I decided to attend the Chemical and Biological Engineering department at UB because of its high academic and research standards, close faculty-student interaction, the breadth of topics covered by the faculty members, as well as the beautiful area in which it's located.
CBE at UB has a great mix of students. Here, I have met very motivated students from different parts of the world with diverse academic and extra-curricular interests. This has helped me to become a more well-rounded individual. Moreover, I love UB's open and friendly academic environment, as well as the many leadership opportunities offered here. I have been fortunate to be involved in holding Tech Savvy workshops. I have also served as a teaching assistant for several undergraduate level courses, as well as serving as an instructor for summer engineering classes. My opportunities at UB include a research assistantship from the CBE department, and I have also received the UB Engineering Graduate Dean's Scholar Award.
My research in Professor Paschalis Alexandridis’s lab is focused on the dissolution processing of nanostructured polymers for effective utilization of cellulosic biomass. Dissolution of cellulose, a nanostructured polymer abundant in nature, is a critical step for the efficient utilization of this renewable resource as a starting material for the synthesis of high value-added functional polymers and chemicals and also for biofuel production. The recalcitrance of cellulose microfibrils, which is a function of complex network of cellulose, partial crystalline structure, and the extended noncovalent interactions among molecules, provides the major barrier to solubility of cellulose. My research focuses on understanding the mechanism of direct dissolution of cellulosic biomass via modeling of this process. The insights obtained from our efforts facilitate the design of efficient solvent systems and conditions for biomass processing.
“ My PhD years at UB CBE will definitely be one of the most important experiences in my life; UB has intellectually challenged me in important ways, and has nurtured and nourished my passion for research.”