Research Projects

The Department of Chemical Engineering maintains an active research program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Most of the graduate thesis research and undergraduate theses, are carried out as part of externally sponsored research projects. The majority of the externally sponsored research in the department is in collaboration with industry and government agencies. Recent industrial research collaborations include: Air Products and Chemicals, Bionix Engineered Medical Technologies, Dupont & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Inland Steel, Lucent Technologies, and Merck & Co. The department has also received support from government funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy and from private foundations such as the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

The faculty have a wide variety of research interests. Recent graduate students have contributed to research in the following topic areas:

  • Thermal management of electronic devices
  • Supercritical carbon dioxide for the formation of self-assembled monolayers and polymer films
  • Thermal decomposition of chlorofluorocarbons
  • Computational fluid dynamic modeling of mixing and fermenters
  • On-line process monitoring of fermentation processes
  • DNA plasmid recovery optimization
  • Nanofibers for heat transfer and catalytic applications
  • Chemical mechanical planarization of electronics via environmentally friendly processing

Selected Recent Graduate Theses

Modeling Shear Damage of CHO Cells in a Rotary Positive Displacement Pump Venkat H. Kamaraju, advisor Dr. W. Kelly

Tracking Dissolved Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide with Computational Fluid Mechanics Using a Population Balance Model and Pressure Dependent User Defined Function Files
Joseph M. Anderson, advisor Dr. W. Kelly

Dialkyldithiocarbamates: Self-Assembled Monolayers and Copper Chelation in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
Joshua Giuffre Richards, advisor Dr. R. Weinstein

Stormwater Total Hydrocarbon and Hydrologic Mass Balance and a Chloride Mass Balance of the Villanova University Stormwater Wetland
David Salas-de la Cruz, advisor Dr. V. Punzi

Computational Analysis of Fluorinated Compounds and Thermal Decomposition of CHFClCF₃ and CHF₂Cl: an Experimental and Modeling Study
Robert J. Colmyer, advisor Dr. E. Ritter

Process Modeling and Optimization of a Pharmaceutical Semi-Batch Reactor
Manish Badlani