Doctoral Student, Chem - Georgia Tech
Krista is currently a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her B.S. in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she conducted computational research on silyl ketene polymerization and CO2 absorption in ionic liquids with Dr. Daniel Lambrecht. During the summer of 2016, Krista received the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship through the Department of Energy at the National Energy Technology Lab in Pittsburgh, where she did computational research of the electrochemistry of CO2 with AuNPs. In the summer of 2017, Krista worked in polymer R&D at Sherwin-Williams. She is currently a recipient of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute fellowship, and co-advised with Dr. Gutekunst and Dr. Mohan Srinivasarao with Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering. Krista’s current research is in the chemical modification of cellulose nanocrystals for polymer-CNC composites.
Doctoral Student, MSE - Georgia Tech
Ejaz Haque is a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Materials Science and Engineering department at Georgia Tech. His thesis work focuses on the development of glass fiber coatings for epoxy composites that incorporate CNCs as lightweight reinforcement agents. His past studies have investigated the impact of CNC dispersant, concentration, and surface functionality on the fiber-matrix interphase with the goal of identifying optimized parameters for enhancing interfacial strength. Future work will expand on these findings by determining if they translate to scalable coating processes.
Sean P. Ireland
Vice President Business Development - FiberLean Technologies Ltd.
NanoAlchemy — Converting Nanocellulose to Gold
Sean Ireland is Vice President Business Development for FiberLean Technologies Ltd. He has over 30 years’ experience in electronics, electrical engineering and process control from the military to industrial manufacturing; however, his real desire is in growing new technologies globally through his passion and motivation. Over a decade ago, his interest shifted to the physical and surface sciences of nano-scale technologies with a focus on cellulosic nanomaterials. During the past decade, Sean has delivered multiple keynote presentations on nanotechnology to diverse audiences across the globe, striving to motivate them to work with these new materials. Additionally, Sean has been integral in working with multiple government agencies to obtain federal funding for critically needed nanocellulosics research and development.
Prior to working for FiberLean Technologies, he served in the U.S. military where he earned his officer commission and his wings. He then went on to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Later, Sean was appointed as the Commander of the 174th Forward Operating Location (FOL) located at 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York, until accepting a position within the pulp and paper industry.
Over the past 20 years Sean has worked for Champion International, International Paper and Verso Paper during which he is credited with patents and applications in neural modeling, non-linear systems, control algorithms, specialty paper and coating formulations. He has authored or co-authored several technical papers on non-linear systems and nanocellulose technology and papers on the vision for nanotechnology. Sean is very active in TAPPI’s Nanotechnology and other divisions. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Maine, was the first Chair for the TAPPI Nano Division, is on the Scientific Advisory Board for P3Nano.
Doctoral Student, MSE - Georgia Tech
Cameron Irvin is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an RBI fellow. He received is B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Techology in 2011. He currently works as a member of Dr. Meisha Shofner’s research group studying the processing of cellulose- and chitin-reinforced tricomponent polymer films, hydrogels, and aerogels. His research focuses on tuning the electrostatic interactions between cellulose- and chitin-based nanomaterials within the polymer matrix and how these high-performance composites can be applied to the packaging and biomedical industries.
Fermentation Scientist - Corteva Agriscience
Sustainable Production of Crop Protection Molecules Through Fermentation
Prasanth Maddipati received his B.Tech in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University, India, in 2006 and masters in Biosystems Engineering from the Oklahoma State University (OSU), Stillwater-Oklahoma in 2010. His research work at OSU on fermentation of biomass generated synthesis gas to produce bio-ethanol using Clostridium strain provided an excellent exposure to biofuels production, bioreactor designs, anaerobic fermentation and process scale up. His industrial career began as fermentation scientist at Genesis Biosciences, a contract manufacturing company, in Atlanta, GA in 2010. Apart from the running the production plant he did work on process development and scale-up of Bacillus fermentation from shake flask to >20000-L fermenter for existing and new strains. Prasanth joined Bioengineering and Bioprocessing R&D (BBRD) group at Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience), in 2011 as a Biochemical engineer with major research focused on strain evaluation and process optimization for production of insecticides and fungicides at 2-L fermenter scale. Prasanth has been actively involved in identifying and evaluating micro and mini bioreactor technologies to drive the development of novel strain screening methodologies that could improve predictability and scalability of HTP generated strains in BBRD.
