Berlyn Mellein joined Professor Mark Shiflett’s research group as a Research Associate in January 2020. Dr. Mellein received her B.S. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Notre Dame in 2008. For her doctorate, she studied the anti-solvent ability and solvatochromatic effects of CO2 in ionic liquid/organic mixtures. She then joined DuPont, where she contributed to programs ranging from increasing production capacity by studying fundamental properties of polymer fibers to studying oxalate chemistry for TiO2 and Fe2O3 production. Dr. Mellein is currently working in collaboration with ExxonMobil to better understand thermophysical properties and vapor liquid equilibria of hydrocarbons in aqueous salt solutions.
Dr. Rajkumar Kore has been working as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Mark Shiflett’s research group since May 2018. His current research interests are development of ionic liquids (IL) and zeolite for catalysis, separation, etc. Prior to joining Dr. Shiflett’s group, Dr. Kore worked as a postdoctoral research scientist with Prof. Robin D. Rogers’ group at The University of Alabama from November 2014 to April 2018. There, he worked on multiple IL-based projects, led a team of research postdocs on an industrially sponsored project (from Reliance Industries) and developed several homogeneous and heterogeneous ILs used for catalysis and separation processes. Dr. Kore completed his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar with Prof. Rajendra Srivastava, from 2010 to 2014. His doctoral study was primarily focused on the development of ILs as well as porous materials like hierarchical zeolites for catalysis. Prior to his Ph.D., he worked as a research assistant on development of a continuous process for biodiesel in the Indo-US project with Dr. D. Srinivas in National Chemical Laboratory Pune from 2009 to 2010. He has 23 research articles (with 540 citations), 4 US patents, as well as multiple other works under review.’
Hannes Schmidt received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Rostock in 2019 for experimental analyses of thermodynamic seawater properties at PTB, the national metrology institute of Germany. Hannes’ results sparked a multidisciplinary discussion on oceanographic standards and enable reliable thermohaline circulation and climate predictions. In Dr. Shiflett’s working group, Hannes is researching the interaction of refrigerants with low global warming potential and lubricants in collaboration with the Chemours Company, in order to advance climate-friendly chilling processes.
Carlos Castor Jr
Dr. Carlos Castor received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. He completed his Master and Doctor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at UFRJ. During his doctorate, Dr. Carlos Castor worked on several research projects in cooperation with some international petrochemical companies, more specifically related to the polymerization processes under Prof. Jose Carlos Pinto leadership and guidance. In 2015 Dr. Carlos Castor worked as a post-doctorate at Tulane University for development and implementation of an Automatic Continuous Online Monitoring and Control Platform for polymerization reactions under Prof. Wayne Reed leadership. From February 2016 to October 2019, he worked as Research Engineer under Prof. Pinto leadership at the Polymer Engineering Laboratory (LabPol). Dr. Carlos Castor joined the Dr. Allgeier and Dr. Shiflett’s research group in November 2019 to develop a continuous polymerization process on different scales. He has experience in chemical reactors, micro-reactors, batch and continuous processes, in particular in the area of modeling/simulation of polymerization processes.
Kalin Baca received her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering in May of 2018, Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in December 2019 and Master of Business Administration in December 2019 from the University of New Mexico. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Kansas as a student in the Shiflett Research Group. Her research is focused on the separation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) using ionic liquids.
Nicole Montoya graduated with her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering from the University of Kansas in May of 2019. She joined the Shiflett lab in January of 2020 to pursue her M.S in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on the thermal stabilization of vaccines using mesoporous silica in order to eliminate the need for a cold chain transport and increase global vaccine impact. Other research interests include drug delivery and biomaterials.
Ankit received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India in 2016. He was admitted for his PhD at KU in fall 2016 as a Chancellor’s Fellow. During the first two years of PhD he has worked on development of carbon nanotubes based high surface area materials. Under the guidance of Dr. Shiflett, Ankit is currently working on metal separations from mixed metal oxides. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career in industrial research.
Nicholas Reding received his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas in 2016. Following graduation with his undergraduate degree, Nicholas currently works in the field of explosion protection, designing protection solutions for a wide range of applications. After a year of industry experience, he decided to return to KU to pursue a master’s degree in chemical engineering. His research interests include process safety, combustion science, and explosion protection (more specifically, suppression and isolation of non-standard deflagrations). Under the guidance of Dr. Shiflett, Nicholas is currently working on a study that illustrates the effectiveness of various inhibitors for the suppression of highly reactive metal dust deflagrations. Working in collaboration with Fike Corporation, his primary focus is to characterize the ability of various agents to absorb heat and limit the maximum pressure rise during contained combustion. Upon graduation, Nicholas plans to explore additional research studies with continued attention towards industry-related projects.
