Professor, Chemical Engineering

Courtesy Appointments, Mechanical Engineering, Physics

Shelley Anna

Source: College of Engineering


Carnegie Mellon University
Department of Mechanical Engineering
5000 Forbes Avenue
Doherty Hall A219
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-268-6492

Fax: 412-268-3348






Professor Shelley Anna holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Courtesy appointment in the Department of Physics. The objective of her research is to develop innovative, microscale experimental methods to probe and control liquid-fluid interfaces, using scaling analysis, theory, and numerics as tools to complement her experiments. A main focus is to develop strategies to separate timescales for relevant processes, to advance the fundamental engineering science of multiphase flows.

Current research projects emphasize four main areas, which are collectively funded by the National Science Foundation, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and Dow Corporation. Past funding has come from the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, and the Berkman Faculty Development Fund.


B.S. Physics Carnegie Mellon University 1995
University and College Honors

M.S. Engineering Sciences Harvard University 1996

Ph.D. Engineering Sciences Harvard University 2000
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship


  • Our current research interests center on the following four areas. More information about each of these is available at our Research Group Website.
  • A Microscale Approach to Analyzing Interfacial Transport and Mechanics
  • Surfactant-Mediated Interfacial Flows at the Microscale
  • Control of Mixing Driven by Coalescence of Sessile Drops
  • Organic Suspension Stability

Selected Publications

  • T.M. Moyle, L.M. Walker, and S.L. Anna, “Predicting conditions for microscale surfactant mediated tipstreaming,” Physics of Fluids, 24 (2012) 082110.
  • A.P. Kotula and S.L. Anna, “Probing timescales for probing particle adsorption using slug bubbles in rectangular microchannels,” for the Themed Issue on Soft Matter Principles of Microfluidics edited by edited by Professor Lydéric Bocquet, Professor Todd Squires, and Professor Annie Colin, Soft Matter, 8 (2012) 10759 – 10772.
  • N.J. Alvarez, L.M. Walker, S.L. Anna, “A Criterion to Assess the Impact of Confined Volumes on Surfactant Transport to Liquid-Fluid Interfaces,” Soft Matter, 8 (2012) 8917 – 8925.
  • S. Chatterjee and S.L. Anna, “Interaction of Toroidal Focal Conic Defects with Shear Flow,” Soft Matter, 8 (2012) 6698 – 6705.
  • N.J. Alvarez, S.L. Anna, T. Saigal, R.D. Tilton, L.M. Walker, “Interfacial Dynamics and Rheology of Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles at Air-Water and Xylene-Water interfaces,” Langmuir, 28 (2012) 8052 – 8063.
  • S.M. Vuong and S.L. Anna, “Tuning Bubbly Structures in Microchannels,” Biomicrofluidics, Special Issue on Multiphase Microfluidics, Guest Ed. Saif Khan, 6 (2012) 022004. Re-published in Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology, 25 (17) Apr 23, 2012, and Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research, April 15, 2012.
  • N.J. Alvarez, D.R. Vogus, L.M. Walker, and S.L. Anna, “Using bulk convection to approach kinetic-limited surfactant dynamics,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 372 (2012) 183-191.
  • S. Chatterjee and S.L. Anna, “Formation and Ordering of Topological Defect Arrays Produced by Dilatational Strain and Shear Flow in Smectic-A Liquid Crystals,” Physical Review E, 85 (2012) 011701.
  • N.J. Alvarez, W. Lee, L.M. Walker, and S.L. Anna, “The Effect of Alkane Tail Length of CiE8 Surfactants on Transport to the Silicone Oil-Water Interface,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 355 (2011) 231-236.
  • W. Lee, L.M. Walker, and S.L. Anna, “Competition between Viscoelasticity and Surfactant Dynamics in Flow Focusing Microfluidics,” Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, Special Issue on Rheology, Mixing, and Flow of Polymeric Materials, 296 (2011) 203-213.
  • N.J. Alvarez, L.M. Walker, and S.L. Anna, “A Microtensiometer to Probe the Effect of Radius of Curvature on Surfactant Transport to a Spherical Interface,” Langmuir, 26 (2010) 13310-13319.
  • N.J. Alvarez, L.M. Walker, and S.L. Anna, “Diffusion-limited adsorption to a spherical geometry: The impact of curvature and competitive time scales,” Physical Review E, 82 (2010) 011604.
  • W. Lee, L.M. Walker and S.L. Anna, “Role of Geometry and Fluid Properties in Droplet and Thread Formation Processes in Planar Flow Focusing,” Physics of Fluids 21 (2009) 032103.
  • S. Shojaei-Zadeh, S.R. Swanson and S.L. Anna, “Highly Uniform Micro-Cavity Arrays in Flexible Elastomer Film,” Soft Matter, 2009, Soft Matter 5 (2009) 743-746.
  • G.F. Christopher and S.L. Anna, “Microfluidic methods for generating continuous droplet streams,” Journal of Physics D – Applied Physics, 40 (2007) R319-R336.
  • S.L. Anna and H.C. Mayer, “Microscale Tipstreaming in a Microfluidic Flow Focusing Device,” Physics of Fluids, 18 (2006) 121512.
  • S.L. Anna, N. Bontoux, and H.A. Stone, “Formation of dispersions using ‘flow-focusing’ in microchannels,” Applied Physics Letters, 82 (2003) 364-366.
  • S.L. Anna, G.H. McKinley, “Elasto-Capillary Thinning and Breakup of Model Elastic Liquids,” Journal of Rheology, 45 (2001) 115-138.
  • S.L. Anna, G.H. McKinley, D.A. Nguyen, T. Sridhar, S.J. Muller, J. Huang, and D.F. James,  “An Inter-laboratory Comparison of Measurements from Filament-Stretching Rheometers Using Common Test Fluids,” Journal of Rheology, 45 (2001) 83-114.