Latest News

November 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Ester and Robert as new grad students!

November 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Yi as a new grad student!

November 2017:
Congrats to Seung for receiving the Hanhwa Award for Post Docs at AIChE!

November 2017:
Congrats to Victoria for receiving 1st-Place for her MESD Undergraduate Poster at AIChE!

October 2017:
Congrats to Dr. Epps for being elected as a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society

August 2017:
Morris et al. perspective is a top 20 read for August

August 2017:
Congrats to Priyanka for passing quals!

August 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Seung as a new post-doc!

July 2017:
Dr. Epps is appointed as the new CMET Director

June 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Shelby and Grace, as summer REU students!

May 2017:
Congratulations to Chad for successfully defending his thesis!

May 2017:
Congratulations to Cameron for successfully defending his thesis!

May 2017:
Chad is an ACS/ESBES International Graduate Student Design Challenge Finalist

April 2017:
Dr. Epps Delivers the Lindsay Lecture at Texas A&M University

April 2017:
Kaleigh wins the Richard Wool Award for Women in Green Engineering

March 2017:
The Epps groups is featured in UDaily Tuning Block-polymers

March 2017:
Cameron wins best DPOLY poster at APS 2017 March Meeting

October 2016:
Dr. Epps Delivers the Thiele Lecture at the University of Notre Dame

August 2016:
UD Hosts the 2016 Future Faculty Workshop

June 2016:
Announcing the 2016 Future Faculty Workshop to be held at UD

June 2016:
The Epps group welcomes Spencer, a summer REU student!

June 2016:
Epps group collaboration with DuPont Performance Materials announced

May 2016:
Congratulations to Ming for successfully defending his thesis!

May 2016:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for his promotion to professor!

May 2016:
Congratulations to Chad for receiving the Saurabh A. Palkar Graduate Award for Mentoring

April 2016:
Congratulations to Melody for receiving the Robert L. Pigford Teaching Assistant Award

April 2016:
Congratulations to Kai for successfully defending his thesis!

March 2016:
Congratulations to Victoria for being named a 2016 Barry Goldwater Scholar

March 2016:
Victoria receives 2nd Place in the ACS Undergraduate Research in Polymer Science Symposium

December 2015:
Congratulations to Angela for successfully defending her thesis!

October 2015:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for receiving the 2016 American Physical Society Dillon Medal

June 2015:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for receiving the 2015 AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award!

May 2015:
Angela is selected to speak at the AIChE 08A Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Award Symposium

May 2015:
Tom is awarded the Paul H. Schipper Fellowship

April 2015:
Angela is awarded a UD Dissertation Fellowship

April 2015:
The Epps’ group battery membrane research was featured in the UDaily

March 2015:
Tom is awarded NSF GRFP Honorable Mention

March 2015:
Congratulations to Angela for being selected to speak at the 2015 Polymers Gordon Research Seminar

March 2015:
Kaleigh is selected to attend the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

February 2015:
Chad's work on light-sensitive polymers for controlled gene silencing is featured on

January 2015:
Ming and Cameron’s work on XPS depth profiling highlighted at

January 2015:
Rashida is awarded a NSF Systems Biology of Cells in Engineered Environments IGERT Fellowship

Principal Investigator


Thomas H. Epps, III
Bachelors – 1998 MIT,
Masters – 1999 MIT (Practice School),
Doctorate – 2004 University of Minnesota,
Post-Doctorate – 2006 NRC Postdoctoral Fellow – NIST,

Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Professor
Center for Neutron Science (CNS) – Member,
Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) – Member,
Center for Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics (CMET) – Director,
NSF REU Site Program – Co-Director
Email: Thomas H. Epps, III

Post Doctoral Members

Seunghyun Sung
(goes by “Seung”)

Bachelors – 2010 Seoul National University
Masters – 2012 Seoul National University
Doctorate – 2017 Purdue University
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in Epps group

In 2012, Seung joined Prof. Bryan W. Boudouris`s group (POWER lab) as a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue. Under his supervision, Seung’s research focused on control of structure and charge transport in polymer active layers of organic electronic devices. After finishing his doctoral studies in May 2017, he joined the Epps group as a post-doctoral research associate. He is working on control of self-assembly in soft materials and characterization to improve the directional ordering of block copolymers for a wide range of applications (e.g., fabrication of integrated circuits). Outside of work, he spends time with his children. No time available for any hobbies.
Email: Seunghyun Sung

Thu Vi
(goes by “Vi”)
Bachelors – 2010 Stony Brook University
Doctorate – 2017 Columbia University
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in Epps group and Sullivan group

After her Bachelors, Vi worked as a Production Engineer for Sensitron Semiconductor Inc. for two years before entering the doctoral program at Columbia University. Her Ph.D. focused on polymer interfacial reactions for surface applications. She joined the Epps group in April 2017 and is currently working on stimuli-responsive polymeric nanomaterials for nucleic acid and small molecule drug delivery. Besides research, Vi enjoys traveling, cooking, yoga, and is an avid collector of rare LEGO sets.
Email: Thu Vi

photo_ShuShu Wang
Doctorate – 2015 The University of Houston,
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher.

