ABOUT

Our research group works at the interface of chemistry and chemical engineering. We create the science for providing renewable and recyclable alternatives to materials made from petro-chemicals. Polymers have provided humanity with tremendous benefits from food preservation through packaging to impressive fuel efficiency because of light weight advantage. However, a growing plastics waste problem is requiring creative chemistry to provide recyclable materials and chemical upcycling of currently in use plastics, polyolefins.

 

A common theme in our research group is catalyst design based onunderstanding of mechanisms on the molecular scale. Graduate students and postdocs in the group are given the freedom to tailor their own projects and are encouraged to collaborate with faculty and peers in other research groups on campus with whom we share common scientific interests.

RESEARCH GROUP

 

MEET THE TEAM

MAHDI
ABU-OMAR

PRINCIPAL

INVESTIGATOR
 

B.S. summa cum laude Hampden-Sydney College

Ph.D. Iowa State University with James Espenson

Postdoc California Institute of Technology with Harry Gray

BAOYUAN

LIU

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Focus:

Metal catalysis (such as Ni, Ru, and Pd) and their use in non-food biomass conversion of green chemistry

CHAN
PARK

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Texas A&M

University

 

Focus:

Designing iridium pincer complexes for catalysis

DANNY

ZENG

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Gettysburg

College

 

Focus:

Converting low-value waste polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene into high-value chemicals

JOSHUA

SPEER

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Ithaca

College

 

Focus:

Designing bimetallic pincers complexes for catalysis

JUN HEE
JANG

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Korea

University

 

Focus:

Heterogeneous catalysis for alkane chemistry

SHOU

ZHAO

POST

DOC

 

Tianjin Polytechnic

University

 

Focus:

Synthesis of bio-based epoxy resins

TAYYABEH
BAKHSHI

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Birjand

University

 

Focus:

Synthesis of Sustainable Aprotic Polar Solvents from Biomass

JULIANNE
TRUONG

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

CSU

Fullerton

 

Focus:

Conversion of the biomass, poplar, into useful organic products

MANXI
XIONG

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Purdue

University

 

Focus:

Study and application of Rhenium PNN catalyst

YU-HSUAN

LEE

GRADUATE
STUDENT

 

University of

Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

 

Focus:

Polymer Upcycling

KALIN
HANSON

GRADUATE

STUDENT

 

Mount Holyoke

College

 

Focus:

Sythesis of bio-based polymers

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Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Department of Chemical Engineering
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9510

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