Biochemical Engineering Lab

Alginate beads.
Principal Investigator: Wang, Nam Sun
Location: Room 2211 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Building

Professor Nam Sun Wang's research group focuses on biochemical and bioprocess engineering; bioengineering for protein and enzyme immobilization and angiogenesis; on-line chemical and biochemical process monitoring (including NIR, fluorescence, and light scattering); and biosensor design using protein arrays, antibody/antigen interaction, and DNA/DNA hybridization. Recent projects have included diagnostics based on urinary biomarkers, the development of a bioartificial pancreas for diabetics, advanced transdermal insulin patch technologies, synthesis and characterization of biocompatible, fluorescent nanostrucured silicon, and dense immobilization of proteins and enzymes on porous silica supports.

(For Chunsheng Wang's research group, see "Wang Group.")

BioFluid Dynamics Laboratory

Blood cell deformation models.
Principal Investigator: Dimitrakopoulos, Panagiotis (Panos)
Location: Room 2210 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

The BioFluid Dynamics Laboratory's research involves the dynamics of drops and bubbles in microfluidics and porous media, hemodynamics and hemopathology in the microcirculation, dynamics of synthetic and biological polymers, and the development of novel computational methodologies for the accurate and efficient study of these physical systems. The lab's recent projects have included computational studies on drop dynamics; the development of interfacial spectral boundary methods for deformable particles such as droplets, capsules, red blood cells and vesicles; the behavior and deformation of artificial capsules and erythrocytes in high flow-rate environments; the effects of paraproteinemia and malaria on the motion of the erythrocytes in the microcirculation; and the development of a computationally efficient cytoskeleton-based continuum erythrocyte algorithm.

Calabrese Group / High Shear Mixing Research Program

Tangential velocities in the rotor slot are high relative to those in the recirculation region of the stator slot .
Principal Investigator: Calabrese, Richard V.
Location: Rooms 1231 and 1235 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

The Calabrese Group studies turbulent mixing and multiphase flow, with emphasis on drop dispersion and coalescence, prediction and measurement of particle size distribution, and prediction and measurement of velocity fields in stirred vessels, high shear mixers and other process equipment. The related High Shear Mixing Research Program, also directed by Calabrese, is a consotium consisting of representatives from academia and industry that seeks to develop a fundamental understanding of the controlling fluid dynamics for both "single" and multiphase processing, and to use this  knowledge to develop a basis for data correlation, process scale-up, and assessment of device performance.

Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Group

Microbeads produced with lab-on-a-chip manufacturing.
Principal Investigator: Raghavan, Srinivasa R.
Location: 1138 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

The Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Group seeks to engineer matter at the nano and micro scales using the strategies of self-assembly and directed assembly. The lab's interest is primarily in soft matter (e.g., hydrogels) and in biomolecular and biomimetic structures. Moreover, the lab seeks to develop rules for the design of new classes of "smart" fluids and materials that could be useful in drug delivery, wound healing, oil recovery, and energy storage. Examples of active projects include: (1) the design of hemostatic biomaterials that can rapidly stop bleeding from serious injuries; (2) the development of hybrid jellyfish-like hydrogels that alter their shape in response to changes in temperature and pH; (3) the design of biomimetic microcapsule-based assemblies that exhibit self-propelled motion; and (4) the synthesis of photoresponsive containers that open up and release their contents when irradiated with UV light.

Environmental Aerosol Research Laboratory (EARL)

Principal Investigator: Asa-Awuku, Akua A.
Location: Chemical & Nuclear Engineering Building, College Park, MD

The Environmental aerosol research laboratory (EARL) is led by Dr. Asa-Awuku and investigates the formation, composition, and fate of atmospheric aerosol to explore the impacts on foremost climate and subsequently health.  Specifically we are interested in the real-time chemical and physical measurement of ultrafine particles ( roughly 100 nanometers) and subsequent physical properties. Recent work has investigated the role of particles in cloud formation (the largest source of uncertainly in climate predictions), black-carbon and combustion related aerosol, field measurements of ambient aerosol concentrations (in urban areas), and the formation and transport of health related aerosols (tobacco smoke and indoor dust). Our research laboratory strives to quantify the links between anthropogenic and biogenic chemistry and physics that influence air quality, climate and health.

Functional Macromolecular Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Kofinas, Peter
Location: 1211-1213 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building

The Functional Macromolecular Laboratory focuses on  the synthesis characterization and processing of novel polymer based architectures used in a variety of technologies and devices ranging from energy storage to medical devices. Present problems of interest include: solution blow spun functional polymers as surgical sealants; biosensors for the detection of pathogens; point-of-care diagnostics; non-flammable air-stable solid polymer electrolytes for lithium ion batteries; functional magnetodielectric polymer nanocomposites for flexible antennas.

