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. Dr Morais is currently working as a post doctoral researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.
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
Sachin 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.
PrEVIOUS UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS
Kalena was a sophomore studying chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. Her research was on the stabilization of vaccines via encapsulation alongside Dr. Picking, Kaylee Barr, Elvis Umana, Lily Higgins, and Channary Ny. She was part of the University Honors Program and was highly involved in the Scholarship Hall Community, where she served as 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.
Christopher was a senior studying chemical engineering with an emphasis in biomed and pre-medicine. His project focused on recycling valuable metals, such as lithium and cobalt, from lithium-ion batteries. Outside of classes, Christopher was an active member of Alpha Sigma Phi and volunteered in the Emergency Department at LMH. Christopher plans to attend graduate school for chemical engineering or medical school.
Yinxian was a senior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a biomedical concentration. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he was part of a team that is working on the PFOA removal from drinking water using microporous zeolites. Yinxian was involved with KU Biodiesel Initiative and was a part of the University Honors Program. Yinxian will be attending Columbia University to pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering.
Jane was a senior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in pre-medicine. She worked on researching the iron binding capabilities of zeolites with Professor Mark Shiflett, Dr. David Corbin, and Professor Cory Berkland. Outside of classes, Jane was active on the board of International Student Association, was an orientation leader for International Orientation, and was a member of the University Honors Program. Jane is now pursuing a MS in Environmental Engineering at the University of Kansas.
Grant was a senior who studied chemical engineering at KU. He was part of the valuable metal recovery group that targeted the recycle of lithium and cobalt from mixed metal oxide batteries. Grant is currently working at Pall Corporation as a Field Service Engineer.
Kaylee was a senior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she studied the thermal stability of vaccines and how to use encapsulation to prevent denaturation of the proteins in vaccines during transport. At KU, she wasinvolved in SWE, AIChE, and was one of the large event chairs for Chem Club. Kaylee plans to attend the University of Minnesota to obtain a PhD in Chemical Engineering.
Michael was a senior who studied chemical engineering and economics.In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, he worked with Alejandra Rocha studying desalination using clathrate hydrates and also assists Dr. Shiflett in creating ASPEN Plus guides. Michael plans to work as a Process Engineer at Black & Veatch in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kilah Baca was a freshman pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. She was a member of both the KU Honors Program and the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program. Kilah is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and decided to return to the University of New Mexico to pursue a degree in Nursing. 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 senior 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. Channary plans to work at Hecto Group as a chemical engineer and lab manager.
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 was involved in the Society of Women Engineers, iHAWKE, and oSTEM. Mekayla is attending the University of Texas at Austin in an Environmental and Water Resources Engineering graduate program.
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.