Advanced Materials Design, Synthesis and Processing

Image of microplasma

Materials matter: every societal-shifting innovation owes its success to the molecular building blocks used to construct it. Our researchers are discovering new ways to make the materials the world already relies on, and ushering the next generation of materials from theory into reality.

From silicon to diamond to titanium to any number of other high-performance alloys, the materials that feed the world’s industry can be costly to make—they often require expensive raw materials, massive amounts of energy and expansive production facilities. Our researchers are creating revolutions in processing to produce these essential materials faster, more cost-effectively and safer—all at industrial scale. They’ve discovered how to grow diamonds at low-pressure, apply electrolysis to extract titanium directly from molten titanium salts, and use plasma to dramatically reduce the energy required to produce ammonia. We are innovating at every stage of the production process to engineer solutions for manufacturing’s major materials-related challenges. And when the solution calls for something that doesn’t exist yet, our chemical engineering researchers are at the leading edge of emergent materials—envisioning entirely new molecular combinations and structures to make stronger alloys, more biocompatible drug-delivery devices, ultra-tiny electrical components and more.

Institutes, centers and labs related to Advanced Materials Design, Synthesis and Processing

Nano Particles

Sankaran Laboratory

Studies chemical reactions via non-equilibrium plasmas, and engineers processes to synthesize and process materials at the nano and micro scales.

Wind Turbine

Energy Lab

Studies the fundamental electrochemical processes in ionic liquids, and designs nonflammable electrolytes for energy storage and conversion

Faculty who conduct research in Advanced Materials Design, Synthesis and Processing

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Rohan Akolkar

F. Alex Nason Chair and Ohio Eminent Scholar for Advanced Energy Research
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops new electrochemical processes for applications including nano-material fabrication, energy storage, electrometallurgy and sensors

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Harihara Baskaran

Professor, Chemical Engineering

Understands and solves problems in biology and medicine using transport principles

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Christine Duval

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops advanced materials to enable radiochemical separations for nuclear forensics and human health

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Donald Feke

Vice Provost, Case Western Reserve University
Distinguished University Professor
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops novel polymeric materials and ultrasonic-based separation processes for nano- and microscale multi-phase systems

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Burcu Gurkan

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Designs, develops and investigates ionic liquid based electrochemical systems for energy, environmental sciences and sensors

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Daniel Lacks

Department Chair, Chemical Engineering
C. Benson Branch Professor
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops first-principles molecular-scale theories of chemical processes and materials properties

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Heidi Martin

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops diamond electrodes for electrochemical and neural device applications

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Julie Renner

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Works at the interface of protein engineering and electrochemistry to enable a new generation of advanced technologies

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R. Mohan Sankaran

Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Engineers plasma-based reactive systems to synthesize, functionalize and assemble nanoscale materials

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Bob Savinell

George S. Dively Professor in Engineering
Distinguished University Professor
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops high-performance electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies through fundamental and applied studies of interfacial and transport processes