Karlsson Group

Principal Investigator: Karlsson, Amy J.
Location: 2304 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

Professor Amy Karlsson’s research group uses the tools of protein and peptide engineering to study pathogenic microorganisms, particularly fungal pathogens, with a goal of improving diagnosis and treatment. The group's current work is primarily focused on studying the most prevalent fungal pathogen in humans, Candida albicans. Members use both rational design and directed evolution to engineer proteins and peptides, including antibody fragments and antimicrobial peptides, that can be used in antifungal drug target validation, detection and identification of fungal pathogens, and improved specificity of antifungal agents. The group's experimental tools include molecular biology techniques, microscopy, and protein chromatography.

Laboratory of Molecular & Thermodynamic Modeling

LacY in inward and outward configurations.
Principal Investigator: Klauda, Jeffery
Location: Room 2208 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

Professor Jeffery Klauda's research group focuses on the use of molecular simulations and thermodynamic modeling to describe the function, dynamics, and physical properties of cellular membranes (proteins, lipids, cholesterol, etc.) and gas hydrates (energy storage and carbon dioxide sequesterization). Current projects include studies on the structure, binding, and transport of substrates and enzymes; cholesterol transport mechanisms via the sterol sensing protein Osh4; gas hydrates as a natural energy source, storage medium for CO2 and hydrogen, and greenhouse gas sink and emitter; and secondary active transporters' roles as transmembrane gatekeepers for cells.

Liu Research Group

Principal Investigator: Liu, Dongxia
Location: Rooms 2223 and 2227, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

Professor Dongxia Liu's group conducts research at the interface of materials synthesis and catalytic science, with an emphasis on precisely controlling the composition and constitution of nanostructured particles and membranes for renewable energy conversion and storage applications. Projects focus on tailoring the architectures and functionality of nanostructured materials to enable efficient and selective catalytic reactions in biorefinenery and petrochemical/fine chemical conversion; and on assembling nanostructured particles and membranes to provide desirable properties in fuel cells and batteries. The group's overall objective is nanoengineering advanced materials with structural elucidation, growth mechanism perception, and industrial application exploration in catalytic conversion technologies to enable the development of green and sustainable energies. The group is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund.

Mesothermal Group

Microdroplet in a fluid near a critical phase transition.
Principal Investigator: Anisimov, Mikhail
Sengers, Jan V.
Location: Rooms B0106, B0107 and B0110 IPST Building

The Mesothermal Group, led by Professors Mikhail A. Anisimov and Jan V. Sengers, is concerned with theoretical and experimental studies of mesoscopic fluctuations in soft matter, both in molecular fluids and in complex fluids. Currnt research includes the development of theoretical models based on the presumed existence of a a liquid–liquid critical point n water in the deeply supercooled region, self-assembly of small molecules in aqueous solutions and their mesoscopic properties, and the effect of fluctuations on the behavior of smooth (or "fuzzy") interfaces. The group's work is funded by the National Science Foundation and the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam.

Metabolic Engineering Laboratory

Marine algae.
Principal Investigator: Sriram, Ganesh
Location: 2209 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

The Metabolic Engineering Laboratory works in the areas of metabolic engineering and systems biology, especially of eukaryotes. Its specialties are metabolic flux analysis and gene regulatory network analysis. Toward performing such analyses, the Sriram Group combines experimental methods such as isotope labeling, two-dimensional (2-D) NMR, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), DNA microarray analysis and quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) together with computational methods. Many potential applications of this work focus on plants, the source of commodities such as food, fiber, biofuels, therapeutics, and renewable chemical industry feedstocks. The group's quantitative studies open up the prospect of smartly engineering plants' metabolic networks for beneficial purposes, and therefore hold promise for a sustainable future.

Nanoscale Assembly and Electron Microscopy Lab

Principal Investigator: Woehl, Taylor J.
Location: 1223B Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building, College Park, MD

The Woehl Research group investigates micro- and nanoscale assembly processes with emphasis on electric field directed assembly of colloids and nanomaterials, aggregation and stability of biomolecules, and out-of-equilibrium assembly processes.  We use in situ optical and electron microscopy techniques to enable direct observations of the dynamics and kinetics of nucleation, growth, and assembly processes, with specific projects in (1) catalyst degradation, (2) active matter and collective behavior, (3) stability of protein pharmaceuticals, and (4) aggregation of pathogenic proteins. Our research activities include both development of new microscopy techniques to enable visualization of never before seen dynamic nanoscale processes, as well as fundamental investigation of assembly mechanisms to inform the design of higher activity catalysts, more stable protein pharmaceuticals, and new advanced reconfigurable optical materials.


