University of Utah mechanical engineering chair and professor, Bruce Gale, has received the Fulbright Specialist Program award in which he will spend more than two weeks in India to help develop a microfluidics research program with the Rajalakshmi Engineering College.

The Fulbright Specialist Program award is handed out by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to one of 400 citizens. It is designed to “exchange knowledge and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the U.S. and overseas through a variety of educational and training activities within the field of engineering education.”

While Gale is in India in March and April, he will specifically teach microfabrication techniques for microfluidics to mechanical engineering faculty and students, point-of-care devices with microfluidic technology to biomedical engineering faculty and students, the design and development of micro-PCR systems for viral diagnoses to biotechnology faculty and students, as well as help develop laboratory and teaching methods, academic curricula and materials, and future research projects.

“The goal,” he said, “is that they can become self-sufficient in developing their own microfluidic assays for inexpensive health testing in India.”

Gale received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Utah.

His research is focused on the biomedical applications of microfluidics as well as the design and manufacturing methods for medical devices such as biosensors, microarrays, micropumps, and microneedles. He has developed tools for drug development, pathogen detection, fast PCR technologies, and more.

Since joining the department as an assistant professor in 2001, Gale has a long list of university-wide and department academic achievements. Last spring, he was recognized as one of two honorees in the entrepreneur category for his 2017 work, “Optofluidic Device for Genetic Screening.” He also received the TVC “Star” Award in 2016. The U’s Department of Mechanical Engineering has recognized him with multiple awards for Researcher of the Year, and he was named the 2014 Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Distinguished Mentor by the University of Utah Graduate School. Additionally, he has multiple teaching commendations from the College of Engineering.