Shu joined the Epps group in Oct 2015 and her research interests include biobased block copolymers and self-assembly in bulk and solution. Outside of work, Shu enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing bowling and pool, and traveling.
Email: Shu Wang

Graduate Students

priyankaPriyanka Ketkar
Bachelors – 2016 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities,
Current Graduate Student.

Priyanka joined the Epps group in fall of 2016. Her passion to help the environment motivated her research interest in block copolymer electrolyte materials for lithium ion batteries. Outside of lab, Priyanka enjoys traveling, learning new languages, playing violin, and recreational sports.
Email: Priyanka Ketkar

MMorrisMelody Morris
Bachelors – 2013 California Institute of Technology,
Current Graduate Student.
Melody joined the Epps group in November of 2013. Her research involves the development of novel lithium ion conducting block copolymers for battery applications. In her spare time, Melody enjoys playing bassoon in the UD wind ensemble and orchestra, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Email: Melody Morris

NicastroKaleigh Nicastro
Bachelors – 2012 University of South Carolina,
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Dr. Christopher J. Kloxin).
In Fall 2012, Kaleigh decided to venture north to the University of Delaware for graduate school after completing two summers of an REU at UD. By combining the expertise of two groups, Kaleigh is working to replace commodity materials with new renewable polymers. When Kaleigh is not trying to change the world, she enjoys cooking, volunteering, traveling, and being on the beach.
Email: Kaleigh Nicastro

O'DeaRobert O’Dea
Bachelors – 2015 University of Pittsburgh,
Current Graduate Student.
Robert joined the Epps group in December of 2017. His research involves controlled self-assembly and characterization of block copolymer thin films. Outside of the lab, Robert enjoys hiking, travelling, and photography.
Email: Robert O’Dea

gregGreg Peterson
Bachelors – 2003 Bucknell University,
Current Graduate Student.
Greg has worked at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center since graduating from Bucknell University in 2003, focusing on developing novel materials for filtration (gas masks, building filters) and decontamination of chemical warfare agents. He joined the Epps Group as a part time graduate student in Spring 2016, with research interests of metal-organic frameworks and electrospun nanofibers. Outside of work and school, Greg enjoys running and biking around Harford County, MD.
Email: Greg Peterson

EstherEsther Roh
Bachelors – 2017 Columbia University,
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Dr. Millicent O. Sullivan).
Esther joined the Epps group in fall of 2017. Her interest in personalized health care has motivated her to focus her research on drug delivery methods via stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles. Outside of research, Esther enjoys travelling with family and friends, eating, playing board/video games with others and exploring new cities.
Email: Esther Roh

RuddockRashida Ruddock
Bachelors – 2012 Stanford University,
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Dr. Millicent O. Sullivan).
After working for a few years in the biopharmaceutical industry, Rashida decided to return to academia. Fueled by her passion for creating solutions for today’s myriad of unmet medical needs, she joined the Epps and Sullivan groups in the fall of 2014. Her research focuses on the development of a personalized drug delivery system using multi-responsive polymeric nanocapsules. In addition to research, Rashida enjoys traveling, exploring the great outdoors, running, learning new languages and cooking.
Email: Rashida Ruddock

ShiYi Shi
Bachelors: 2015 Sichuan University,
Masters: 2017 Carnegie Mellon University,

Current Graduate Student.
Yi joined the Epps group in November of 2017. He is interested in block copolymer research and will be working on the lithium ion conducting polymer project in the coming years. He enjoys watching movies, gaming and trying out new tech products and other innovative stuff.
Email: Yi Shi

Undergraduate Students

Christine Castagna
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2020)

Christine is a Chemical Engineering major with minors in Computer Science and Chemistry at the University of Delaware. Upon joining the Epps Group in Summer of 2017, she began researching block copolymers for lithium ion battery applications. Aside from research, Christine handles public relations on the executive board for the Swing Dance Club at UD, and she enjoys dancing, playing the violin, and being outdoors.
Email: Christine Castagna

Sophia Freaney
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2020)

Sophia​ joined the Epps group in January of 2017 and is pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree at UD with a minor in Computer Science. She works with the thin films group and is currently studying the directed self-assembly of block copolymers in order to obtain desirable nano-scale features. In her free time Sophia plays alto saxophone in the UD Marching and Pep Bands, and enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, and playing board games with friends.
Email: Sophia Freaney

James Mannino
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2019)

James is a chemical engineering major with a minor in materials science. He joined the Epps group in January of 2017 and is researching the crystallization MOFs in polymer thin films. Other than research, James enjoys being outdoors, playing lacrosse, photography, and working on cars.
Email: James Mannino

