Chemical Engineering

Project Title: Drug Delivery by Contact Lenses
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Anuj Chauhan, chauhan@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): none
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, 2-3 students each term
Prerequisites:  Calculus, Transport
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: resume, statement of research interest; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Anuj Chauhan, chauhan@che.ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms and November 1 for the Spring term
Website: n/a
Project Description: Our group is interested in designing contact lenses for extended release of ophthalmic drugs. We are currently exploring many approaches including incorporation of nanoparticles, nanobarriers, surfactants and polymers into the lenses to achieve the desired drug loading and release profiles. Students are involved in designing and characterizing the lenses. Also students help in preparing the lenses for in vivo studies.

Project Title: Theoretical Evaluation of Metal Restructing
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: David Hibbitts, dhibbitts@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): none
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, 1 student per term
Prerequisites:  Chemical Engineering major
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars for Fall/Spring
Application Requirements: UF unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; Send email to hibbitts@che.ufl.edu
Application Deadline: All Available Openings are Full for 2016-2017
Website: http://hibbitts.rc.ufl.edu/
Project Description: Surfaces of metal catalysts are often covered by strongly adsorbed intermediates, such as carbon monoxide (CO), which can cause the metal surface to restructure. This project utilizes density functional theory (DFT) calculations to examine the energetics of these restructuring events, to better understand how catalysts operate at realistic conditions.

Project Title #1: New Shape Memory Polymers for Vapor Sensing
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Peng Jiang, pjiang@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Yin Fang, fangyin123@ufl.edu
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, 2 students each term
Prerequisites:  Basic chemistry and physics
Credit:  1-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, UF Unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Peng Jiang, pjiang@che.ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms and November 1 for the Spring term
Website: http://www.che.ufl.edu/jiang
Project Description: We are developing a new series of shape memory polymers for chromogenic vapor sensors. These sensors change colors when exposed to different chemical vapors. They are useful for a large variety of applications ranging from homeland security to diabetes screening. The undergraduate student working on the project will collaborate with a small group of graduate students to develop basic understanding of the unusual shape memory mechanisms and explore the detection limits of the final devices.

Project Title #2: Novel Chromogentic Sensors
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Peng Jiang, pjiang@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Sin-Yen Leo
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, 2 students each term
Prerequisites:  Basic chemistry and physics background
Credit:  1-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, UF Unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Peng Jiang, pjiang@che.ufl.edu
Application Deadline: N/A
Website: http://www.che.ufl.edu/jiang
Project Description: We are developing new chromogenic chemical and biological sensors for various applications ranging from detecting the content of ethanol in gasoline to monitoring benzene/toluene/xylene in contaminated water. The undergraduate students will work with their graduate mentors to develop new shape memory polymers that can specifically and sensitively detect analytes in different solution/vapor mixtures.

Project Title: Simulations of Fracture Dissolution
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Tony Ladd, tladd@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): n/a
Terms Available: Fall, Spring
Student Level: Senior, 2 students per term
Prerequisites:  The work requires a familiarity with the Linux operating system, with Python scripting, and a willingness to engage with complex software such as OpenFOAM.
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume, UF Unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; email required documents to Tony Ladd, tladd@che.ufl.edu, to request an interview
Application Deadline: August 16
Website: n/a
Project Description: When water percolates through a carbonate bed containing faults or fractures, the solutional attack of dissolved CO2 starts to widen them. Over time, thin fractures (less than 1mm) can grow to large conduits several meters across, which eventually form cave systems in soluble rock formations. Similar reactive transport systems give rise to sinkholes in limestone and can undermine the stability of dams over periods of a few decades. This project will study simple models of these systems using the OpenFOAM toolkit. The students will investigate the dissolution of individual fractures, the development of localized conduits, and their subsequent enlargement.

