Meet Our Group

Post Doctoral Researchers

William J.R. Gilbert, ph.D.

William (Bill) Gilbert is currently a post-doctoral research assistant in Mark Shiflett’s laboratory. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in 2016. While pursuing a Ph.D., Bill received the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship and was a School of Engineering Graduate Ambassador. His graduate research focused on the development of a novel enzymatic method for degrading polyacrylamide polymer used in slickwater fracturing. Bill received a B.S. in environmental science from Haskell Indian Nations University and was named the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student of the Year and the Midwestern Collegiate Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year. His collegiate work was interrupted in from 2003-2005 when he was deployed to Tikrit, Iraq, through the U.S. Army Reserve. Bill also participated in the Haskell/KU Bridge program and Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program where he conducted cardiopulmonary physiology and polymer thermodynamics research.

dave-minnickDavid L. Minnick, ph.d.

Dave Minnick conducted his graduate work at the University of Kansas in the department of chemical and petroleum engineering from 2011-2016 as a Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellow. The core of Minnick’s doctoral research was dedicated to leveraging ionic liquid solvent technology for the development of improved cellulosic biomass processing routes. After completing his Ph.D. with honors in 2016, Minnick was hired as a short-term post-doctoral research associate to investigate a proprietary chemical reaction for the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company as part of a joint project between the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis and Chevron Phillips. Today, Minnick looks forward to continuing industrial-academic collaborative research efforts as a post-doctoral research associate in Mark B. Shiflett’s laboratory.

Graduate Students

alejandra_0Alejandra Rocha

Alejandra received her chemical engineering bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Kansas in 2014. After graduating, she worked in the process engineering industry running dynamic state simulations. After two years of industry experience, Alejandra returned to KU to pursue her Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. She is currently investigating fluorocarbons as clathrate formers for an economic alternative to water desalination. Her career interests involve the design and development of alternative energy.

tugba-turnaoglu_2Tugba Turnaoglu

Tugba received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Ankara University in Turkey and her master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. She has been a PhD student at KU since Spring 2014. During the first three years of her degree, she worked on low salinity waterflooding on carbonate reservoirs. She is currently working on ammonia absorption in ionic liquids. Her current research interests are ionic liquids, heating cooling cycles, vapor liquid equilibria, zeolites, nanofluids, surfactants and surface phenomena. As she is very enthusiastic about research, she hopes to pursue a career in research, be it in industry or academia. She also enjoy teaching and spreading scientific knowledge.

Senior Scientists

David R. Corbin, Ph.D.

Dr. Corbin is an adjunct senior research scientist with 32 years of industrial research experience. He has issued 62 US patents and has published more than 130 publications, in addition to co-editing two books on porous materials. His research interests include applications of inorganic materials to industrial problems, zeolites, separations, and metal oxides.

Mark A. Harmer, Ph.D.

Dr. Harmer is currently working at Sustainable Chemistry Consulting in Landenberg, PA. He has 32 years of industrial experience with several commercial products, 73 patents, and 81 publications. He is also a member of the board J. Green Chemistry, and is a NSF and DOE grant reviewer and Strategy Consultant. He is primarily interested in acid catalysis, ionic liquid applications, and biobased adhesives.

Scott C. Jackson, Ph.D.

Dr. Jackson is an adjunct senior research scientist at KU and an adjunct professor at Villanova University. Previously, he was a DuPont Senior Technical Fellow with 33 years of industrial research experience. In addition to his 41 US patents and 28 publications and presentations, he is also a recipient of the Engineering Excellence Award for the development of Extractive Distillation technology. His primary area of research interest includes fluid phase thermodynamics of biphasic systems and scale ups of liquid-liquid extraction systems.

Undergraduate Students

Katie Bauguess

Katie is currently a junior pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. In our lab, she is working on a zeolite project with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. Bill Gilbert, Dr. David Corbin and Professor Cory Berkland. She is researching several zeolite structures and their ability to bind with metals with a specific focus on iron.

Yadira Chavez-Arambula

Yadira is currently a senior pursuing a degree in Petroleum Engineering with a Geology minor. She is contributing to the Shiflett lab by setting up and calibrating gas chromatographs with flame ionization (FID) and thermal conductivity (TCD) detectors. Additionally, Yadira is creating a design concept with KU logos and inspiring quotes to foster a culture of creativity and energy within the lab.

Brooks Danahy

Brooks is currently a junior studying chemical engineering at KU. In the Shiflett research group he is assisting Dr. David Minnick with a project investigating gas sorption in ionic liquids. In his free time, Brooks also enjoys being a coordinator for Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for children affected by parental cancer.

Elizabeth Hyde

Elizabeth is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering with a focus in environmental engineering. She is currently working on the development of the Shiflett Research website and assisting Alejandra Rocha with a techno-economic evaluation of a process of desalination using clathrate hydrates. In her free time, she enjoys being an active member of Theta Tau, KU’s professional engineering fraternity.

Maddie Lyda

Maddie is a junior studying Chemical Engineering with a focus in biomedical engineering. In the lab, she is currently working on studying gas chromatography and various separation techniques. In her free time, she enjoys being involved in the Society of Women Engineers and the director of EXPO committee and community service for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Sally Ritchie

Sally Ritchie is a junior studying chemical engineering here at KU. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she works on researching solubility of ammonia in ionic liquids with Tugba Turnaoglu, which has applications in absorption refrigeration cycles.

Michael Shao

Michael is a sophomore studying chemical engineering and economics. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he works with Alejandra Rocha studying desalination using clathrate hydrates and utilizes ASPEN modeling for reverse osmosis. In his free time, Michael serves as an Engineering Senator for Student Senate, a Music Mentors Coordinator for the Center for Community Outreach, and a member of the Student Senate Finance Committee. 

Simon Velasquez Morales

Simon is currently a senior in chemical engineering at KU. He is finishing his undergraduate program this summer, and will be returning to KU for his Ph.D program in chemical and petroleum engineering. In his free time, he enjoyed partaking in the Chem-E-Car competition at the University of Tulsa where the team won for most creative design.

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