News & Events

Congratulations to Alejandra!

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Alejandra Rocha for successfully defended her thesis. Her presentation on December 10 was entitled “Phase Equilibria of Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids and Water.” We are so proud of all her hard work throughout her time working with Shiflett Research Group!

-Published on: 12/12/18

Jayhawks at AIChE 2018

The KU reception was a hit! Thanks to all of you who could attend, can’t wait to see you again next year! Be sure to find more pictures of us in the Gallery page of our website!

-Published on: 10/30/18

See you in Pittsburgh!

The Shiflett team is excited to be attending the 2018 AIChE conference next week (see our talks below)! KU will also be hosting a reception Sunday Oct 28th at the Westin Convention Center – Westmoreland Central Room from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Don’t forget to stop by!

Monday, October 29
1- Michael Shao, Mark B. Shiflett and Alejandra Rocha
Abstract Title: 106g Aspen Plus® Videos for Chemical Engineering Undergraduates
Time: 09:48-10:06 AM
Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center-408

2-Nicholas Reding and Mark B. Shiflett
Abstract Title:189bl Characterization of Heat Absorption and Decomposition Products for Suppressant Agent/Combustible Dust Mixtures Via TGA/DSC/MS Analysis
Time: 03:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Location:David L. Lawrence Convention Center- Exhibit Hall B

3- David M. Griffin and Mark B. Shiflett
Abstract Title: 221e Integrating Laboratory Experiments into Chemical Engineering Core Courses
Time: 04:38 PM – 04:55 PM
Location:David L. Lawrence Convention Center- 411

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
4- Tugba Turnaoglu and Mark B. Shiflett
Abstract Title: 462g Solubility and Diffusivity of Ammonia in Aprotic and Protic Ionic Liquids
Time: 09:30 AM – 09:45 AM
Location:David L. Lawrence Convention Center- 316

Friday, November 02, 2018
5- M. Alejandra Rocha, S, Yong Zhang, Edward J. Maginn and Mark B. Shiflett
Abstract Title: 742a Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation of Ionic Liquids By Water Addition (Experiment and Simulation)
Time: 08:00 AM – 08:19 AM
Location:David L. Lawrence Convention Center- 306
-Published on: 10/26/18

Te Vejo em Breve Lisboa! (See you soon Lisbon!)

Dr. Shiflett will be giving a plenary lecture at EuCheMSIL in October at Lisbon, Portugal. If you will be attending, be sure to stop by and say hi! More info here.
-Published on: 9/17/18


The Shiflett group shared a great time together supporting the local soccer team Sporting KC against Orlando City. And yes … of course SKC won!!

SKC Game

-Published on: 9/9/18

Upcoming Publications

Be on the lookout for papers from our group in press soon!
Nick Reding and Dr. Shiflett ‘s paper: Metal Dust Explosion Hazards: A Technical Review was accepted into the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research Journal.

Dr. Minnick, Alejandra Rocha, Tugba Turnaoglu, and Dr. Shiflett ‘s paper: Gas and Vapor Sorption Measurements using Electronic Beam Balances was accepted as a featured article in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A.
-Published on: 8/11/18

Ringing Bells!

The KU-rooted pharmaceutical company Savara went public on NASDAQ May of 2017, and last month had the great opportunity to ring the market bell in NYC on July 23rd. Our own research associate, Dr. Cory Berkland (profile), was actually part of the creation of Savara, which he started out of his lab in 2007 to develop aerosolized drug therapies. Read more here!

Picture source from business Nasdaq:

-Published on: 8/11/18

Congrats to Ana and the Vaccine Team!

Ana C Morais was recently awarded the 2018 Baxter Young Investigator award for her work on the vaccine project. Rock Chalk! Follow this link for more info on the advancements the Shiflett group is making on the thermal stabilization of vaccines.

-Published on: 8/1/18

Summer Research!

For many of our undergrads summer and research go hand in hand, and several of them had the opportunity to present their work at the KU 2018 Summer Poster session. See their pictures below 🙂 !

-Published on: 7/27/18

Fire Training

This summer, Simon Velasquez, one of Dr. Allgeier grad students, set up an instructive hands-on activity for our high school intern: fire extinguisher safety! Thanks Simon!

