Ewoldt Films Ice Bucket Challenge with Slow-Mo Camera


Mike Koon, Engineering Communications Office

Over the past two months the entire country has been abuzz taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Randy Ewoldt, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at the University of Illinois, has literally broken it down, by using a super slow-motion camera.

Ewoldt has been known for his unique ways of teaching his students about engineering mechanics through his Rheology Zoo. He uses the slow-motion camera to study fluid physics of liquids impacting surfaces, motivated by enhanced fire suppression, manufacturing coating processes, and novel behavior that can result from “complex” fluids like sticky gels in these applications. They also enjoy using it to enjoy the combination of engineering, design and art by showing the beauty of the physical world and inspiring curiosity and creativity in students.

Ewoldt and his research group decided to use the Ice Bucket Challenge to demonstrate these principles. He accepted the challenge with the twist of delivering the ice water through a water balloon and his research team filmed the event using the slow-motion camera.

The Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering has personally been affected by ALS as former professor Mark Shannon died on Oct. 14, 2012 at the age of 56 after battling the disease for three years.