LU Student Travels to Nashville After Viral Video

Carlos Caballero, a senior in mechanical engineering and physics, traveled to Nashville in January for a guest appearance on the lifestyle and entertainment show Pickler & Ben. The invitation came after footage of an engineering project at Lamar University went viral, garnering over 28 million views.

Caballero was approached for the feature due to his participation in the original project.

 “The project was done during the Fall of 2014 by Dr. Patki’s Fluid Mechanics class; Dr. Patki showed us a video of something similar someone had done in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and gave the entire class (that’s what it would take to pull it off) the option of doing that project or having smaller (2-3 people) traditional group projects. The class was receptive, and we moved forward.”

The assignment required an astounding 2 tons of cornstarch and required the students to design a container with a 600-gallon capacity. The purpose? To demonstrate the properties of a non-Newtonian fluid, a substance that behaves as both a fluid and a solid under different pressures.

The viral video received a mix of reactions, one of which was the confusion over how non-Newtonian fluid is relevant to engineers.

“Non-Newtonian fluid experiments help engineers understand the properties of a wide array of fluids in the natural world,” said Caballero. “Common household items like shampoo, honey, ketchup, and toothpaste, as well as certain polymers, also exhibit non-Newtonian fluid properties. And guess who is responsible for the design and upkeep of the machinery used to manufacture and process these things?"

The episode aired on CMT February 1st.

Category: General

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