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.
Alejadra was Dr. Shiflett’s first graduate student at KU. She graduated with her M.S. in Chemical Engineering with Honors in December of 2018. She now works for Black & Veatch in Kansas City, KS. 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.
Tugba was Dr. Shiflett’s first PhD student at KU. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with Honors in December of 2019. Her Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Phase Behavior of Binary Ionic Liquid Systems: Ionic Liquids with Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and Dihydroxy Alcohols”. 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. Her current research interests are ionic liquids, heating cooling cycles, vapor liquid equilibria, zeolites, nanofluids, surfactants and surface phenomena. She is very enthusiastic about research and teaching, and plans to start her career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
PREVIOUS POST DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS
Ana Rita C. Morais
Ana Morais received her Ph.D. in Sustainable Chemistry in 2018 from the NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal. Her doctoral research was focused on the development of effective and more sustainable solvent systems based on supercritical and sub-critical fluids for producing fuels and chemicals from biomass. While pursuing her Ph.D., Ana Morais has received the Green Talents Award (2016) – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development – from Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany for her work in the field of sustainable chemistry and engineering. Currently, Ana Morais is doing her post-doctoral research at The University of Kansas, in Mark B. Shiflett’s laboratory. Her research encompasses several avenues for the development of sustainable chemical processes, such as the study of green solvent systems with unique properties (e.g., mixtures of CO2 and Ionic liquids) which could be used in more economical catalytic processes. Also, Ana Morais is working on the determination of physical properties of refrigerants with low global warming potential in lubricants and polymers, in collaboration with Chemours Company. Furthermore, Ana Morais is also developing an effective encapsulation method to prevent the denaturation of proteins in vaccines during transportation, thereby improving vaccine logistics across the globe and the overall sustainability of healthcare programs.
David 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. Within Dr. Shiflett’s lab, Minnick continued his industrial-academic collaborative research efforts as a post-doctoral research associate overseeing multiple undergraduate projects and a confidential industrial project. Dave accepted a position with DuPont as a Research Investigator at the Washington Works site in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
William J.R. Gilbert, ph.D.
William (Bill) Gilbert 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. Bill joined Dr. Shiflett’s lab as a post-doctoral research assistant during the Fall of 2016 and supervised a number of undergraduate projects in addition to a confidential industrial project. On the summer of 2018, Bill initiated his career in industry with Chemours Chemical Company at the Chemours TiO2 facility in New Johnsonville, Tennessee.
Sachin U. Nandanwar
Sanchin received his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat (India) in 2013. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University Institute of Chemical Technology, UICT (formerly UDCT), North Maharashtra University and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, (India) respectively. During his doctoral program his research focus was on the synthesis and characterization of the γ-Al2O3 supported ruthenium catalyst for the hydrogenation of benzene. Next, Dr. Nandanwar worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho on the design and development of nanostructured sorbents for selective removal of iodine and krypton from off-gas streams. After that, Dr. Nandanwar joined another Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. His research focused on the development of mixed oxide-supported metal catalysts for dry reforming of methane to syngas production. Later, he joined Professor Shiflett’s research group in June 2018 at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and worked on the separation of nitrogen from methane using porous materials. Recently, Dr. Nandanwar joined the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (India) as a Senior Scientist in the Catalysis & Inorganic Chemistry Division.
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.
Abby Harders was a participant of the 2019 IDEA Incubator Program. Abby was a senior at Bethel College, double majoring in Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she explored the use of ionic liquids to separate the refrigerant R-410a into the component with the lower global warming potential. She looks forward to growing as a researcher and aspires to continue working with Dr. Shiflett in graduate school. In her free time, Abby enjoys riding her horses, gardening, graphic design, drawing, and spending time with her dogs.
Sierra was an undergraduate at Kansas State University entering her sophomore year. She participated in Dr. Shiflett’s and Dr. Allgeier’s lab through the REU program. Her research focused on characterizing zeolites for gas separation while also comparing their characteristics with various ion exchanges. Sierra is Vice President of K-State’s Engineers Without Borders and Executive Officer of Engineering Student Council. She also enjoys participating in Kansas State’s Book Network and going on adventurous walks.
Karim was a senior in chemical engineering at the University of South Florida. He participated in a summer research program at KU where he worked on a research project under Professor Aaron Scurto’s mentorship. The project’s title is ”Fluid and Heat Transport of Novel Sustainable Refrigeration Systems”. Karim enjoys playing and watching sports, specifically basketball. At USF, he has worked on research projects involving fluid transport and biofuels. Karim aims to pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering after completing his bachelor’s degree.
Riley Unekis is going into her junior year at Lawrence high school. She wants to become an engineer but is unsure what field. She is hoping to take away valuable information that she could use in the future. During the summer of 2019, she is working with Dr. Shiflett’s lab with a research team that is trying to filter out PFOA and PFOS from drinking water and how to test for it. Riley’s hobbies include soccer, FIRST robotics on team 5119, doing graphic design work for her school newspaper, and playing video games on her PC.
