Faculty from the Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics, Food Science and Technology, Agricultural Economics, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial and Systems Engineering participate in our REU program. These professors, associate professors, and assistant professors include:

Dr. Timothy E. Long, Professor of Chemistry, and Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute member. Allison Pekkanen, Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering. Chainika Jangu, Ph.D. candidate in macromolecular science and engineering.

Dr. Tim Long
Chemistry

Research will involve the synthesis and characterization of polymeric membranes for purification of water, including the correlation of nanoscale structure with physical properties.  Students will also be exposed to diverse analytical tools for the design of block copolymers.  Collaborations with 3D printing colleagues will lead to the design of advanced materials for food, energy, and water applications.

Dr.AmandaMorris

Dr. Amanda Morris
Chemistry

In my research group, students will explore methods to both harness and store solar energy. This includes research into next generation, cheap and efficient solar cells, as well as artificial photosynthetic assemblies capable of both water purification and carbon recycling. Students will learn to synthesize new materials and test their photo-electrochemical properties with a variety of analytical techniques.

Dr.RobertB.MooreDr. Robert B. Moore
Chemistry

We will explore blocky sulfonation of commercially available poly(ether ether ketone) materials using simple gel-state conditions.  Membranes will be solvent-cast from these blocky ionomers and the degree of crystallinity will be systematically altered by controlling the casting temperature.  Water and ion transport properties of these new membranes will be measured and they will also be evaluated in both electrodialysis cells and proton exchange membrane fuel cells for prospective utilization in desalination and energy conversion applications.

Prof.LouMadsenDr. Lou Madsen
Chemistry

We are investigating the use of a unique type of polymer architecture called a bottlebrush polymer as a material for efficient heat transfer. Students in my lab will work primarily on the synthesis of these polymers using various types of polymerization techniques, including metal-mediated polymerizations and reversible-deactivation radical polymerization. Students will also investigate the mechanical properties of bottlebrush polymers for use as heat transfer materials in electronic devices.

Minolta DSCDr. John Matson
Chemistry

We are investigating the use of a unique type of polymer architecture called a bottlebrush polymer as a material for efficient heat transfer. Students in my lab will work primarily on the synthesis of these polymers using various types of polymerization techniques, including metal-mediated polymerizations and reversible-deactivation radical polymerization. Students will also investigate the mechanical properties of bottlebrush polymers for use as heat transfer materials in electronic devices.

Prof.JudyRiffleDr. Judy Riffle
Chemistry

  • Synthesis and characterization of new membrane materials for purification of water
  • Synthesis and characterization of modified polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature separations of gases

Madeline E Schreiber, Associate Professor, GeosciencesDr. Madeline Schreiber
Geosciences

Our chemical hydrogeology research group investigates abiotic and biotic controls on chemical fate in food-energy-water systems.  The REU student working with our group will use a combination of field methods and laboratory techniques to examine how chemicals are released from naturally-occurring or human-impacted sources and how they are transported within the environment.

Prof.ShengfengChengDr. Shengfeng Cheng
Physics

The prospective student will work on the development of computational models of ion-containing polymers, in particular polyelectrolytes. The specific research topics include the formation of interpolyelectrolyte complexes (IPECs) in solution, the morphological transition from in-solution IPECs to membranes by evaporating the solvent, and nanocomposites made of nanoparticles and ion-containing polymers.

Dr. Susan DuncanProf.SusanDuncan
Food Science and Technology

Light energy is implicated in degradation of food quality including nutrients, ingredients, flavor. Students will characterize nutrient, flavor and pigment chemistry and photoprotective characteristics of food packaging materials under conditions of light-emitting diode and fluorescent light.  Applied research will have direct implications to the food and packaging industries.

Prof.BradfordMillsDr. Bradford Mills
Agricultural Economics

Undergraduate interns will conduct economic analyses of residential energy use behavior with large household datasets. For example, students will examine differences in the adoption of energy efficient appliances and automobiles in the US, China, and Germany. Observed adoption differences will then be related to differences in household characteristics and attitudes, as well as country policies.

Prof.ChrisWilliamsDr. Chris Williams
Mechanical Engineering

Researchers will explore high-resolution 3D Printing technologies to fabricate novel membrane geometries from ion-containing polymers. We will work together with colleagues in Chemistry to gain understanding of the process/property/structure relationships in 3D Printing these novel polymers.

Prof.BlakeJohnson

Dr. Blake Johnson
Industrial and Systems Engineering

Additive manufacturing of biosensing systems for diverse water monitoring.  Biosensors will be fabricated via multi-material additive manufacturing approaches and applied for detection of biologics in buffer and source water matrices.

Tian_Zhiting_croppedDr. Zhiting Tian
Mechanical Engineering

Our group seeks fundamental understanding of nanoscale energy transport processes in semiconductors, polymers, hybrid composites, and novel low-dimensional materials, as well as across solid-solid, solid-liquid and solid-polymer interfaces, for various applications including solar/thermal energy conversion and storage, thermal management of microelectronics, thermal insulation, and biomedical engineering. We conduct both simulations (ab initio and classical calculations) and experiments (ultrafast laser-based techniques and inelastic x-ray scattering) on nanostructured materials.