Ph.D., Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2000
M.S., Engineering Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 1997
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, 1994
Jan 2007 - Present - Associate Professor, Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Sept. 2002 - Dec. 2006, Research Chemist, USDA/ARS, Beltsville, Md.
Apr. 2000 - Sept. 2002 - Advanced R&D Engineer, Polymer Diagnostics, Inc. (a division of the PolyOne Corp.), Avon Lake, Ohio
Jan. 1995 - Feb. 1996 - Project Engineer, Utility Development Corporation, Livingston, N.J.
Editorial Board Member, Biological Physics, Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group.
I have mentored 18 undergraduate students in my research laboratory in the past 5 years and served as the Director of the NSF-REU Site: Bioprocess Engineering for Sustainability. I also mentor a 3-5 person senior design team each academic year.
The Renewable Materials Research Group is interested in creating new biobased materials and using low energy processing to make new polymer materials. We want to design scalable, low energy processes for renewable materials. We are pursuing innovative materials and interesting processing:
Self-assembly. Protein molecules can self-assemble into high performance nanostructures called “amyloids”. Amyloids can take the form of nanofibers or nanotapes. We are using protein self-assembly as a platform to design useful materials such as fibers and composites.
Polymer Processing. Our research group specializes in biopolymer compounding. We continue to pursue the creation of new biopolymers for use in commodity plastics applications like packaging and automobile parts. Typical polymer processing involves synthesis, compounding, and molding. Biopolymers are synthesized in water at low temperature and at atmospheric pressure. Typical fossil fuel based polymers are synthesized in organic solvent and/or at very high temperature and pressure. Both are compounded and molded but biopolymers are compounded and molded at much lower temperature.
(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student, *** post-doc)