Areas of Specialization



ENERGY: Arges, Benton, Bharti, Ding, Dooley, Dorman, Flake, Griffin, Nandakumar, Shelton, Spivey, Wornat, Xu

ENVIRONMENTAL: Bharti, Dorman, McPeak, Melvin, Nandakumar, Thompson, Valsaraj, Wornat

BIOCHEMICAL: Benton, Melvin

ADVANCED COMPUTATIONS: Bharti, Nandakumar, Romagnoli, Shelton, Thompson, Xu


CATALYSIS: Ding, Dooley, Dorman, Flake, Griffin, McPeak, Shelton, Spivey, Xu

MATERIALS: Arges, Bharti, Ding, Dorman, Flake, Griffin, McPeak, Melvin, Shelton, Xu



Current Research: Advanced materials for electrochemical processes used in the water-energy nexus – water treatment and energy storage and conversion; integration of advanced materials into electrochemical processes; investigation of material and system performance using advanced metrology and in-situ diagnostics

PROF. MICHAEL G. BENTON: Energy, Biochemical

Current Research: Genomics – the role of DNA damage response in cancer prevention; biosensors for the enhanced detection of carcinogens; metabolic engineering of yeasts for increased ethanol production

PROF. BHUVNESH BHARTI: Energy, Environmental, Advanced Computations, Materials

Current Research: Nanoscience; colloids and surface science; soft matter and complex fluids

PROF. KUNLUN DING: Energy, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Catalysis; materials chemistry; spectroscopy

PROF. KERRY M. DOOLEY: Energy, Catalysis

Current Research: Catalysis – supported acids and mixed metal oxides; synthesis/characterization – rare earth oxide catalysts and energetic material/catalyst composite materials; hydrogenation/dehydrogenation

PROF. JAMES A. DORMAN: Energy, Environmental, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Nanostructure synthesis; charge recombination kinetics (light-emitting diodes, photocatalysis); defect engineering in metal oxides (supercapacitors); semiconductor engineering (photovoltaics); hybrid solar cells

PROF. JOHN C. FLAKE: Energy, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Electrochemical processes and materials; energy storage technology – electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction and materials for lithium batteries

PROF. GREGORY G. GRIFFIN: Energy, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Preparing improved electrodes for electrochemical conversion of CO2 into usable fuels and chemicals; colloidal and electrochemical methods for preparing nanoparticle electrodes


PROF. KEVIN M. MCPEAK: Environmental, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Photocatalysis; plasmonic materials; nanoscale chirality

PROF. ADAM T. MELVIN: Environmental, Biochemical, Materials

Current Research: A multidisciplinary approach in the development and implementation of new technologies and methods to assess biological phenomena using engineering principles: peptide biosensor development; microfluidics; single cell analysis and tracking; quantifications of ubiquitin-proteasome kinetics, algal growth and migration dynamics; environmental chemodynamics


PROF. KRISHNASWAMY NANDAKUMAR: Energy, Environmental, Advanced Computations

Current Research: Integrating multi-scale, multi-physics processes to understand the impact of turbulent transport on mass transfer and reaction processes - focusing on the design of a novel bio-reactor and a bubble column; modeling of near well transport processes in the presence of surfactants using multiphase CFD to understand the impact of deep water oil spills; using DNS and DPM framework to study fundamental problems of spontaneous pattern formation and dynamics of fluid-particle suspensions; driven cavity problem of granular flows, suspension dynamics, bubble column dynamics, fractal distributors and mixers, multiphase coalescers, in-situ pyrolysis of shale deposits


PROF. JOSE A. ROMAGNOLI: Advanced Computations, Process Systems Engineering

Current Research: Process Systems Engineering (PSE); advanced multi-scale modelling architectures for complex processes; advanced multiresolution image analysis and characterization techniques; design and synthesis with economic-environmental-operability considerations; intelligent data processing, reconciliation, monitoring; advanced process control; enterprise-wide optimization


PROF. WILLIAM A. SHELTON: Energy, Advanced Computations, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Catalysis; alloy theory; chemistry – surface science

PROF. JAMES J. SPIVEY: Energy, Catalysis

Current Research: Catalytic conversion of syngas into clean fuels; fuel processing; C1 catalysis—methane conversion; biomass-derived syngas to higher hydrocarbons and oxygenates; fuel reforming


PROF. KARSTEN E. THOMPSON: Environmental, Advanced Computations

Current Research: Porous materials—microscale fluid mechanics, interfacial and multiphase behavior, dispersion, solute and particle transport; materials processing; oilfield processes; environmental transport; separations; developing computational modeling techniques, particularly for pore-scale and multiscale modeling


Current Research: Transformations of pollutants on atmospheric aerosols – fog, rain, ice, snow; mercury sequestration in sediments; studies on chemical dispersant design for sub-sea oil/gas spill


PROF. MARY JULIA (JUDY) WORNAT: Energy, Environmental

Current Research: High-temperature fuel-conversion processes such as pyrolysis and combustion; formation of environmental pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and soot; gas-phase, heterogeneous, and supercritical-phase reactions; analytical techniques for the compositional determination of complex organic mixtures

PROF. YE XU: Energy, Advanced Computations, Catalysis, Materials

Current Research: Theoretical and computational investigation of surface chemical thermodynamics, kinetics, and reaction mechanisms; computational heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis; rational design of catalytic materials; energy conversion and storage