Andrew earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Baylor University in 2019. He is currently working toward earning a M.S in Chemical Engineering and later plans to pursue a PhD while at KU. His initial research focuses on the development of zeolites and other porous media for the selective separation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career in industry.
Ethan Finberg graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Kansas in 2019. Following graduation, Ethan was hired by the Chemical & Petroleum Department and began working with Dr. Shiflett as an instructor for the Senior Chemical Engineering Laboratory course. Ethan continues to teach this course and, as of January of 2020, began research with Dr. Shiflett in pursuit of a M.S. in Chemical Engineering. Ethan’s graduate research involves modeling and building an extractive distillation column to separate refrigerants using an ionic liquid solvent.
Francisco is a Masters student from Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal working on his MsC dissertation in Dr.Shiflett’s lab, focusing on the use of ionic liquids to separate refrigerant R-410a into less harmful components. While pursuing his degree, he also did some lab work researching the properties of DES. During his free time, he works as a coordinator for a political party in his home country, while spending the remaining time writing, reading and playing video games.
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.
Kenneth Leffew, Ph.D.
Dr. Leffew is an adjunct professor at Villanova University. He retired from DuPont in 2016, where he held the highest technical position in the company, DuPont Fellow. In his 41 year career there, he was involved in the discovery, development and commercialization of numerous polymer processes and products, including Neoprene, PET for bottle resin, PMMA, Ethylene copolymers, polymers for optical disks, color copier toner, OLED devices, flexible solar cells and methanol fuel cells. He received DuPont’s Engineering Excellence Award four times and is inventor on 29 US Patents and has over 60 publications and presentations. His interests include polymerization reactor design, polymer process synthesis and processing, advanced process control and product design.
Undergraduate Student RESEARCHERS
Michael is a junior studying chemical engineering and economics. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he works with Alejandra Rocha studying desalination using clathrate hydrates and also assists Dr. Shiflett in creating ASPEN Plus guides. 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.
Kaylee is a junior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at KU. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she is studying the thermal stability of vaccines and how to use encapsulation to prevent denaturation of the proteins in vaccines during transport. At KU, she is involved in SWE, AIChE, and is one of the large event chairs for Chem Club. In her free time, she enjoys going on a run and teaching chemistry to children at Chem Club demonstrations.
Grant is currently a junior studying chemical engineering at KU. He is part of the valuable metal recovery group targeting the recycle of lithium and cobalt from mixed metal oxide batteries. In his free time, he plays water polo on the KU club team and is a member of Sigma Pi.
Anna is currently a sophomore studying chemical engineering with a biomedical focus. She is researching the iron binding properties of zeolites as well as other structures with Professor Mark Shiflett, r. David Corbin, Professor Cory Berkland and Kerry Kao. Anna was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to Wichita, Kansas 4 years ago. In her free time, Anna is involved in AICHE and SWE on campus and is passionate about ceramics. She is also a fellow of the Self Engineering Leadership Program and Vann Fellowship of Economic Innovation.
Jane is a junior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in pre-medicine. She is currently working on researching the iron binding capabilities of zeolites with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. David Corbin, and Professor Cory Berkland. Outside of classes, Jane is active on the board of International Student Association, is an orientation leader for International Orientation, and is a member of the University Honors Program. In her free time, Jane enjoys knitting, swimming, and running with her dog.
Kalena is currently a sophomore studying chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. She is researching the stabilization of vaccines via encapsulation alongside Dr. Picking, Kaylee Barr, Elvis Umana, Lily Higgins, and Channary Ny. She is part of the University Honors Program and is highly involved in the Scholarship Hall Community, where she is the Community Service Chair at Watkins Scholarship Hall. Kalena regularly volunteers at the Lawrence Humane Society as well. During her free time, she likes to read books, hang out with friends, build robots with her dad, and bake.
Edward is currently a sophomore studying chemical engineering . In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he is assisting Nicholas Reding in his research on suppressing metal dust explosions. Edward is a Lawrence native . In his free time, Edward is involved in AICHE and the KU Chemistry Club on campus. Among Edward’s many interests include cooking, baking, puzzles, traveling, manatees, spending time with his pet rabbit, and going on late night adventures around town that often involve swing sets and impromptu karaoke. He is also a fellow of the Self Engineering Leadership Program.
Lansten is a sophomore pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at KU. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he is researching ways that fluorinated organic compounds PFOA and PFOS can be removed from water. Lansten is also involved with AIChE and is part of the University Honors Program. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and soccer.
Noses Lor is a junior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a biomedical emphasis at the University of Kansas. He is part of the team researching ways to remove PFOA and PFOS using activated charcoal and zeolites.
Erin is currently a freshman studying chemical engineering at KU. In her free time, Erin serves as the Vice President of Campus Relations of Engineering Student Council and as a varsity member of the KU Crew Rowing Team. She is also a part of the University Honors Program and the KUEST ONE Scholars Program.