Evan is a high school senior in Libertyville, IL. He became interested in chemistry during his junior year when taking an AP chemistry course and loved the class and said he found chemistry to be fascinating and practical at the same time. In summer 2018, he worked mainly in Dr. Shiflett’s lab with an undergraduate research team who helped mentor him in lab safety and basic experimental methodology and protocol. He helped improve reproducibility and reliability of lab results. In his free time, Evan enjoys playing euphonium and League of Legends.
Andrew Taylor is a freshman biology teacher in the Engineering Academy at Olathe Northwest High School. Additionally, Andrew coaches FIRST Robotics Team 1710. Andrew completed his undergraduate education at the University of Kansas. At KU, Andrew enrolled in the UKanTeach program, which enabled him to pursue a degree in his chosen scientific field while also earning a teaching certificate upon graduation. Andrew took advantage of this opportunity, and graduated in 2011 from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Additionally, Andrew earned distinction at KU as a Noyce Scholar, and earned a Mark of Excellence on his teaching and learning Praxis exam. Andrew spent the first five years of his career teaching general biology at Seaman High School in Topeka, KS. While there, Andrew coached tennis and swimming, earning recognition as the 2015 Centennial League girls tennis Coach of the Year. Andrew is currently serving as the vice president of the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers. Andrew has joined the Shiflett lab as part of the NSF funded Research Experience for Teachers program. In the lab, Andrew is working on removing PFAS from drinking water using various substances, such as zeolites.
Candice Van Allen
Candice Van Allen completed undergraduate courses at Solano Community College and the University California, Davis and graduated from the University of California, San Francisco with a Doctor of Pharmacy in 2000. Upon graduation, she resumed her career in the United States Air Force, completed a pharmacy practice residency in 2004 and retired in 2014. In 2017, she moved to Kansas and enrolled in the Transition to Teaching program at Fort Hays State University and is concurrently working towards her Masters of Science in Education. She is a science teacher in Weskan, Kansas where she teaches Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Science Projects and Life Science in grades 6-12. As a participant in the Research Experience for Teachers program, she looks forward to working with Dr Shiflett’s team learning about the removal of perfluoroalkyl substances from drinking water. Her goal is to translate this research into interesting and meaningful lessons for the classroom that will inspire students to enter the intriguing fields of science and engineering.
Patrick Cannon graduated from Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island in 2013 with a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management. Previously, he worked for Hyatt Hotels in both San Antonio and Denver as a Sous Chef. Patrick joined the Teach for America Corps in 2016 and has been placed in Oklahoma City working at Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High School where he teaches 7th and 8th Grade Science, Anatomy, and Mathematics. Patrick has joined the Shiflett Lab through the CEBC’s Research Experience for Teacher program. Patrick’s main areas of interest are zeolites and their potential uses as well as how the methodology of research in the Shiflett Lab can be translated into lesson for the 7th-12th Grade Science classroom.
Shelly is a participant in the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program whose goal is to expose and engage high school science teachers to the exciting research being done at the University of Kansas and take this back to their classroom. Shelly earned her BS in Biology from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas and a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Mary University in Leavenworth, Kansas. Shelly has 28 years of experience in the field of education with 25 of that in her current position with Santa Fe Trail High school where she teaches Biology, Earth & and Space Science and Energy Science. In her first year in the RET program Shelly worked under Dr. Susan Williams and researched the runoff potential of Hydroxyapatite which is a byproduct of the algal hydrothermal liquefaction process used to produce renewable biodiesel. As a second year RET participant Shelly is excited to work with Dr. Shiflett’s staff and to learn how sulfite and iron absorption can be implemented in her high school classroom.
PrEVIOUS UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS
Kilah Baca was a freshman pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. She is a member of both the KU Honors Program and the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program. Kilah is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in her free time, she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, singing, and being with family and friends.
Elvis was a junior studying chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he researched the stabilization of vaccines via encapsulation alongside Dr. Picking, Kaylee Barr, and Channary Ny. Outside of the lab, Elvis was involved with AIChE, Honors StuCo, and Shot@Life.
Sowmya was a junior pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she worked with Elizabeth on the removal of sulfites from wine. Using CAD modeling and 3D printing, she developed a prototype device which will filtered the wine.
Channary was a junior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with an emphasis in biomedical engineering at KU. She worked on the Vaccine Encapsulation Project. The goal of the project is to encapsulate proteins in mesoporous materials to prevent denaturing during transportation.
Mekayla was a senior pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. She worked on the Sulfite project with Elizabeth Hyde and Sowmya Ragothaman. The project focuses on finding compounds that aid the removal of the chemical preservative sulfite from wine. Outside of class she is involved in the Society of Women Engineers, iHAWKE, and oSTEM.
Dinuka was a junior pursuing a bachelors degree in chemical engineering at KU. He was on the undergraduate team investigating ways to remove PFOA from drinking water using micro-porous zeolites.
Bob Collins was a sophomore pre-med student studying Chemical Engineering, Biomedical emphasis. He studied the effects of ionic liquids on hair for future use in the field of cosmetology. He enjoys participating in intramural volleyball and acting as the philanthropy chair of Sigma Pi fraternity.
