Faculty Directory
Wesley R. Burghardt

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech L268
Evanston, IL 60208

847-497-1401Email Wesley Burghardt


Chemical and Biological Engineering


Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois

Research Interests

Rheology, polymer physics

We seek to understand the dynamics of complex fluids during flow. Many fluids encountered in materials processing exhibit non-Newtonian behavior due to the presence of complex molecular or nanoscale structure that is perturbed by flow. Our research emphasizes in-situ investigation of such flow-induced structural changes to elucidate the origins and mechanisms of complex rheology in polymers.

Our research is broadly divided between two thrusts. We have a long-standing interest in how flow affects the organization of structured fluids such as surfactants, ordered block copolymers, and liquid crystalline polymers. We use powerful X-ray scattering techniques for realtime measurements of polymer structure in both idealized shear flows and during processing, taking advantage of Northwestern's synchrotron research facility at the Advanced Photon Source.

Our other theme is the application of unique flow birefringence techniques to interrogate stresses generated in polymer melts and solutions and to test theoretical models for the rheological behavior of flexible polymers.

Selected Publications

  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; Rutz, Alexandra L.; Hyland, Kelly E.; Jakus, Adam E.; Shah, Ramille N., “A multimaterial bioink method for 3D printing tunable, cell-compatible hydrogels”, Advanced Materials, (2015)
  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; McCready, Erica M., “Structural response of a prealigned cylindrical block copolymer melt to extensional flow”, Journal of Rheology, (2015)
  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; McCready, Erica M., “In situ SAXS studies of structural relaxation of an ordered block copolymer melt following cessation of uniaxial extensional flow”, Macromolecules, (2015)
  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; Liaw, Chya Yan; Shull, Kenneth R.; Henderson, Kevin J.; Wang, Jin, “Micellar morphologies of block copolymer solutions near the sphere/cylinder transition”, Macromolecules, (2015)
  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; Torkelson, John M.; Diop, Mirian F., “Well-mixed blends of HDPE and ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene with major improvements in impact strength achieved via solid-state shear pulverization”, Polymer (United Kingdom), (2014)
  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; Mao, Ruinan; McCready, Erica M., “Structural response of an ordered block copolymer melt to uniaxial extensional flow”, Soft Matter, (2014)
  • Fullenkamp, Dominic E.; He, Lihong; Barrett, Devin G.; Burghardt, Wesley R.; Messersmith, Phillip B., “Mussel-inspired histidine-based transient network metal coordination hydrogels”, Macromolecules, (2013)
  • S Pujari;L Dougherty;C Mobuchon;PJ Carreau;MC Heuzey;WR Burghardt, “X-ray scattering measurements of particle orientation in a sheared polymer/clay dispersion”, Rheologica Acta, (2011)
  • S Pujari;T Ramanathan;K Kasimatis;J Masuda;R Andrews;JM Torkelson;LC Brinson;WR Burghardt, “Preparation and Characterization of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Dispersions in Polypropylene: Melt Mixing Versus Solid-State Shear Pulverization (vol 47, pg 1426, 2009)”, Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, (2010)
  • J Fang;WR Burghardt;RA Bubeck;SM Burgard;DA Fischer, “Bulk and Surface Molecular Orientation Distribution in Injection-Molded Liquid Crystalline Polymers: Experiment and Simulation”, Polymer Engineering and Science, (2010)
  • L Dykes, JM Torkelson, WR Burghardt, R Krishnamoorti, “Shear-Induced Orientation in Polymer/Clay Dispersions via In Situ X-ray Scattering”, Polymer, (2010)
  • S RENDON, J FANG, WR BURGHARDT, et al., “An apparatus for in situ x-ray scattering measurements during polymer injection molding”, REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, (2009)
  • ... Gilman, KK Koziol, AH Windle, WR Burghardt, “Orientation dynamics in multiwalled carbon nanotube dispersions under shear flow”, The Journal of Chemical Physics, (2009)
  • J FANG, WR BURGHARDT, RA BUBECK, “Polydomain Model Predictions of Molecular Orientation in Isothermal Channel Flows of Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polymers”, POLYMER ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE, (2008)