-Published on: 7/16/18

It’s Summer!

The Shiflett Research group and Allgeier Research group enjoyed a fun summer cookout at Clinton Lake and showed off their impressive sand volleyball skills! More pictures in our Gallery page!

-Published on: 7/15/18

Up with Teaching, Down with CO2

Dr. Mark Shiflett is working to elevate the research and educational opportunities of KU’s new Central Utility Plant (CUP), which produces hot and chilled water for KU’s Central District, while reducing KU’s carbon footprint and creating stronger ties with industry. Read more  here!
-Published on: 7/03/18

“Boulder” Jayhawks!

Tugba, Alejandra, and Dr. Shiflett gave great talks and poster presentations at the 20th Symposium of Thermophysical Properties at the University of Colorado Boulder! See the list below!

Tugba Turnaoglu
Oral Presentation: A Kinetic and Thermodynamic Analysis of Ammonia in Ionic Liquids
Poster: Liquid-Liquid Equilibria of 1,5-Pentanediol in Room Temperature Ionic Liquids

Alejandra Rocha
Oral Presentation: Vapor-Liquid-Liquid Equilibria of Ternary Imidazolium-based Ionic Liquids and Water Systems
Poster:  Water Sorption in Ionic Liquids Characterized using a Dynamic Vapor Sorption Analyzer (IGAsorp) and Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (APXPS)

Dr. Mark Shiflett
Oral Presentation: Investigating the Role of Atom Substitution on the Hydrogen Bonding Interactions and Solubility of Hydrofluorocarbons in Ionic Liquids

Bonus picture!

Tugba, Mark, and Alejandra hiking on the Red Rocks Trail

-Published on: 6/28/18

Welcome to Our 3 New Post Doctoral Researchers!

Dr. Ana Morais, Dr. Rajkumar Kore, and Dr. Sachin Nandanwar have joined the group beginning this summer. We give them a warm welcome and look forward to celebrating their future accomplishments with the team! Learn more about our new members here.

-Published on: 6/07/18

Congrats to the Happy Couples!

May has been full of big dates with several of our undergrads graduating, Bill and Dave saying bye to the team, welcoming new post-docs, and people getting married!

Bill and Tara celebrated their marriage on Saturday May 12th in Lawrence, KS and we wish them the best on this wonderful journey together!

Alejandra and Jason also tied the knot in Lawrence on Friday May 18th; we wish them a lifetime of love and happiness!

-Published on: 6/07/18

Bidding Farewell to Dave and Bill

Dr. Dave Minnick and Dr. Bill Gilbert will be departing the lab group and starting their new jobs in industry within the coming weeks. We will miss them greatly, but we wish them the best on their new careers!

Thank you for your dedicated work! Mark gifted Bill and Dave some neat glass trophies at one of our weekly group breakfasts. (left to right: Bill, Mark, Dave)
Golf Voyage for Dave and Bill! (left to right: Alejandra, Tugba, Kyle, Bill, Dave, Mark)

-Published on: 5/10/18

Thank you!

Our sponsor network continues to expand, and we are honored to have their support! Our list can be found on our Sponsors tab. Feel free to check them out!

-Published on: 4/7/18

Congratulations to Tugba on her Award!

Tugba Turnaoglu, along other KU CPE researchers, attended the 2018 Capitol Graduate Research Summit which was held at the State Capitol, Topeka, on the 27th of March, 2018. She received the BioKansas Presentation Award at the Summit. Yay, Tugba!! For more info please see here.

-Published on: 3/30/18

Rock Chalk, Tugba!

Great news keep coming for our team! Tugba Turnaoglu passed her comprehensive exam today! Her topic was “Protic Ionic Liquid-Zeolite Composites for Ammonia Separation in the Haber-Bosch Process.” Congratulations, Tugba!!

-Published on: 3/26/18

Congratulations to Katie!

Katie Bauguess has accepted a full time position with ExxonMobil. She will be working as a contact engineering in their Baton Rouge, LA site beginning August, 2018.

-Published on: 2/28/18

Congrats Dave!

