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Karen Daniels

Distinguished Professor and University Faculty Scholar

Riddick Hall 258C

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Professor Daniels received her PhD in 2002 from Cornell University and spent 2002-5 as a postdoctoral research associate at Duke University. She joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 2005, and was awarded a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to support a yearlong sabbatical at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany during 2011-12. She currently serves as the Chair of the American Physical Society Division on Soft Matter.


PhD Physics Cornell University 2002

BA Physics Dartmouth College 1994

Area(s) of Expertise

Her main research interests center around experiments on the non-equilibrium and nonlinear dynamics of granular materials, fluids, and gels. These experiments have allowed her lab to address questions of how failure occurs, how non-trivial patterns arise, and what controls the transitions between different classes of behaviors. Several of these studies have used idealized systems to provide insight into biological and geological phenomena.


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  • 2018 Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 2015 Equity for Women Award, North Carolina State University
  • 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship
  • 2007 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award