Taylor is currently pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a biomedical emphasis at KU. She is assisting Dr. Shiflett in the analysis of ionic liquid solvent technology for the dissolution/partial dissolution of keratin for care and treatment of human hair.
I am currently a freshman pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I am studying the effects of ionic liquids on hair and I hope to continue working in the cosmetology field of Chemical Engineering throughout college and after graduation. I am also involved in iHAWKE and a new scholarship program at KU called KUEST ONE.
Brian Kirchhoff is a freshman studying chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. With the Shiflett Group, he is researching the creation of Cold-Chain Independent Vaccines using Inorganic Vehicles under the supervision of Dr. Picking. Outside of the lab, Brian is a member of the SELF Fellowship, Engineers Without Borders, AIChE, and the Engineering Student Council. In his free time, Brian enjoys hiking, swimming and spending time with friends
Yinxian is a junior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a biomedical concentration. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he is part of a team that is working on the PFOA removal from drinking water using microporous zeolites. Outside of the lab, Yinxian is involved with KU Biodiesel Initiative and is a part of the University Honors Program.
Leslie is a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering with a Biomedical focus. At KU Leslie is involved with Chem Club and the Multicultural Scholars Program. In her free time Leslie enjoys reading, baking, and binging TV with her cat.
Eric is a sophomore at the University of Kansas majoring in chemical engineering with a premedical focus. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he exercises his passions for chemistry and medicine as a member of the Vaccine Encapsulation Project; a project which seeks to utilize porous materials in order to inhibit protein denaturation under the conditions of vaccine transport. At KU, Eric is heavily involved with fraternity life, being the Director of Interfraternal Relations on the Junior Interfraternity Council and serving as the Community Service Coordinator and Philanthropy Chairman for his own fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.
Rhianna is currently a junior pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering with a Biomedical emphasis. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she works on Project Protium and Project Tritium studying membrane permeability with Erin Sturd. Rhianna also serves as the Vice President of the Jayhawk Club Water Polo team.
Greta is a sophomore at KU studying chemical engineering with an environmental focus. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab she will be working on refrigerant separation in order to decrease their global warming potentials. As a member of the University of Kansas Swim and Dive team, Greta competes in butterfly and sprint freestyle events. In her free time, she enjoys reading and being outdoors.
Christopher is a senior studying chemical engineering with an emphasis in biomed and pre-medicine. His project focuses on recycling valuable metals, such as lithium and cobalt, from lithium-ion batteries. Outside of classes, Christopher is an active member of Alpha Sigma Phi and volunteers in the Emergency Department at LMH. He likes to watch basketball, take his dog to parks, and watch movies in his free time.
Miracle Emenuga is a sophomore pursuing a chemical engineering degree at KU. She will be working in Dr Shiflett’s lab with a team on the removal of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. To achieve this, zeolites, which have been detected to be more effective and cost efficient than activated carbon, will be used. Outside of class work, Miracle is an Orientation leader, a Peer mentor for International students, and a member of both Global Partners and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). In her free time, Miracle likes to nap, watch movies, listen to music/dance and read novels.
Ty is currently a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering with a petroleum emphasis. He is working in Dr. Shiflett’s lab on the recycling of valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries. On campus, Ty is involved with AIChE, the University Club Tennis Team, and the St. Lawrence Center. In his free time, he likes to play tennis, read, and hang out with friends.
Catherine is currently a sophomore pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Visual Art. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she works on the removal of sulfites from wine. Using CAD modeling and 3D printing, she is developing a prototype device which will filter the wine. Outside of class, she is a member of Chi Omega sorority, and she participates in KU Women’s Club Soccer and serves as an Undergraduate Engineering Ambassador
Sophia is a freshman, born and raised in Kansas City, studying chemical engineering with an environmental emphasis. She currently works on researching the iron binding capacities of zeolites and other materials with Dr. Mark Shiflett, Dr. David Corbin, and Professor Cory Berkland. Sophia is a member of Engineers Without Borders and the University Honors Program. In her free time, she enjoys painting, poetry, and practicing piano and French.
Jake is currently a sophomore studying chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, Jake works with Michael Shao in helping create Apsen Plus guides. On campus, Jake is involved as a college Younglife leader, is the financial officer of Jayhawk Rocket Design, and is part of the University Honors Program. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, hiking and fishing, cooking, and hanging out with friends.
Lucia is currently a freshman studying chemical engineering with an environmental concentration. She will be working in the ionic liquid portion of Project EARTH, which focuses on the separation of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants that have a high global warming potential. Lucia is part of the University Honors Program and a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In her free time she enjoys reading, swimming, and watching movies.