/poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) prepared by w/o/w emulsion technique for drug carrier: physical characteristic of composite nanoparticles”, Colloid and Polymer Science, 295, 2031 (2017).

Q.X. Zheng, J. Grossardt, H. Almkhelfe, J.Y. Yu, B.P. Grady, J.T. Douglas, P.G. Amama, K.L. Hohn, “Study of mesoporous catalysts for conversion of 2,3-butanediol to butenes”, Journal of Catalysis, 354, 182 (2017)

J.S. Weston, J.H. Harwell, B.P. Grady “Rheological characterization of yield stress gels formed via electrostatic heteroaggregation of metal oxide nanoparticles”, Soft Matter, 13, 6743 (2017)

J. Guo, N. Briggs, S. Crossley, B.P. Grady “A new finding for carbon nanotubes in polymer blends: Reduction of nanotube breakage during melt mixing”, Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 31, 110 (2018).

K. Bootdee, B.P. Grady, M. Nithitanakul, “Magnetite/poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) and hydroxyapatite/poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) prepared by W/O/W emulsion technique for drug carrier: Evaluation of in vitro release of dexamethasone from composite nanoparticles”, International Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials, 67, 629 (2018)

J. Gao, B.P. Grady, “Reaction kinetics and subsequent rheology of carboxymethyl guar gum produced from guar splits”, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 57, 7345 (2018)

J.J. Hamon, R.F. Tabor, A. Striolo, B.P. Grady, “Atomic force microscopy force mapping analysis of an adsorbed surfactant above and below the critical micelle concentration”, Langmuir, 34, 7223 (2018)

B.P. Grady, “Teaching Tips: Tips for Writing a Technical Document for a Technical Audience”, Chemical Engineering Education, 52, 220 (2018)