Kevin Turner, Ph.D.

Kevin T. Turner, PhD, is the Gabel Family Term Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from John Hopkins in 1999 and MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001 and 2004, respectively.  Turner has more than 12 years of experience developing integrated microscale devices and micro/nano-fabrication processes.  His work has included the development of microfluidic devices for cell mechanics measurements, piezoelectric-driven microfluidic systems, advanced wafer bonding and 3D integration processes, and microtransfer printing processes for integrating inorganic sensors in soft environments. Turner is a respected investigator in the micro- and nano-systems field; he has more than 43 publications in peer reviewed journals, given more than 10 invited talks over the past two years, and was a recipient of the NSF Career Award in 2009.  He currently is the Director of the Wolf Nanofabrication Facility, which is a shared facility that provides users with access to leading-edge micro/nano-fabrication capability. Under Turner’s leadership, the use of the facility has grown to more than 150 distinct users (in past 2 years) from 34 different faculty groups at Penn, regional universities, and local companies. Turner has worked with the facility staff to implement practices in the facility that engage users from the School of Medicine by providing training and technical expertise in microdevice design and fabrication.  Turner’s experience in microscale systems goes beyond his academic research and includes numerous consulting activities for multiple companies, including a leading medical device company. Turner’s experience in directing the nanofabrication facility and working with clients as a consultant is particularly relevant for our center.  In the area of microfluidics and fabrication techniques to enable such systems, Turner has more than 25 publications.  Some of his recent work (Lab on a Chip, 2011) has focused on the development and use of microfluidic probes that allow local microfluidic environments to be created around cells cultured in open liquid environments, such as well plates and dishes.


Research Webpage

Honors and Awards:  Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award – 2011, Adhesion Society, Young Adhesion Scientist Award – 2011, NSF CAREER Award – 2009, 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award – 2009, ASEE Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator – 2008

Research Expertise: Mechanics of Materials | Micro- and Nano-mechanics

Turner’s research addresses fundamental and applied problems at the intersection of the fields of surface and interface mechanics and micro- and nanosystems. Surface and interface mechanics, which encompasses fracture, contact, and adhesion mechanics, plays a crucial role in determining the behavior of many micro- and nano-scale systems and manufacturing processes. Turner’s research group uses a combination of experimental measurements, analytical modeling, and numerical simulations to improve and realize innovative micro- and nanomanufacturing processes as well as to develop new approaches to measure the mechanical properties of interfaces at small scales. His current work includes projects in semiconductor wafer bonding, microtransfer printing, tip-based nanomanufacturing, microfluidic devices for probing cell mechanics, and characterizing soft materials and interfaces.


PhD Mechanical Engineering 2004 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
SM Mechanical Engineering 2001 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS Mechanical Engineering 1999 – Johns Hopkins University

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