The faculty in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering advise students in the Microsystems Engineering PhD program. Below is a brief description of their research interests. For details on specific research projects please contact the professor directly.
Current open projects for Ph.D. students are listed in our Graduate Studies page.
Thomas Gaborski, Ph.D Dr. Gaborski’s laboratory focuses on the interface of nanomaterials, biology and imaging with the goal of developing novel nanomaterials that lead to improved biological research as well as the treatment of human disease. Understanding fundamental yet complex biological processes requires an ever more sophisticated set of tools. His work in ultrathin nanomembranes creates solutions to the challenges of understanding how cells and biomolecules interact in both healthy and disease states. Even at the cellular and molecular scale, seeing is believing and an important part of his work is imaging. His imaging needs range from assessing the atomic structure of silicon-based nanomaterials using electron microscopy to realtime quantitative fluorescence imaging of cellular processes.
Behnaz Ghoraani Ph.D. Dr. Ghoraani’s research interests include cardiovascular engineering and instrumentation, medical instrumentation and techniques, audio and speech processing, signal and image processing, and time-frequency signal feature extraction. She pursues the idea of understanding human physiology from an engineering perspective and developing algorithms that can benefit global health care. Her current projects are focused on a collaborative research with clinicians to investigate the pressing technology problems and limitations in order to find solutions for a successful atrial fibrillation (AF) treatment.
Brian Landi, Ph.D. Dr. Landi’s research activities focus on enhancing the performance of energy conversion, transmission, and storage devices through the use of nano materials. Specific interests include the development of high capacity anode and cathode active materials for lithium ion batteries as well as engineering novel device architectures using carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Other efforts focus on improving the electrical conductivity of bulk CNT wires and cables for power and data transmission. The applied projects are complemented by fundamental studies on CNT electronic type separations, thermal and chemical stability, and material tolerance to harsh radiation environments
Blanca H. Lapizco-Encinas, Ph.D. Dr. Lapizco-Encinas’s research interests are in the multidisciplinary area of microfluidics with a focus on cell and macromolecule manipulation using electrokinetic methods (dielectrophoresis, electrophoresis and electroosmosis). Her current research projects deal with the application of dielectrophoresis for the manipulation, concentration and detection of a wide array of bioparticles, from macromolecules and microbes, to mammalian cells. Research efforts involve mathematical modeling to unveil the fundamentals of microscale electrokinetic techniques, supported by experiments that are directed towards practical applications.
Dan Phillips, Ph.D. Dr. Phillips' main research interests are related to processing of complex biomedical signals for the purposes of developing and enhancing technologies for assistive devices with the goal of improving clinical diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Areas of expertise and experience include embedded systems hardware/software, medical monitoring systems, biomedical ultrasound and applied physiology. Clinical collaborations include neurology, cardiology, surgery and anesthesiology.
Christiaan Richter Ph.D. Dr. Richter’s research focuses on understanding and improving the electrical and thermal conductivity of affordable, mass producible materials for applications in renewable energy and next generation electronics. To achieve these goals we use, and develop new applications for, terahertz spectroscopy. An example of an ongoing project is the development of low cost polycrystalline or thin film solar cell materials as alternatives to high cost mono or polycrystalline silicon.
Reginald E. Rogers, Jr., Ph.D. Dr. Reginald Rogers’s research interests are in the areas of adsorption and next generation battery technology with a focus on the use of carbon nanotubes for environmental applications and chemical/biological sensors. His current research projects deal with the use of carbon nanotubes to tailor adsorption systems for isolation and/or removal of organic and inorganic compounds from aqueous regimes (e.g. groundwater). Research efforts involve analysis of batch and packed column systems using mathematical models to develop a fundamental understanding of experimental results. Dr. Rogers will be looking for a graduate student to begin Fall 2013 on a project focused on advancement of adsorption using novel nanomaterials in environmental applications.
Patricia Taboada-Serrano, Ph.D. Dr. Taboada-Serrano’s research interests are in the area of colloids and surface science, specifically within the challenges encountered in water resources management and conservation, the water-energy nexus and the water and carbon cycles. Her current research projects include the study of the physicochemical processes governing the behavior of charged species in aquatic environments, the design and development of novel water treatment and purification methods, and gas hydrates for water treatment, gas production and carbon sequestration. Research efforts involve combining analytical tools and modeling approaches at different scales, from the molecular to the macro scale, with the ultimate goal of designing pollution mitigation strategies and intensified treatment processes, and understanding environmental impacts of human activity.
Steven J. Weinstein, Ph.D. Dr. Weinstein’s has expertise in the areas of interfacial fluid mechanics, transport phenomena, and applied mathematics. Formerly an industrial researcher, he has published over 30 refereed articles in the field of coating, and has examined the dynamics of thin film flows, multi-layer wave stability, curtain flows (flows in thin sheets of liquid), web dynamics, and die manifold design, and has 7 patents in these areas. His current work is focused on the dynamics of forced convectively and absolutely unstable fluid systems, dynamic surface tension measurement characterization with applications, advanced die manifold design, and the modeling of adsorption on complex materials.