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Latest News

February 2021:
Congratulations to Greg for successfully defending his thesis!

December 2020:
The Epps group welcomes Garrett Bass and Zachary Hinton as new post-docs!

December 2020:
The Epps group welcomes Sampanna Mhatre and Allison Koopman as new graduate students!

August 2020:
Alice Amitrano's research focused on the plant-powered replacements for plastics was featured in the UDaily. Congratulations to Alice! Details can be found here.

July 2020:
Three postdoctoral positions are available immediately in Prof. Thomas Epps' group in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware (UD). More information can be found here.

March 2020:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for being named among 7 prominent scientists whose work helps to push their disciplines forward, presented in ACS Publications in honor of Black History Month! Details can be found here.

February 2020:
The Epps group welcomes Manisha Ahir as a new post-doc!

February 2020:
Congratulations to Esther for being selected for the Chemical Biology Interface (CBI) fellowship!

January 2020:
Congratulations to Lignolix for receiving the EDGE grant from the State of Delaware! Details can be found here.

January 2020:
Congratulations to startup Lignolix, one of the winners of the UDel FastPass Competition! The team focuses on sustainably making materials from renewable biomass. Technically and UDaily.

December 2019:
The Epps group welcomes Mruthula Rammohan, Mengying (Sara) Yang and Maida Mahmood as new graduate students!

October 2019:
The Epps group welcomes Aynur Guliyeva as a new post-doc!

October 2019:
The Epps group welcomes Antigoni Konstantinou as a visiting researcher!

July 2019:
The Epps group welcomes Craig Machado as a new post-doc!

June 2019:
Congratulations to Melody for successfully defending her thesis!

March 2019:
Congratulations to Melody for being selected as a finalist for the APS Division of Polymer Physics Frank J. Padden Jr. Award! A College of Engineering article can be found here.

November 2018:
The Epps group's work on tapered block polymer electrolytes is highlighted in UDaily, the Council of Graduate Schools, and Delaware NPR

November 2018:
The Epps group's work on turning waste lignin into tapes is highlighted by the U.S. DOE Office of Science

November 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Jordan Willie, Dajeong Kim, and Jignesh Mahajan as new graduate students!

October 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Chao Wang as a new post-doc!

October 2018:
The 2018 Future Faculty Workshop is featured in UDaily

August 2018:
Congratulations to Esther and Robert for passing quals!

July 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Eric Gottlieb as a new post-doc!

July 2018:
Seeking candidates for a post-doctoral position. Details can be found here

July 2018:
UD hosts the 2018 Future Faculty Workshop

June 2018:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry!

June 2018:
The Epps group's work on biobased pressure sensitive adhesives is featured in UDaily

April 2018:
Announcing the 2018 Future Faculty Workshop to be held at UD

April 2018:
Congratulations to Melody for being named the Fraser and Shirley Russell Teaching Fellow in Chemical Engineering!

March 2018:
Congrats to Seung for a recent publication in Science!

March 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Silvia Grama as a new post-doc!

January 2018:
The Epps group is looking to hire two new post-docs, check out the postings here for more details

January 2018:
Congrats to Greg for passing quals!

November 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Esther 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 Hanwha 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 group 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 materialsviews.com

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

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

Principal Investigator

Thomas2

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

Allan & Myra Ferguson Distinguished Professor
Center for Research in Soft matter & Polymers (CRiSP) – Director,
Center for Hybrid, Active, and Responsive Materials (CHARM) – Director,
Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI) – Deputy Director,
Email: Thomas H. Epps, III

Post Doctoral Members

Eric Gottlieb

Bachelors – 2013 Carnegie Mellon University
Doctorate – 2018 Carnegie Mellon University
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Epps group

During his bachelors, Eric worked with Prof. Rongchao Jin on synthesis and characterization of gold nanoclusters. In his Ph.D., he worked with Prof. Tomasz Kowalewski and Prof. David Yaron on characterization, applications, and electronic structure modeling of heteroatom doped carbon nanostructures. In July of 2018, Eric joined the Epps group as a post-doctoral researcher working on nanostructured polymer characterization, control, and applications. Outside of research, Eric enjoys cooking, exercising, and building stuff.
Email: Eric Gottlieb

Craig Machado

Bachelors – 2013 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Doctorate – 2019 University of Florida
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Epps group

During his bachelors, Craig worked with Prof. Phil Costanzo on self-healing coatings made from soybean oil. In 2013, he started his Ph.D. with Prof. Daniel Savin at University of Southern Mississippi. In 2015, the Savin group moved to University of Florida. Here, Craig studied block polymer self-assembly, including the hierarchical fractal self-assembly of polypeptides and UV-induced morphology transition of RAFT-based block polymers. In July 2019, Craig joined the Epps group as a post-doctoral researcher working on precision sulfonic acid polymers for battery membranes. In his free time, Craig enjoys practicing martial arts and going to concerts.

