Category: Research

Daniel Kulas to Present at NAMS 2020

Conference location.

Graduate student Daniel Kulas has been awarded the prestigious 2020 NAMS (North American Membrane Society) Elias Klein Travel Supplement Award to present his comprehensive experimental work on the rejection mechanisms of the four most significant PFAS molecules: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA and PFHxS by Nanofiltration membrane NF270.

The presentation will be at the conference in Tempe, Arizona on May 16-20, 2020. Kulas was nominated by his research mentor Andre Da Costa.

The Elias Klein Founders’ Travel Supplement program supports students needing limited financial assistance and will provide up to $500 in reimbursement for reasonable expenses (e.g. travel cost, registration, workshops) for attending NAMS 2020 to present their research (oral or poster presentation). This award program is named in honor of Elias Klein, whose vision and spirit guided the founding of NAMS in 1985.

Making Mining Safer from Dust

Lei Pan
Lei Pan

Lei Pan is involved in a multidisciplinary project to improve the efficiency of dust scrubbers in mining operations.

His work and that of Virginia Tech researchers and collaborators from Cornell University incorporates new materials that better collect dust and use the continuous miner’s vibrations to help keep the filters from clogging as often.

In 2019 Pan received funding from the Center for Disease Control for the project “Temporal and Spatial Characterization of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Using Area Monitoring Devices and X-Ray CT.”

Mining dust was also the topic of a Michigan Tech URIP (Undergraduate Research Internship Program) project with chemical engineering major Caroline Inaury, funded by the Portage Health Foundation.

Read more at Virginia Tech Daily, by Rosaire Bushey.

Pradeep Agrawal Comments on the Use of Biomass to Produce Chemicals and Fuels

Pradeep K. Agrawal
Pradeep K. Agrawal

Sangareddy: Pradeep K Agrawal, Faculty and Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, US, on Monday said biomass be it agriculture waste, forest residues or crop remanants can be used to produce chemicals and fuels. The discarded portion of municipal solid waste (MSW) was another inexpensive resource for producing hydergen and carbon, he said.

Read more at Telangana Today.

NSF Funding for Lei Pan on Project to Sanitize Produce

Agriculture and produceLei Pan (ChemEng/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $159,999 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is entitled, “Collaborative Research: Bubble Impacting a Curved Surface: A Sustainable Way to Sanitize Produce.

This is a potential three-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


Cleaning practices using microbubbles have been proven to be a sustainable and environmentally benign sanitation method in a wide range of industrial applications. When a stream of bubbles impact and slide on a surface, contaminants on the surface can be removed due to the strong force generated by the bubbles.

Bubble-cleaning of agricultural produce like fruits and vegetables has not been studied extensively. Potentially, this method could be used to minimize cases of food poisoning affecting millions of people every year, since bubble streams could be used to remove and inactivate pathogenic microorganisms from produce surfaces.

This research project could lead to a novel technology for an environmentally benign sanitization process for raw fruits and vegetables. The method could even be applied to other technological processes such as semiconductor manufacturing.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.

CDC Funding of Coal Mine Dust Monitoring Project

Lei Pan
Lei Pan

Lei Pan is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $293,614 research and development contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The project is entitled, “Temporal and Spatial Characterization of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Using Area Monitoring Devices and X-Ray CT.” This is a potential two-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.

EPA Awards Student Team to Solve End-of-Life Lithium-Ion Battery Challenge

Lithium ion batteryThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $450,000 in funding for six Phase II student teams as part of the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant program. These teams, made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the country, are building upon their successes in Phase I of the P3 grant competition where they designed innovate solutions to real-world environmental and public health challenges. With Phase II funding, the teams will now further develop those projects and designs to ensure they can be sustainably implemented in the field.

Michigan Tech is a recipient for the project Separation and Recovery of Individual Components from the End-of-Life Lithium-Ion Batteries.

Read more at EPA News Releases.


The principal investigator is Assistant Professor Lei Pan.

Lithium-ion battery technology has become a state-of-the-art energy storage solution for consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and renewable energy. Because these batteries are expected to last only 2-10 years, they will enter the waste stream after reaching the end of their life cycles. The objective of the phase II project is to scale up the Li-ion battery recycling process from the bench scale that has been completed in the phase I project to a small-scale production prototype.

This project will provide approximately five undergraduate research assistant positions to students of diverse background at Michigan Technological University. These students will gain hands-on experience and interact with industrial partners. In addition, undergraduate students will be given opportunities to attend national and local conferences to present their research. The team will develop a mini mobile lab for high-school and middle-school teachers to teach engineering in their classrooms.


I am writing to draw your attention to the Summer MAterials Research @ Tulane REU site at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA this coming Summer 2019. This multidisciplinary REU site provides material research experiences in the focus areas of Health, Energy, and the Environment. Seminars on graduate study, data analysis, and research communication will be provided as well. Students participating in this 10-week summer experience (May 28th, 2019 thru August 2nd, 2019) will receive a $5000 stipend, on campus housing, and a travel allowance.

To help advertise this new site we ask that you please print and post the flyer attached to this email on your bulletin board and send the flyer out to your sophomore and junior students. Interested students can learn more information on the REU site website (

Thank you for helping us spread the word about our REU site.


Prof. Hank Ashbaugh

SMART REU Director

Summer MAterials Research @ Tulane (SMART) | Tulane University School of Science and Engineering

University of Wisconsin-Madison REU Programs for Chemical Engineering Students

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is again hosting an NSF supported REU program for Summer 2019. Please share the attached flyer with interested students. Applications are due by February 15.

Thanks and have a great 2019.



Regina M Murphy

Smith-Bascom Professor

Chair, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

University of Wisconsin-Madison