Pia DiCenzo ’24


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project Title

Rheology of Polyelectrolytes in Aqueous Salt Solutions

Certificate(s): Robotics and Intelligent Systems

I researched how charged polymers dissolved in water respond to deformation under various conditions. This area of study is called polyelectrolyte rheology. I used a rheometer to look at how factors like salt concentration, salt type and pH affect the viscosity of these aqueous polymer solutions. I systematically completed measurements for various combinations of variables for two different polymers. Through this work, I gained experience in the lab and using new equipment, and explored a new topic that was beyond the scope of my classwork. For me, the most interesting aspect of this work is its environmental applications as they involve water filtration and soil remediation. I am interested in continuing research on this topic as part of my senior independent work because it has introduced me to the intersection of two of my main interests: fluid mechanics and environmental conservation.

Internship Year


Project Category

Water and the Environment


Complex Fluids Group, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Pedro de Souza, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chemical and Biological Engineering; Jonghyun Hwang, Ph.D. candidate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering