Chemical and Biological Engineering

  • Hammer, Sarah (‘17 - ‘19)

    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Sarah Hammer is National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Advised by Professor José Avalos, her research seeks to address the need for sustainable liquid transportation fuels. While ethanol is the most widely used liquid biofuel, its incompatibility with existing infrastructure limits its ability to replace more than 10% of gasoline consumption in the United States. Branched-chain higher alcohols are promising alternatives, which can be used as complete fuel substitutes in gasoline engines or converted to jet fuel. Combining traditional metabolic engineering approaches with structural and synthetic biology, Sarah’s research focuses on engineering yeast for the production of branched-chain higher alcohols from biomass-based sugars. In addition, she is interested in the practical and political challenges that must be overcome in order for alternative liquid fuels to penetrate the market.

  • Loo, Lynn (‘11 - ‘11)

    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Research in the Loo laboratory is in the area of materials chemistry and physics of complex, soft materials. Specifically, Loo and colleagues are interested in electrically-active polymeric and molecular materials. They hope to elucidate the fundamental processing-structure-property relationships that govern these materials to generate design rules and guidelines for the rational synthesis of materials with tailored properties and the development of innovative processing and patterning technologies for the realization of low-cost, light weight, mechanically flexible thin-film devices, such as organic transistors and solar cells.

    Currently, members of the Loo group are examining how specific processing conditions affect the structure evolution of organic and polymer materials, and how structure development can in turn impact applications-relevant macroscopic electrical and physical properties. Work is being carried out on functional block copolymers, solution-processable organic and polymeric conductors and semiconductors, as well as conjugated self-assembled monolayers.

  • Roy-Mayhew, Joe (‘10 - ‘12)

    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Joe’s research combines material synthesis and processing with electrochemical characterization to study the use of functionalized graphene sheets (FGSs) in dye sensitized solar cells. By incorporating FGSs, atomically thin, wrinkled sheets of carbon with exceptional electrical and mechanical properties, he strives to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of solar cells.

    He is looking to make porous, highly conductive electrodes with large surface areas by understanding how the sheets pack together and form networks. He is interested in using these electrodes as a catalytic counter electrode (to replace platinum), and as a 3-D conductive scaffold at the working electrode (to reduce resistances in the solar cell).

  • Oyeyemi, Victor (‘11 - ‘13)

    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Victor investigates the combustion chemistry of biodiesel using tools of quantum chemistry. Specifically, he uses quantum chemistry models as an accurate method to calculate thermochemical properties, such as bond dissociation energies, that are relevant to biodiesel combustion. In addition to his research work, Victor is involved with organizing the Princeton Research Symposium.

  • Bozym, David (D.J.) (‘12 - ‘14)

    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    D.J.’s research is focused on tackling a piece of the energy storage problem by improving the energy density of ultracapacitors, electronic devices which store energy in the form of static charge. To accomplish this, he aims to engineer high surface area electrodes using functionalized graphene sheets (FGSs), atomic planes of defective carbon lattices, and ionic liquids, room temperature liquid salts. On the science side, he is working to understand how the interfacial chemistry of FGSs influences their complex assembly. His research involves material synthesis, electrode processing and electrochemical characterization.