UB - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Chemical and Biological Engineering


Aikaterini Tsoutsoura, Ph.D. Student

"Katerina” came to UB because the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering offered a unique environment for conducting research in the framework of a Ph.D. dissertation.  “During my first year in the Ph.D. program, I had the great opportunity to attend courses in chemical engineering offered by experts in the field, and it enhanced my background tremendously.  Later on, I started working on my Ph.D. research under the supervision of Professor Paschalis Alexandridis, who is an expert in the field of self-assembly. His commitment to research and his life-long experience in academia have deeply affected the attitude I bring to my research and professional life”.

“My life at UB’s engineering school is enriched by several teaching activities, and I have been holding teaching assistant positions for several undergraduate level courses, as well as serving as instructor for summer engineering classes”. 

Focusing mainly on developing self-assembly as a useful approach to the synthesis and manufacturing of complex systems and materials, Katerina and her colleagues in the Alexandridis group have a long-standing interest on the phase behavior of block copolymers and surfactants in selective solvents.   She’s investigating the organization of amphiphilic molecules in ionic liquids, which at room temperature have emerged as solvents with unique properties, including low vapor pressure and high thermal stability. Scientific knowledge relative to the structuring of block copolymers in these neoteric solvents will significantly promote the design of nanostructured polymer electrolytes and membranes for applications ranging from electrochemistry and separations to extended ordered polymeric materials for batteries and fuel cells.

"Coming from Europe, I have found life in a North American city like Buffalo to be a challenging and rewarding experience.  The UB engineering school has a multicultural research community that I am glad to interact with on a professional and a personal level. I am honored to be here at UB, because I am given the great opportunity to excel in my profession, and grow as an individual too."

- Katerina