Sydney Hughes ’22


Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project Title

Microfluidics for Soil Carbon

Presentation Link

View Sydney's Presentation

I worked on a project that examined the movement of fluids through clay soils to understand how these fluids affect bacteria that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. I contributed to the project by using a camera and small-scale artificial clay soils to image the movement of nutrient-containing fluids through the soil. I found that different sugars moved through the soil differently. For example, dextran did not flow through the soil, but glucose did. I also found that more nutrients flowed through soil that was wet intermittently as opposed to when water was applied at once. Through this experience, I learned about diffusion (the movement of something to a lesser concentration), clay soils, programming in MATLAB, and the importance of imaging. I also gained insights into working in an academic research laboratory.

Internship Year


Project Category

Water and Health


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; Qingjun (Judy) Yang, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering