This area of research involves developing fundamental physicochemical understanding of biological processes and translating the knowledge into efficient design of therapeutically and industrial important products and processes. This is accomplished by interweaving the fields of molecular cellular biology with principles of physical chemistry and process engineering.
Research in this area has been concentrated on developing a fundamental understanding of catalysts, biocatalysts and processes relevant for production of fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks (e.g., cellulosic biomass).
Departmental research in complex fluids and nanostructured materials has particular strengths in the areas of synthesis and fabrication of nanostructured materials for efficient industrial catalysis and electrocatalysis; granular flow; multiphase flow of suspensions; emulsions and bubbly flows; design and synthesis of polymer and investigation of their structure-property relationships; materials and devices for fuel cells, solar or biomass conversion and energy storage; mixing processes; nucleation and self-assembly; carbon and graphene based materials and their nanocomposites; development of nanostructured materials for drug delivery; and nanoporous materials and studies of transport and adsorption in porous media.
This area of research is concentrated on developing a fundamental understanding of pharmaceutical manufacturing with an emphasis on particulate processing.
The department has a comprehensive program in process systems and reaction engineering. The increasing pressure to reduce environmental impact, while maintaining or improving cost-effectiveness, has motivated the chemical, particulate and energy industries to develop new and more efficient process and reactor configurations.