Oxide-free, micrometer sized copper particles generated by a spray pyrolysis process.
Location: Rooms 1305 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building and 4117 Chemistry Building

The P2OWDER (Pursuing Particulate Opportunities with Dedicated Engineering Research) Group studies particles and particle-based materials, developing processes to make materials with tailored properties. The group partners or has partnered with others, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Army Research Laboratory, to test the performance of some of these materials. Applications include catalysts for energy conversion, nanoscale size standards, solar cells and biomedical imaging.

Polymer Reaction Engineering Laboratory

Pomegranite-like Inverse Opal Silica (PIOS) particle.
Principal Investigator: Choi, Kyu Yong
Location: Rooms 2231, 2235, and 2201 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

Founded in 1984, the Polymer Reaction Engineering Laboratory aims to solve scientific and technical problems related to industrial polymerization process technology. Its primary research interests include but are not limited to: synthesis of polymers and polymerization kinetics, polymerization reactor/process modeling, control, and optimization. Polymer reaction engineering is a discipline in which fundamental principles of chemical engineering, polymer science, and systems engineering are blended together when necessary to solve from nano-scale to micro-scale, and to macro-scalereaction and reactor problems. Recent research has been directed toward the application of polymer reaction engineering to nanoscale catalytic polymerization reactors, biodegradable polymers, miniemulsion polymerization, and microdispersion polymerization to make polymer particles of complex morphologies. The group also participates in battery research with Professor Chunsheng Wang and zeolite catalysis research for natural gas conversion with Professor Dogxia Liu.

The Sustainable Separation Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Zhang, Chen

Distillation and other thermally-driven separations are extremely energy-intensive consuming roughly half of U.S. industrial energy use. Transport in molecularly-selective membranes is driven by chemical potential gradient, and membrane-based separations can be more energy-efficient with significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions. The Sustainable Separation Lab at the University of Maryland aims to reduce the carbon dioxide footprints and enhance the sustainability of large-scale separations by creating molecularly-selective synthetic membranes that can debottleneck or replace thermally-driven separations. To achieve this goal, our research focuses on 1) Molecular-scale design of materials chemistry and structure, 2) Understanding transport fundamentals in new membrane materials, and 3) Translating new membrane materials to scalable hollow fiber devices with ultra-thin separation layers.

Thin Film Processing Group

Porous, crystalline surface structure of a copper oxide film.
Principal Investigator: Adomaitis, Raymond A.
Location: 2225 J.M Patterson Building

The Adomaitis Group's research focuses on simulation-based design, optimization, and experimental evaluation of advanced materials manufacturing processes, and is particularly interested in developing new reactor designs for thin-film deposition of semiconductor materials for electronic and solar energy applications. Current projects include the development of multiscale models of atomic layer deposition processes, solar generation of hydrogen, planetary chemical vapor deposition (CVD), response surface modeling for nanomanufacturing applications, and combinatorial CVD. The group's work is supported by the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, the National Science Foundation, and industrial partners.

Wachsman Group

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
Principal Investigator: Wachsman, Eric
Location: 1206 Engineering Lab Building

The Wachsman Group is at the forefront of renewable energy research involving high temperature ceramics. Professor Wachsman's advances in fundamental ionic transport and electrocatalysis have revolutionized solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), ion transport membranes, and solid state sensors. The group's current research includes the development of high-performance, low-temperature solid oxide fuel cels (SOFCs), ionic transport membranes for applications including the separation of H2 and O2 gases, solid state sensor technology capable of measuring the concentrations of multiple gases, advancing our understanding of high temperature ionic transport through ceramic materials, and electrocatalytic CH4 conversion and the post- combustion reduction of NOx.


Wang Group

Silicon scaffold anode.
Principal Investigator: Wang, Chunsheng
Location: Rooms 4122, 4126, and 4128 Chemistry Building

The Wang Group's research activities focus on four areas: Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, alkaline fuel cells, and electroanalytical techniques, covering topics from fundamental electrochemistry and materials synthesis to electrochemical devices. Current projects include novel electroanalytical techniques for phase transformation electrodes, virus enabled anodes for Li-ion batteries, scaffold Si-based anodes for Li-ion batteries, synthesis of alkaline anion exchange membranes (AAEMs) for fuel cell and metal-air battery applications, and addressing the challenges associated with the development of high energy density Li-S, Na-S, and Li-air batteries.

(For Nam Sun Wang's research group, see "Biochemical Engineering Lab.")

Zachariah Lab

Student in Dr. Zachariah's lab.

The Zachariah Lab's mission is to understand and manipulate from a fundamental standpoint the physical and chemical phenomena in the formation and application of nanoscale materials. Current projects include aerosol based processing to create new nanomaterials for energy, and the environment; the development of new instrumentation for the characterization of nanoparticles relevant to energy, the environment and nanomedicine; and the development and application of molecular based modeling tools for understanding gas-to-particle conversions and nanoparticle properties.