Email: Craig Machado
Introduction Video

Aynur Guliyeva

Bachelors – 2014 Baku State University
Masters – 2016 Grenoble Alpes University (Joseph Fourier University)
Doctorate – 2019 University of Orléans in France (in the collaboration with the team of Yushu Matsushita from Nagoya University of Japan)
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Epps group

During her first year of masters, Aynur worked with Prof. Rachel Auzely on the formation of the hydrogels, films based on polysaccharides, lipid nanoparticles, and on the study of release properties. In second year of masters, she worked with Sami Halila on the synthesis, purification, and characterization of oligosaccharides. In her Ph.D., she worked with Prof. Christophe Sinturel and Marylene Vayer on the creation of original and unique structures by nanostructuration of triblock copolymers (ABC) in thin films and development of innovative characterization methods. After finishing her doctoral studies at the end of September 2019, she joined the Epps group as a post-doctoral researcher working on the nanostructured polymer thin films and their characterization. Outside of work, Aynur enjoys traveling, reading, and learning foreign languages.

Email: Aynur Guliyeva

Garrett Bass

Bachelors – 2014 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Doctorate – 2019 The University of Akron
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Epps group

While completing his bachelors in biochemistry, Garrett worked with Prof. Phil Costanzo on RAFT polymerization of surfactants for carbon nanotube dispersion. In 2015 he joined Dr. Matthew Becker at the University of Akron developing bottlebrush block copolymers for templating applications. After moving to Duke University with the Becker lab in 2019, he finished his Ph.D. on the synthesis and 3D-printing of poly(propylene fumarate) derivatives for tissue engineering applications. Garrett joined the Epps group in December 2020 as a post-doctoral researcher focused on developing lignin feedstocks for value-added materials. Outside of lab, he enjoys hiking and playing volleyball.

Email: Garrett Bass

Zachary Hinton

Bachelors – 2014 Rowan University
Doctorate – 2020 Drexel University
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Center for Plastics Innovation (co-advised by Dr. LaShanda Korley)

During his bachelors, Zach worked with Profs. Kevin Dahm and William Riddell on design and characterization of polymeric thermal energy collectors. In his Ph.D., he worked with Prof. Nicolas Alvarez on surfactant transport to high pressure interfaces as well as rheological characterization of transient polymer networks and design of high performance thermoplastic composites. In December of 2020, Zach joined the Center for Plastics Innovation as a post-doctoral researcher working on valorizing plastic waste. Outside of research, Zach enjoys exploring new cuisines and studying history and linguistics.

Email: Zachary Hinton

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
Introduction Video

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
Introduction Video

O'DeaRobert O’Dea
Bachelors – 2015 University of Pittsburgh,
Current Graduate Student.
Robert joined the Epps group in December of 2017. His research involves bio-based polymers with a focus on block polymers for lithium-ion battery membrane technology. Outside of the lab, Robert enjoys hiking, travelling, and photography.
Email: Robert O’Dea
Introduction Video

JigneshJignesh Mahajan
Bachelors – 2016 Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai
Masters – 2018 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Prof. LaShanda Korley).
Jignesh has worked on electrospinnability of ultra-high molecular weight polypropylene (UHMWPP) for his master’s thesis under the supervision of Prof. Anup K. Ghosh (IIT Delhi) and Dr. V. K. Gupta (Reliance Industries Ltd., Mumbai). He also has worked on life cycle assessment, shear thickening fluids, and lignocellulosic fibers and their composites. He joined Epps group in fall 2018. His research involves design and development of bio-based polymers and processing, with a focus on application development. Outside lab, he likes to listen to music and travel.
Email: Jignesh Mahajan
Introduction Video

JigneshMruthula Rammohan
Bachelors – 2019 Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Dr. Millicent O. Sullivan).
Mruthula joined the Epps group in fall of 2019. Her research focuses on drug delivery through skin via stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles. Outside of lab, Mruthula enjoys cooking, doodling, and modern calligraphy.
Email: Mruthula Rammohan
Introduction Video

