Benjamin Owen

Fulbright All Disciplines Scholar Award - University of Illinois

Benjamin completed his Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering and Ph.D. studying computational fluid dynamics at the University of Manchester in 2019. He was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship and upon completion of the fellowship, joined the University of Edinburgh as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Ben applies his knowledge of fluid mechanics to blood flow in healthcare settings. Ben’s research surrounds fluid flow dynamics of particles in blood samples – for cardiovascular disease applications during his Ph.D. and for diagnostic devices as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Having worked closely with clinicians, he understands the need for rapid and accurate diagnosis and novel treatments. 

During his Fulbright Fellowship, Ben will collaborate with Prof. Ian Papautsky at the University of Illinois, Chicago to combine his expertise in blood flow simulations with state-of-the-art experimental methods to investigate how the high cell concentration of whole blood affects the separation of abnormal or diseased cells. This will allow for the creation of inertial microfluidic devices that can separate cancer cells from whole blood, reducing labour, time, and cost, in clinical settings. From cancer alone, over 1 million people die in the UK and USA each year and early detection is crucial to increasing survival rate. During his time in Chicago, Benjamin is looking forward to immersing himself in American culture, experiencing the stunning architecture, watching the Chicago Bulls, and joining a local rugby team.