Poornima Padmanabhan
Assistant Professor

Dr. Poornima Padmanabhan received her bachelor’s degree (B. Tech.) in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras located in India. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2016 working in the area of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics with a focus on modeling polymer self-assembly for various applications. Following her Ph.D., she worked as a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University to study colloidal gels with a view to understanding the underlying microstructural evolution leading to the macroscopic collapse of gels under gravity. Her current research interests broadly encompass the self-assembly of soft materials, focusing on understanding the role of chirality in self-assembly and the transfer of chirality across hierarchical length scales. Her current education interest is to implement and use 3D models from 3D printing in the curriculum to improve spatial thinking skills for achieving better learning outcomes for engineering students. 

Patricia Taboada-Serrano
Associate Professor

Dr. Patricia Taboada-Serrano is an Associate Professor and founding faculty member of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Taboada-Serrano obtained her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz, Bolivia, a M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Simón Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela and a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Taboada-Serrano was a Fulbright Fellow and a Molecular Design Institute Fellow. Her research interests focus on the understanding and tuning thermodynamic effects affecting microstructure within porous materials in order to develop novel technologies for addressing the challenges posed by the water-energy nexus. Dr. Taboada-Serrano’s research approach involves the combination of experiments and modeling across scales, from the molecular to the macroscopic level.

Obioma Uche
Assistant Professor

Dr. Obioma Uche is joining as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology from Spring 2022. She earned B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University respectively. Dr. Uche’s research interests are concentrated in the areas of computational chemistry and materials science. In particular, she has investigated the dynamics and behavior of materials at interfaces as well as the catalytic reaction pathways that occur in heterogeneous systems. Her approach has involved applying state-of-the-art computational techniques to obtain a scientific understanding of the fundamental structural elements and interactions that govern the behavior of systems. Dr. Uche has published several research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has served as a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar and the MIT-ETT Program. Prior to entering academia, she practiced as a Chemical Engineer for several years and is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) as well as the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).