Latest News

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,

Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Professor
Center for Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics (CMET) – Director,
Center for Neutron Science (CNS) – Member,
Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) – Member,
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

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

Chao Wang

Bachelors – 2014 Pennsylvania State University
Doctorate – 2018 The University of Akron
Current Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Epps group

During his bachelors, Chao worked with Prof. Ralph Colby on characterization of the temperature-dependent rheological properties of thermotropic liquid crystal polymers. After graduation, he joined the Department of Polymer Engineering in the University of Akron as a Ph.D. candidate, co-advised by Prof. Bryan Vogt and Prof. Bob Weiss. In his Ph.D., Chao’s research focused on elucidating the structure-property relationship of hydrogels with supramolecular crosslinks. In October 2018, Chao joined the Epps group as a post-doctoral researcher working on the tribology of polymer thin films. Outside of work, Chao enjoys reading, writing, collecting stamps from National Parks and playing with his cat, Feline Domestic Pangqiu Yaolianma (FDPY).
Email: Chao Wang

Graduate Students

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

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

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

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

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

DajeongDajeong Kim
Bachelors – 2016 Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Masters – 2018 Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Prof. LaShanda Korley).
Dajeong Kim joined the Epps group in Fall 2018. During her masters, Dajeong worked on synthesis of
polyurethane and mechanical property enhancement of siloxane-polyurethane elastomer. Her
research involves development of supramolecular interpenetrating network using lignin-inspired bio-
based polymers. Outside of research, Dajeong enjoys cooking, listening to music and playing video
games.
Email: Dajeong Kim

JordanJordan Willie
Bachelors – 2015 University of Wyoming
Current Graduate Student (co-advised by Prof. Dionisios Vlachos).
After earning his bachelors degree in petroleum engineering in 2015, Jordan worked in upstream oil and
gas for three years before joining UD and the Epps group as a graduate student in 2018. Jordan’s
research is focused on addressing typical economic hurdles associated with increased use of biomass in
chemicals manufacturing, with particular emphasis on catalyst and process design. Outside of his
research interests, Jordan enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his family (wife, baby, and dog).
Email: Jordan Willie

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

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

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

Paula is a freshman chemical engineering major at the University of Delaware. She joined the Epps group in the summer of 2018, and she will be working on biobased polymers derived from lignin. Paula’s hobbies include hiking, traveling, and running, and on campus, she is a member of the Alpha Omega Epsilon engineering sorority.
Email: Paula Pranda

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

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

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
Email: thepps@udel.edu
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Recent Honors & Awards

-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