Project Title #1: Liquid Bridge Instability
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Ranga Narayanan, ranga@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): n/a
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Junior, Senior, 1 student per term
Prerequisites:  Must have completed with good grades the following courses: Mass and Energy balances, Transport phenomena (this can be concurrent with the application).
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912, or Tech Electives are possible
Stipend: University Scholars or $650 for three semesters
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume, UF Unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; email required documents to ranga@ufl.edu, USRP Scholars must apply through regular channels
Application Deadline: February 17, 2017 for Summer and Fall 2017 and October 1, 2017 for Spring 2018
Website: n/a
Project Description: Liquid bridges are configurations that occur in the growth of compound semi-conductors. We are interested in determining the ways in which a liquid bridge can become unstable to odd and then even rupture. This project is essentially experimental. The student must be capable of writing well and have excellent communication skills.

Project Title #2: Flow Instability in Rotating Systems – Applications to Bioreactors
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Ranga Narayanan, ranga@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Nevin Brosius
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Junior, Senior, 1 student per term
Prerequisites:  Good grades in Mass and Energy Balances and Transport Phenomena.
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912, or Tech Electives are possible
Stipend: University Scholars or $650 for three semesters
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume, UF Unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; email required documents to ranga@ufl.edu, USRP Scholars must apply through regular channels
Application Deadline: February 15, 2017
Website: http://www.che.ufl.edu/faculty/narayanan/
Project Description: Rotating Annular Flows can conceivably be used in Bioreactors. An experimental system is being set up to study when the flow can become unstable leading to secondary vortices. The project is experimental and the student will learn about data acquisition and considerable fluid mechanics. The student will compare the results with a model.

Project Title: Electrochemical Engineering
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Mark Orazem, meo@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Too Be Assigned
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, Senior; Number of openings depends on availability and interest of graduate student mentors.
Prerequisites:  Material and Energy Balances, Transport Phenomena
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, faculty interview; please discuss your interest with Cynthia Sain,  csain@ufl.edu, and then send me an email with CV to Mark Orazem, meo@che.ufl.edu, to request a time to meet.
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring term
Website:  http://www.che.ufl.edu/orazem/
Project Description: The Orazem Electrochemical Engineering research group offers the opportunity for undergraduate research under the mentorship of graduate students directed by Prof. Orazem. Students are preferred who would like to have a long-term relationship with the group, culminating in an individual research project. The specific topics offered will support on-going research projects involving applications of electrochemical engineering fundamentals. The number of undergraduate positions available depends on availability and interest of graduate student mentors.

Project Title: Use of Bioreactors for the Production of Bioenergy, Bioproducts, or Wastewater Treatment
Departments:
Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentors: Pratap Pullamanappallil, pcpratap@ufl.edu ; Spyros Svoronos, svoronos@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): various TBD
Terms Available: There may be openings at the beginning of every semester.  The total number of undergraduate researchers is 10-15.
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, Senior;
Prerequisites:  None, but preference is given to students from the ABE and the Chem E departments and to students who have taken or are taking courses with Prof. Pratap Pullamanappallil  or Prof. Spyros Svoronos.
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912, for most students 0-1 credits per semester.  Chem E students can utilize up to 3 credits for technical electives
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Students with interest should contact one of the faculty mentors (pcpratap@ufl.edu and svoronos@ufl.edu).  If there is an opening, they will be invited to attend one of the research group’s weekly meetings where they will find specific information about available projects.
Application Deadline: various times throughout the year
Website(s): http://www.abe.ufl.edu/people/directory/faculty-profiles/pullammanappallil-pratap.shtml and  http://www.che.ufl.edu/faculty/svoronos/index.html
Project Description: Research to establish a path for the economic production of a biofuel (methane) and a bioproduct (polysaccharide). It utilizes a remarkable cyanobacterium that eliminates the need for freshwater inputs or external addition of nitrogenous nutrients and avoids expensive purification methods for product recovery. The project is in collaboration with Professor Edward J. Phlips of the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

Project Title: Biomedical Applications of Magnetic Nanoparticles
Department: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Carlos Rinaldi, carlos.rinaldi@bme.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): varies
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, 2-5 students per term (new students when positions open)
Prerequisites:  Passion for science and engineering, interest in research and in advancing technology, self-driven. Students from Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering encouraged to apply. Students from other engineering disciplines inquire before applying.
Credit:
  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume and statement of research interest; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Carlos Rinaldi, carlos.rinaldi@bme.ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring term
Website:  http://www.bme.ufl.edu/labs/rinaldi/
Project Description: The Rinaldi lab is interested in biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles. We combine particle synthesis, modification, and characterization and fundamental understanding of response to magnetic actuation to advance applications in biomedical imaging, therapeutic delivery, and nanoscale thermal therapy. The research is interdisciplinary, combining concepts from biomedical, chemical, electrical, and materials science and engineering.

