Research Overview

The department research spans a wide variety of research areas being clustered in five major thrusts:

1. Energy

Energy research involves the development, optimization, and manufacture of materials, procedure, and device to address energy conversion/storage and environmental benign via biological, electrochemical, chemical, and solar sources. Specific research areas include:

  • Carbon-based solid oxide fuel cell
  • Algae biofuel, cellulase production, and biomass pretreatment
  • Hydrogen production from photosynthetic cyanobacteria
  • Mechanistic studies of photocatalytic reactions
  • CO2 capture from flue gas
  • Development of low cost polymer electrolyte membrane materials with high proton conductivity and low gas permeability for high temperature fuel cells.

2. Biomaterial

Biomaterial research includes the development and characterization of functional materials and surfaces with a molecular-level understanding of structure-function relationship for a wide variety of applications including implantable medical devices, tissue engineering, and drug delivery systems. Specific research areas include:

  • Development of non-fouling surfaces/materials for biomedical applications
  • Molecular engineering of surfaces for biosensor and bioMEMS
  • Development of micro-scale chemical sensors using biological mimics for the detection of toxic compounds.
  • Generation and fabrication of nanopattern polymer surfaces and protein arrays

3. Biomolecular and Cellular Systems

Research in biomolecular and cellular systems bridges engineering, biology, and nanotechnology. Specific research topics include:

  • Exploration of the structure-function relationship between protein (mis)folding and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Engineering the stem cell niche
  • Engineering proteins to nucleate, organize, and assemble nanostructured materials
  • Development of drug delivery platforms with prolonged blood circulation time for the targeted protein/siRNA/DNA delivery. 

4. Corrosion and Reaction Engineering

Corrosion and reaction engineering focuses on an integration of theory, model experiments, and reactor studies under industrially-relevant conditions. Specific research areas include:

  • Supercritical fluid processing
  • Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition for thin film applications
  • Transient infrared study of adsorbates in catalytic reaction and adsorption processes
  • Molecular simulations, perturbation theory and integral equation theory

5. NanoEngineering

Research in Nanoenginnering mainly focuses on the development of materials and methods for controlling material properties at the nanoscale and the fundamental understanding of nanostructural performance.  Specific research areas include:

  • Nanofibers fabrication
  • Membranes and separations
  • Nanostructured as solid acid catalysts 

Research Areas

  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Biomaterial
  • Biomaterials and Biocatalysis
  • Catalysis
  • Chaotic Processes
  • Colloids
  • Compressor Dynamics
  • Controlled Drug Release
  • Dynamic Time Series Analysis
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Environmentally Benign Synthesis
  • Heat Transfer
  • Light Scattering Techniques
  • Materials Processing and CVD
  • Molecular Modeling
  • Multiphase Processes
  • Nonlinear Control
  • Polymer Tissue Engineering
  • Polymerization
  • Reaction Engineering
  • Sonochemical Processing
  • Supercritical Fluid Technology
  • Surface Modification and Polymer Thin Film
  • Thermodynamics