Muir2Victoria Grace Muir
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2018)

Victoria is a chemical engineering major at the University of Delaware with minors in Biology, Biochemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Political Science. She started research with the Epps Group in 2012 as a high school intern and has continued her research as an undergraduate student at UD. Victoria researches siRNA polyplexes and their applications in drug delivery and gene therapy. In her free time, Victoria serves on the executive board of the AIChE student chapter at UD and teaches Zumba classes weekly on campus as an instructor with UD Zumba Club.
Email: Victoria Grace Muir

Maura Swift
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2018)

Maura is a chemical engineering major with minors in computer science and chemistry. She joined the Epps group in January of 2017 and is researching the synthesis and characterization of polymers from renewable sources. Outside of research, Maura is a member of the color guard in the UD marching band and enjoys reading and spending time with friends.
Email: Maura Swift

Past Members

Grace Kresge – REU Student, Princeton
Shelby Babcock – REU Student, Arizona State University
Thomas Gartner
Cameron Shelton, Ph.D. – Dow Chemical Company
Chad Greco, Ph.D. – Gilead Sciences
Jack Saltwick – BS (UD 2017)
Jason Andrechak – BS (UD 2017), University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. student
Laurens Heusele – MS (UD 2017)
Emma De Baets – MS (UD 2017)
George Wieber
Jillian Emerson, Ph.D. – Dow Chemical Company
Ming Luo, Ph.D.
Tiffany Suekama, Ph.D.
Spencer Burton – REU Student, Case Western Reserve University
Douglas Scott – BS (UD 2016), Princeton University Ph.D. student
John McCarron – BS (UD 2016), Peace Corps
Michael Karavolias – BS (UD 2016), University of Minnesota Ph.D. student
Dakota Hanemann-Rawlings – BS (UD 2016), U.C.S.B. Ph.D. student
Michael Mayeda, Ph.D. – SAGE Energy Solutions
Angela Holmberg, Ph.D. – Post-doctoral researcher, MIT
Bonnie Limpawuchara
Wei-Fan Kuan, Ph.D. – UD Advanced Materials Characterization lab
Ryan Murphy – MS (UD 2014)
Ellen Reed – BS (UD 2014)
Matthew Green, Ph.D. – Assistant professor, Arizona State University
Sarah Mastroianni, Ph.D. – Dow Chemical Company
Elizabeth Kelley, Ph.D. – NRC post-doctoral fellow at NIST
Eddie Sangern
Sung Hyun Han
Kevin Hutter
Ron Lewis – graduate student, University of Minnesota
Jung Hyun Lee – post-doctoral researcher Korea Institute of Science and Technology
Jon Seppala – post-doctoral researcher NIST
Matt Hoffman
Robby Pagels – BS (UD 2012)
Joey Kim – BS (UD 2012), Cal-Tech Ph.D. student
Sarah Hann – BS (UD 2012), U-Penn ChemEng Ph.D. student
Bin Wei – Research student
Owen Young, Ph.D. – currently employed by Dow Chemical
Eddie Qian – undergraduate researcher
Raghunath Roy – post-doctoral researcher Dow Chemical
Jennifer Kelly – currently employed by the FDA
Thomas Smart – post-doctoral researcher
Vijay Taori – post-doctoral researcher
Maëva Tureau, Ph.D. – currently employed by Air Products
Julie Albert, Ph.D. – current faculty at Tulane University
Chisom Amaechi – Research student
Jong Keun Park – Post-doctoral researcher, currently employed by Dow
Ben Schantz – University of Delaware (c/o 2012)
Mike Baney – BS (UD 2010), employed with Hexcel
Tim Bogart – BS (UD 2010), UT-Austin ChemEng Ph.D. student
Christina Marino – currently employed by Johnson & Johnson
Jason Papandrea – University of Delaware (c/o 2011)
Tom Ronan – REU student, Notre Dame University (c/o 2010)
Jasmine Smith – REU student, Delaware State University (c/o 2011)
Nripen Singh – Post-doctoral researcher, currently employed by Lynntech, Inc.
Paul Brigandi – BS (UD 2008), currently employed by Dow
Tom Scherr – BS (UD 2008), LSU ChemEng Ph.D. student
Krishna Mukkavilli – REU student, Arizona State University (c/o 2009)
Ilyas Sarwar – Visiting group member
Peter Wells – BS (UD 2009)


Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Center for Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics Director
University of Delaware

Phone: 302.831.0215
Fax: 302.831.1048
Download Adobe Reader

Recent Honors & Awards

-APS John H. Dillon Medal, 2016
-AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award, 2015
-Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2014
-Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Professorship, 2012
-Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor Award, 2012
-UD Gerard J. Mangone Best Young Scholar Award (Alison Young Professor), 2011
-DuPont Young Professor Award, 2010