Dr. David Minnick recently accepted a principal research scientist position with Battelle.  Dave will begin working at the Battelle Eastern Science and Technology Center located in Aberdeen, MD starting in June, 2018.

-Published on: 2/8/18

Congrats Bill!

Congratulations to Dr. Bill Gilbert who accepted an offer of employment from the Chemours Chemical Company. Bill will be working at the Chemours TiO2 facility in New Johnsonville, Tennessee. He will start in June 2018.

-Published on: 12/2/17

Wine Science

Shiflett lab is on the news again! Check out the KU article featuring undergraduate Maddie Lyda, Dr. Bill Gilbert, and Dr. Mark Shiflett on researching sulfite removal from wine. Our group hopes to develop and market an inexpensive device which can remove 99% of sulfites from wine.

Maddie Lyda samples wine using a total sulfur analyzer. Photo courtesy of KU.

-Published on: 11/29/17

Part of a Great Network

Dr. Mark Shiflett recently completed a news story on ionic liquid solubilities with AZO Network, a system focused on “Telling science, technology and medical stories to people who can make a difference.” In the piece, Dr. Shiflett discusses the different applications of ionic liquids and describes the importance in measuring gas solubilities.
Check it out here!
-Published on: 11/25/17

AIChE Annual Conference Successes!

Our group is very grateful to have presented at the 2017 AIChE Annual Conference. We had over 8 talks and posters representing the Shiflett group. Congrats to Brooks Danahy for earning an award on his poster at the undergraduate session!
And, the AIChE hospitality suite was a success! We look forward to seeing you again next year!

-Published on: 11/12/17

KU Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Hospitality Suite

Will you be at the annual AIChE conference in Minneapolis this year? Join us at our hospitality suite and learn about our novel research and cutting-edge facilities!

When: 7:30PM-9:30PM on Sunday, October 29th
Where: Duluth Room, Hilton Minneapolis, 3rd floor near escalators

We look forward to meeting you!

-Published on: 10/05/17

On the Cover!

The book Ionic liquids: Current State and Future Directions edited by Dr. Scurto and Dr. Shiflett, was published recently. And of course, the book (bottom left image) displayed their KU pride with crimson and blue on the cover! In addition, Dr. Shiflett wrote a perspective article in the November issue of the AIChE Journal, and it is featured on the cover (bottom right image).

-Published on: 9/26/17

Presence Abroad!

Dr. Mark Shiflett was invited to present a keynote lecture at the European Conference on Thermophysical Properties in Graz, Austria. He recently traveled to Graz, and presented his a talk “Ionic Liquids – Phase Behavior to Applications” on the morning of Tuesday September 5th.

Later that week, Dr. Shiflett also had the opportunity to visit the Hiden Isochema Ltd. headquarters in Warrington, UK to celebrate 15 years of successful collaboration. Dr. Mark Roper, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hiden, met with Dr. Shiflett and provided a tour of Hiden’s advanced instrumentation.

-Published on: 09/16/17

Future Conferences

We are excited to have our graduate students and postdoctoral researchers presenting at two upcoming conferences. Tugba, Alejandra, Bill, and Dave will be presenting posters at the upcoming 2017 ACS Midwest Regional Meeting – Catalysis Symposium at KU on October 19th, and oral presentations at the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting in Minneapolis on October 29th – November 2nd. Be sure to stop by if you are attending the conferences!

Details below:

2017 ACS Midwest Regional Meeting
Tugba Turnaoglu:
Vapor-Liquid Equilibria:Ammonia and 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide
Friday October 20th, 12:30PM-2:30PM

Alejandra Rocha:
Clathrate Hydrate Formation Using Fluorocarbons
Friday October 20th, 12:30PM-2:30PM

Bill Gilbert:
Safety Considerations when Designing a New Chemical Engineering Research Laboratory
Friday October 20th, 8:00AM-10:00AM

Dave Minnick:
Solubility of vinyl fluoride in aqueous lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide solutions
Friday October 20th, 12:30PM-2:30PM

2017 AIChE Annual Meeting (at the Minneapolis Convention Center)
Tugba Turnaoglu:
-Ammonia Absorption in Ionic Liquids
Wednesday November 1st, 9:42 AM – 9:59 AM, Room 103B