Austin graduated in 2019 with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics at KU. He investigated electric field assisted CO2 desorption from ionic liquids with Dr. Gilbert. In his free time, Austin is a musician and avid sports fan—playing trumpet in the Marching Jayhawks as well as the KU Volleyball band for 2 seasons. Austin will pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin.
Elizabeth graduated in 2019 with a degree in Chemical Engineering from KU. She worked on the creation and development of the Shiflett Research website and a project with Sowmya Ragothaman and Mekayla DePaolis investigating the removal of sulfites, a chemical preservative, from wine. After graduation, Elizabeth moved to Bakersfield, CA to begin her career as an environmental engineer with Trinity Consultants.
Kerry graduated in 2019 with a Chemical Engineering degree with a biomedical emphasis at KU. In Shiflett Research Group, she was a member of the iron binding zeolite project team alongside Dr. David Corbin and Professor Cory Berkland. She studied different zeolite structures and their affinity to bind iron. Outside of classes, Kerry immersed herself in her role of KU Chem Club Secretary; performing chemistry demos for children and coming up with chemistry jokes to share with her peers. Kerry will pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Lily is a sophomore studying pharmaceutical sciences and religious studies at KU. She is researching vaccine protein encapsulation for the prevention of denaturing in Dr. Shiflett’s lab. Besides being in the lab, Lily is involved with Navigators and CCO and is part of the University Honors Program.
David Jr. Treviño
David graduated with his Chemical Engineering degree from KU in 2019. He worked with Nicholas Reding on characterizing suppressant agents for metal dust explosions. In his free time, David served as President of Engineers Without Borders KU, Vice President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and was an active Fellow of the Self Engineering Leadership Program and Vann Fellowship of Economic Innovation. David now serves as a Contact Process Engineer at ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Rachel is studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kansas. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she assisted Nicholas Reding in his research on suppressing metal dust explosions.
Zakk Roy (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)
Zakk Roy graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at the University of Kansas on May 2018. He worked with Dr. Mark Shiflett, Dr. David Corbin, and Dr. David Minnick on a project to recycle cathode materials from spent lithium-ion batteries. Zakk is now working with Honeywell in Kansas City, Missouri.
Sofía de la O (Summer 2017-Spring 2018)
Sofía graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in pre-medicine at KU on May 2018. She worked on a zeolite project with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. Bill Gilbert, Dr. David Corbin and Professor Cory Berkland. Sofía studied several zeolite structures and their ability to bind iron. The end goal of the project was to develop a drug to treat hemochromatosis. Sofía now studies medicine at the University of Kansas Medical School.
Grant graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at KU on May 2018. During his time in the Shiflett lab, he researched the iron binding capabilities of zeolites and several other structures. He researched this project with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. Bill Gilbert, Dr. David Corbin, Professor Cory Berkland, Katie Bauguess, and Sofia de la O. Grant now serves as a Process Engineer at Buzzi Unicem USA in Pryor, Oklahoma.
Katie graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at KU on May 2018. In our lab, she worked on a zeolite project with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. Bill Gilbert, Dr. David Corbin and Professor Cory Berkland. She researched several zeolite structures and their ability to bind with metals with a specific focus on iron. Katie is now working with ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Brooks graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at KU on May 2018. In the Shiflett research group he assisted Dr. David Minnick with a project investigating gas sorption in ionic liquids. Brooks is working with Burns & McDonnell in Houston, TX, as an Assistant Chemical Engineer.
Maddie graduated on May 2018 with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering with a focus in biomedical engineering. In the lab, she is researched the removal of sulfites from wine.
Sally Ritchie graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering here at KU on May 2018. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she worked on researching the solubility of ammonia in ionic liquids with Tugba Turnaoglu, which has applications in absorption refrigeration cycles, as well as liquid-liquid equilibrium of alcohols and ionic liquids. Sally now serves as a Production Support Chemical Engineer at Boeing in Seattle, Washington.
Simon Velasquez Morales
Simon graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at KU in Summer of 2017. During the summer he worked with the vaccine project team in Dr. Shiflett’s research group. Simon returned to KU for his Ph.D program in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and is currently working in Dr. Alan Allgeier’s lab.
Yadira graduated with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering with a Geology minor on May 2017. She contributed to the Shiflett lab by setting up and calibrating gas chromatographs with flame ionization (FID) and thermal conductivity (TCD) detectors. Additionally, Yadira created a design concept with KU logos and inspiring quotes to foster a culture of creativity and energy within the lab. Yadira now serves as a Quality Engineer for Kiewit in Long Beach, California.
Dylan is currently pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at KU. He worked with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. Bill Gilbert, and Dr. David Corbin on a project that aims to investigate the ability of several hydrotalcites at removing sulfites from wine.
David graduated with his Chemical Engineering degree from KU in 2018. He was part of the sulfite removal group alongside Dylan Flohrshutz, Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. Bill Gilbert, and Dr. David Corbin. The group manipulated different techniques to measure sulfites in wine, along with discovering optimal materials to remove these sulfites. He now serves as a Process Engineer for Buzzi Unicem USA in Festus, Missouri.
PREVIOUS SENIOR SCIENTISTS
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.