Currently an Assistant Professor at Purdue University
Rheology of Viscoelastic Membranes: New measurement techniques are in development to characterize the viscous and elastic rheological properties of oil/water interfaces and small-molecule and polymeric membranes, such as lipid bilayer vesicles.
Mechanics of Polymer Gels: Non-linear mechanical properties of soft polymeric gels and solutions are characterized with shear rheometry. Understanding the mechanisms of deformation-induced strain stiffening and strain localization in physically associating gels is of primary interest.
Honors and Awards:
- Finalist for the Padden Symposium, APS March Meeting 2011
National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship, 2011
P.E.O. Scholar Award, 2009
Northwestern University Graduate Leader of the Year, 2009
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2006
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2006
- K.A. Erk and K.R. Shull, "Extreme Strain Localization and Sliding Friction in Physically Associating Polymer Gels," Physical Review Letters, submitted.
K.A. Erk and K.R. Shull, "Rate-Dependent Strain Stiffening and Strain Localization in Physically Associating Solutions," Macromolecules, 44 932-939 (2011).
K.A. Erk, K.J. Henderson, and K.R. Shull, "Strain Stiffening in Synthetic and Biopolymer Networks," Biomacromolecules, 11  1358-1363 (2010).
- K.A. Erk, D.C. Dunand, and K.R. Shull, "Titanium with Controllable Pore Fractions by Thermoreversible Gelcasting of TiH2," Acta Materialia, 56  5147-5157 (2008).
Complex Fluids Group
March 2012 - Current: Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Jan 2011 - March 2012: NRC Postdoctoral Associate, Polymers Division, NIST
June 2009 - Dec 2010: Guest Research Associate, Polymers Division, NIST
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering,
Northwestern University, 2010
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering
with Highest Distinction,
Purdue University, 2006