Project Title #1: Transport Properties of Mesoporous Metal-Organic Frameworks by NMR
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Sergey Vasenkov, vase17@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): none
Terms Available: Spring
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, 1-2 students per term
Prerequisites:  ECH 3264 Elementary Transport Phenomena
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars for Fall/Spring
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume; email one pdf file with all requirements to Sergey Vasenkov, vase17@ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring Term
Website: http://www.che.ufl.edu/faculty/vasenkov/
Project Description: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) represent an emerging class of nanoporous materials that exhibit organic/inorganic hybrid crystalline lattices with well-defined nanopores having sizes comparable with sizes of small gas molecules. MOFs with added mesoporosity, viz. mesoporous MOFs, are of great interest for potential applications in catalysis due to the possibility of reducing mass transport limitations caused by the presence of smaller nanopores. This project focuses on generating preliminary data on diffusion of small gas molecules including CO, CO2 and CH4 in mesoporous MOFs on micrometer length scales by advanced NMR techniques.

Project Title #2: Elucidating Mechanisms of Gas Transport in Porous Hybrid Membranes by Advanced NMR
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Sergey Vasenkov, vase17@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Evan M Forman, eforman@ufl.edu
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior; 1-2 students per term
Prerequisites:  Declared engineering major
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars for Fall/Spring
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume; email one pdf file with all requirements to Sergey Vasenkov, vase17@ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring Term
Website: http://www.che.ufl.edu/faculty/vasenkov/
Project Description: Porous membranes fabricated for separations of gas mixtures such as CO2, CH4, and N2 are usually structurally heterogeneous. In particular, mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) are novel membranes that are formed by dispersing particles of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) in polymeric matrices. The main goal of this project is to develop a fundamental understanding of microscopic transport of gas molecules on different (micrometer and submicrometer) length scales of displacements in MMMs using advanced NMR techniques.

Project Title #3: Using Single-File Diffusion for Gas Separations
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Sergey Vasenkov, vase17@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Akshita Dutta, adutta92@ufl.edu
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior; 1-2 students per term
Prerequisites:  ECH 3264 Elementary Transport Phenomena
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars for Fall/Spring
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume; email one pdf file with all requirements to Sergey Vasenkov, vase17@ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring Term
Website: http://www.che.ufl.edu/faculty/vasenkov/
Project Description: Single-file diffusion, i.e. diffusion in one-dimensional narrow channels where the molecules cannot pass one another, is of great potential interest for applications in gas separations. Until now, separations under conditions of single-file diffusion were not demonstrated experimentally and direct experimental observations of such diffusion were limited to systems of channels with only one-component sorbates. This deficiency in the current knowledge will be addressed in the proposed project. The main goal of the project is to investigate different types of gas transport, including single-file transport, on small (i.e. micrometer and submicrometer) length scales in nanoporous materials using advanced NMR techniques.

Project Title: Patterned Structures via Electrodeposition
Department:
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Kirk Ziegler, kziegler@che.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Matt Mango,
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Junior, Senior; 1 student per term
Prerequisites:  Good performance in Mass and Energy Balances, Transport Phenomena
Credit:  2-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars Plus Travel to a Conference
Application Requirements: Basic online application, resume; UF unofficial transcripts, Letter(s) of recommendation, email University Scholars Application to Administration and submit Resume, Unofficial transcript and One letter of recommendation from a professor
Application Deadline: February 15, 2017 for Summer and Fall 2017
Website: ziegler.che.ufl.edu
Project Description: Our research will involve ground experiments on electro-deposition in preparation for an experiment on the International Space Station. The student will use chemical engineering principles of transport phenomena to design and run experiments on creating patterned substrates. The applications are in enhanced mixing for sensors, in enhanced heat transfer, etc. Access to the Nano Research Facility will be made available.