Jeffrey Moran's research interests lie in understanding and using micro-scale thermal-fluid transport phenomena to enable new solutions to fundamental challenges facing humanity, including sustainable energy, environmental remediation, and cancer treatment. His doctoral work helped explain the physical mechanism for the self-propulsion of "catalytic micromotors," which are micrometer-size metallic rods (50 times smaller than the width of a human hair) that can "swim" and carry cargo through liquids. These rods are one subclass of "active colloids," microscopic self-propelled particles, which show promise for such applications as enhanced oil recovery, manufacturing of micro- and nanometer-scale structures, and even targeted drug delivery in the human body.
Moran received several awards, including the Young Researcher Award from the International Workshop on Micro/Nanomachines, the Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from MIT, and a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Outside of research, he is committed to science and engineering education in and out of the classroom. He has given workshops at local science museums and lectured (at both the general and technical levels) to university and high school students throughout the US and internationally.