Alejandra Rocha:
-Clathrate Hydrate Formation Using Fluorocarbons
Tuesday October 31st, 8:51 AM – 9:08 AM, Room L100I

-Water Sorption in Ionic Liquids Characterized Using a Dynamic Vapor Sorption Analyzer (IGASorp) and High Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (APXPS)
Thursday, November 2nd, 4:00 PM – 04:15 PM, Room M100B

Bill Gilbert:

-Safety Considerations When Designing a New Chemical Engineering Research Laboratory
Monday October 30th, 1:42 PM – 2:00 PM, Room 205C

-Desorption of Gases from Ionic Liquids Using an Applied Electric Field
Tuesday October 31st, 12:30 PM – 12:52 PM, Room 101C

Dave Minnick:

-Measurement and Modeling of Vinyl Fluoride Solubility in Aqueous Lithium Bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)Imide Solutions
Monday October 30th, 12:50 PM – 01:10 PM, Room M100C

-Phase Behavior of Compressed Gases in Ionic Liquids at the Liquid-Solid Transition Point
Tuesday October 31st, 04:12 PM – 04:31 PM, Room L100J

Shiflett Lab Group Hosts Open House

Shiflett lab group hosted an open lab afternoon on April 28. The event featured undergraduate research presentations on their different projects from this semester. Dr. Shiflett and our post doctorate researchers also gave visitors tours of the lab space.

New Kinetics Experiment for Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Laboratory

Dr. David Griffin, Dr. Bill Gilbert and Prof. Mark B. Shiflett
Figure 1 – New Kinetics Experiment – Iodination of Acetone – C&PE 616 Chemical Engineering Lab I

A new kinetics experiment was completed and added to the undergraduate chemical engineering teaching laboratory for the Chemical Engineering Laboratory I, C&PE 616.  Students can measure the kinetic orders and activation energy for the iodination of acetone reaction (CH3COCH3  + I2 → CH3COCH2I +  HI) using HCl as a catalyst.

The reaction is a color change reaction so it starts as a colored solution when iodine is added (I2 is red/brown in color) and goes clear as the product iodoacetone is formed (iodoacetone is clear). The experimental setup consists of a 1 liter stirred tank reactor with a cooling/heating jacket controlled with a Peltier temperature bath.  A pump circulates a sample of the reactor fluid through a flow cell in a spectrometer for instantaneous analysis of the iodine concentration as a function of time.  The temperature and absorbance are recorded using a LabView® data acquisition program on a laptop computer.  The waste can be drained to waste containers beneath the reactor and the system is mounted on a moveable rack which allows the experiment to be portable.  The setup is identical on both sides of the rack so that students can work in groups of two to run both reactors simultaneously.  The spectrometer measures the absorbance of iodine at a wavelength of 510 nm.  Students use both a linear regression (Initial Rates Method) and a non-linear regression to analyze the kinetics data to determine the orders of reaction and the activation energy.  In addition to the experiments, students model the reaction using Aspen Plus using both batch (RBATCH) and continuous (RCSTR) reactor models. The fact that the experiment is portable allows the equipment to be wheeled into the classroom for demonstration during lectures.  Students taking Chemical Kinetics C&PE 524 will learn how the experiment works, the methods for data analysis and be assigned a homework set based on actually experimental data being measured by the Senior class.  This will connect the lab course with the kinetics course and familiarize the Juniors in C&PE 524 with the kinetics experiment they will do the following semester in the undergraduate laboratory course C&PE 616.  In addition, future experiments can be conducted with other reactants such as bromine and the effect of different catalysts can be studied.

A new thermodynamics experiment is planned for construction during the summer of 2017 and ready for use in C&PE 616 by the Fall semester.  The intent is by the Fall of 2018, that three new experiments focused on kinetics (complete), thermodynamics and fluid mechanics will be ready which connect the theory taught in the core courses with the laboratory course.  The experiments will be portable and allow instructors to describe the experiments in the classroom and build homework sets based on data measured by students to familiarize Juniors with the Senior laboratory equipment and analysis methods.

-Published on: 03/03/17