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry - Georgia Tech
Biological Conversion of Lignin to Value-Added Products
Dr. Pamela Peralta-Yahya is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research group works at the interface of biochemistry and chemical engineering and focuses on two research areas:
- The engineering of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-based sensors, in particular olfactory receptors, for the detection of chemicals for biotechnology and biomedical applications.
- The synthesis of fuels and chemicals in biological hosts that allow their production at higher yields, titers and productivities than the natural systems.
Peralta-Yahya has won several awards including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, a DuPont Young Professor Award, a Kavli Fellowship and more recently a NIH MIRA Award.
Professor, ChBE - Georgia Tech
David Wang Senior Faculty Fellow
Dr. Matthew Realff has been at Georgia Tech since 1993, after completing his bachelor’s degree at Imperial College London and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at MIT in 1992. He was National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Director from 2005-2007 and currently serves as an NSF external expert in resilient infrastructure systems. He co-chaired the 2013 American Chemistry Society Green Chemistry Conference. In December 2013 he was appointed Associate Director of the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute and in 2014 as Associate Director of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute to help develop programs in chemicals and fuels. His research interests are in process and sustainable systems engineering. He has current projects in lignocellulosic pretreatment process invention, DoE-sponsored carbon dioxide capture from flue gas streams and bio-based chemical process design sponsored by NSF.
Director of Engineering - Prisma Renewable Composites, LLC
Delivering Higher Value from Lignin
Mike Sanford has over 30 years of experience in R&D, product development and market development in polymer materials, performance composites and industrial biotechnology. After completing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware, Mike joined DuPont as a research engineer. His early R&D work included fiber spinning, “molecular composites”, high temperature carbon fiber composites and polymer materials for orthopedic joint replacements. He held market development and product management roles in ethylene copolymers and ink jet printing before returning to technology as the technology manager for DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol biofuels business. In his cellulosic ethanol role, Mike was responsible for the development and scale up of DuPont’s complete cellulosic ethanol technology package, including development of applications for the lignin byproduct. Upon retiring from DuPont, Mike joined Prisma Renewable Composites in June of 2018, as Director of Engineering where he leads Prisma’s R&D efforts to incorporate lignin into various renewable materials.
Chinmay C. Satam
Doctoral Student, ChBE - Georgia Tech
RBI Fellowship Student Presentations — Nanocellulose Research
Chinmay Satam is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Georgia Institute of Technology and an RBI fellow. He received his B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from VIT University in India and went on to complete his M.S in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2011. In 2017, he also completed his M.S in Paper Science Engineering from Georgia Tech. He works in Carson Meredith’s research group on novel ways to produce sustainable barrier materials using chitin and cellulose based nanomaterials. His broad research interests include design of green bio-based materials and composites as well as process systems engineering for production of bio-based materials and green chemicals.
Associate Professor, MSE - Georgia Tech
Interim Director - RBI
Meisha Shofner is the Interim Executive Director of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute and an Associate Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Rice University. At Georgia Tech, her research interests include structure-property and processing-performance relationships in polymer nanocomposites, processing and mechanical properties of hierarchical structures, auxetic materials and structures, and new materials development for additive manufacturing. Her research has been recognized with the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associate Universities and the Solvay Advanced Polymers Young Faculty Award.
Vladimir V. Tsukruk
Regents Professor, Dean’s Professor of Engineering, and Director of Microanalysis Center,
MSE - Georgia Tech
Robust Photonic Materials from Cellulose Nanostructures and Corresponding Nanocomposite
Vladimir V. Tsukruk is a Regents Professor, Dean’s Professor of Engineering, and Director of Microanalysis Center at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA. He received MS degree in physics from the National University of Ukraine, PhD and DSc degrees in polymer science from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He carried out his post-doctoral research at the U. Marburg, Darmstadt TU and U. Akron. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of five professional journals and as an Associate Editor at ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. He has co-authored more than 480 refereed articles in archival journals and five books. He has organized ten professional symposia and has trained about 90 graduate students/post-docs.
His research in the field of nanomaterials, surfaces and interfaces, directed assembly of synthetic/natural polymers and nanostructures, biomimetic designs, and bioinspired hybrid nanomaterials has been recognized by Fulbright Award, Regents Professorship, GT Outstanding Research Author Award, Humboldt Research Award, and the National Science Foundation Special Creativity Award, among others. He is an elected Fellow of American Physical Society, Materials Research Society, and American Chemical Society.