Dr. Erk is an Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. Before joining Purdue in March 2012, she was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Polymers Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Gaithersburg, MD). She received her Ph.D. in 2010 from Northwestern University (Materials Science and Engineering) and her B.S. in Materials Engineering in 2006 from Purdue University. Prof. Erk was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award in 2015 for her work on hydrogel-based internal curing agents for high-performance concrete. She was also named a 2014 “Distinguished Young Rheologist” by TA Instruments for her work on characterizing the fracture and healing behavior of polymer gels using rheo-physical experiments. Her overall research interests are on characterizing and synthetically controlling the mechanical properties and deformation responses of soft materials and complex fluids, with an emphasis on polymer physics and rheology.