JigneshMaida Mahmood
Bachelors – 2016 University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
Current Graduate Student (Co-advised by Dr. LaShanda Korley).
Maida has joined Epps group in the Fall of 2019. Her research will be oriented towards development and characterization of bio-based polymers. Outside of research she is an avid admirer of art and music.
Email: Maida Mahmood
Introduction Video

SaraMengying (Sara) Yang
Bachelors – 2019 Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
Current Graduate Student.
Sara joined the Epps Group in fall of 2019. Her interest in helping the world energy issue has motivated her to pursue the research on lithium-ion batteries. Outside of research, Sara enjoys playing tennis, traveling and hanging out with friends.
Email: Mengying (Sara) Yang
Introduction Video

SampannaSampanna Mhatre
Bachelors – 2018 Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Prof. LaShanda Korley).
After his bachelor’s focused on polymers and coatings, Sampanna got around 2.5 years of industrial research experience in the field of Epoxy resin and hardeners. He joined the Epps group in November 2020 where his work will be oriented towards the Renewable Polymers and Plastics Upcycling effort. Outside of research, Sampanna likes to play harmonica and listen to music.
Email: Sampanna Mhatre

SaraAllison Koopman
Bachelors – 2019 University of California, Santa Barbara
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Prof. Christopher Kloxin).
Allison joined the Epps group in the fall of 2020. Her research involves synthesizing responsive polymer-peptide conjugates. Allison enjoys planning trips and upcycling clothes.
Email: Allison Koopman

Undergraduate Students

Paula PrandaPaula Pranda
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2021)

Paula joined the Epp group in June 2018. She works on lignin derived polymers from various biomass feedstocks. In her free time, Paula likes to hike, drink coffee and read mystery novels.
Email: Paula Pranda
Introduction Video

Alice AmitranoAlice Amitrano
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2021)

Alice comes from Rome (Italy) and she is a Chemical Engineering major with a minor in Chemistry at University of Delaware. She joined Epps group in the Winter 2020 and her research is on 3D printing and lignin derived polymers. She used to be a college volleyball player in West Virginia. She loves playing beach volleyball, travelling, reading poetry and playing the piano.

Email: Alice Amitrano
Introduction Video

Josh WatsonJosh Watson
Undergraduate Student,
University of Delaware (Class of 2022)

Joshua is a chemical engineering major at the University of Delaware. He joined the Epps group in January of 2019 and is researching polymer electrolytes for lithium ion battery applications. Aside from research, Joshua enjoys playing bass, hunting, watching football, and running.
Email: Josh Watson

Past Members

Manisha Ahir, Ph.D. – Post-doctoral researcher, Baylor College of Medicine
Antigoni Konstantinou – Graduate student, University of Connecticut
Kayla Lantz, Ph.D. – Assistant professor, Fairmont State University
Jordan Willie
Christine Castagna
Chao Wang, Ph.D. – PPG Industries
Seung Sung, Ph.D. – LG Electronics
Dajeong Kim
Melody Morris, Ph.D. – Post-doctoral researcher, MIT
James Mannino – BS (UD 2019), W. L. Gore & Associates
Silvia Grama, Ph.D. – nanoComposix
Sophia Freaney
Yi Shi
Kaleigh Nicastro – MS (UD 2018)
Victoria Muir – BS (UD 2018), University of Pennsylvania PhD Student
Rashida Ruddock – MS (UD 2018)
Shu Wang, Ph.D. – Bridgestone Americas
Thu Vi, Ph.D. – Dow Chemical Company
Maura Swift
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

Thomas H. Epps, III

Allan & Myra Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
Director; Center for Research in Soft matter & Polymers (CRiSP)
Director; Center for Hybrid, Active, and Responsive Materials (CHARM) - NSF MRSEC
Deputy Director; Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI) - DOE EFRC
University of Delaware

Phone: 302.831.0215
Fax: 302.831.1048
Email: thepps@udel.edu
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Recent Honors & Awards

-Percy L. Julian Award (NOBCChE), 2020
-University of Minnesota, Chemical Eng. and Materials Science Centennial & Jubilee Alumni Lecture, 2020
-Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018
-APS Fellow, 2017
-Thiele Lectureship, University of Notre Dame, 2016
-Graduate Students of Diversity Lectureship, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2016
-APS John H. Dillon Medal, 2016
-AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award, 2015
-Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2014
-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