Principal Investigator

Sanat K. Kumar
sk2794@columbia.edu



Postdoctoral Researchers

Sabin Adhikari
sa3827@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites



Hamed Emamy
he2243@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites
Interests: self-assembly, multi-scale modeling, polymer nano-composites, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics

Hamed received his PhD degree in physics from Wesleyan University under supervision of Professor Francis Starr. During his PhD, he studied the self-assembly processes, and the dynamics of nanocomposites materials. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher, working with Professor Sanat Kumar. He is currently working on the dynamics of polymer-nanoparticle composites, polymer thin films, and self-assembly of particles mediated by DNA.



Lisa Tran
lt2727@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites
Interests: self-assembly of nanoparticles and colloids, liquid crystals

I am currently a Simons Junior Fellow at Columbia University, working with Professors Sanat Kumar and Kyle Bishop. I received my Ph.D. in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, working under the supervision of Professors Randall D. Kamien and Kathleen J. Stebe. I earned my BA at New York University. My research focuses generally on phenomena observed in soft materials. I am currently interested in structuring particle assemblies with external fields, such as the elastic fields of liquid crystals and electromagnetic fields.



PhD Students

Andrew Jimenez
amj2172@columbia.edu

Tuning nanoparticle dispersion in a polymer matrix
Interests: Polymer nanocomposites, semi-crystalline polymers, structure-property relationship, magnetic nanoparticle assembly

I received my B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona in 2015. My previous research experience includes work on adsorption/desorption kinetics of ions in semiconductor cleaning processes and gas trasport systems, as well as studying the effect of gravity on frontal polymerization reactions. Currently, I am working on the ability to control particle dispersions in polymer nanocomposites for enhanced mechanical properties.



Mayank Jhalaria
mj2775@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites
Interests: Polymer Nanocomposites, Membrane Separations, Transport, Heterogenous Diffusion

I received my B.S. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Gandhinagar in 2014 and MS. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University in 2016. I have previois research experience in photocatalytic systems, environmental modeling of biomass based systems, and turbulent transitions in 2 phase Taylor Couette flow I landed up working with polymer nanocomposites. I am looking forward on developing a new class of membranes as well as looking at the dynamic aspects of diffusion through polymer membranes.



Clement Fang Jin Koh
cfk2120@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites
Interests: Self-assembly, theory, rational design, machine learning

I received my BS in Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, where I worked with Prof. Pratim Biswas developing aerosol models. I am currently working on studying the dewetting phenomenon for polymer-grafted nanoparticles in homopolymer matrix.



Alejandro Krauskopf
a.krauskopf@columbia.edu

Tuning nanoparticle dispersion in a polymer matrix
Interests: Polymer nanocomposites, semi-crystalline polymers

Alejandro received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical-Biological Engineering, Minor in Writing degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2017. He previously worked in Prof. Robert Langer's lab on developing nanoparticles within a polymeric matrix to deliver chemotherapy locally. He also worked in Prof. Yuriy Roman's group on developing zeolite catalysts for use in the conversion of biomass to fuels. Alejandro is currently working on the crystallization of polymer nanocomposites for different applications.



Sophia Chan
sc4267@columbia.edu

Morphology and gas transport in polymer nanocomposites
Interests: Polymer Nanocomposites, Gas Transport, Gas Barriers

I received my B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minor in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 2017. There, I worked with Professor Clayton Radke on drug diffusion and adsorption properties of block-copolymer hydrogels, as well as with Professor Bryan McCloskey on ion transport properties of large anions in polyelectrolytes for battery applications. At Columbia, I am excited to study gas transport and barrier properties of polymer nanocomposites intended for solar cell encapsulants. In my spare time, I practice Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, bake, and do laundry.



Husam Alkhodairi
hfa2109@columbia.edu

Compatibilization of immiscible polymer blends using polymer-grafted nanoparticles
Interests: Homopolymer blends, Copolymers, Pickering emulsions, Polymer nanocomposites

I received my MS in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 2016. Prior to joining the Kumar Group, I worked at a research center that specialized in testing and tailoring polymer properties to meet the desired end product applications. Currently, I am working on enhancing the mechanical properties of immiscible polymer blends through the use of polymer-grafted nanoparticle surfactants.



Abdullah Al Torbaq
asa2202@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites
Interests: Polymer nanocomposites, Gas transport, Crystallization, Structure-property relationship

I received my MS in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in 2016. My previous research experience includes developing and testing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) solutions for automotive and packaging applications. Currently, I am working on understanding and controlling the crystallization kinetics as well as the nanoparticle dispersion in semi-crystalline polymers with the aim of enhancing gas transport properties.



Deboleena Dhara
dd2881@columbia.edu

Dispersion and Dynamic Properties of Polymer grafted nanoparticles
Interests: Polymer nanocomposites, Rheology, Dynamic mechanical tensile testing

I received my BS in Chemical Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology in 2017, where I worked with Professor Dhanya Sunil on developing oxadiazole derivatives for their potential use as antimicrobial agents. I received my MS at Columbia University in 2018 and started my PhD right after. Currently, I am studying the impact of different particle dispersions on the mechanical properties in polymer nanocomposites.



Robert Tannenbaum
r.tannenbaum@columbia.edu

Controlling transport properties of polymer composites
Interests: Polymer nanocomposites, Membrane separations, Gas transport, Entanglements, Simulations

I received my B.S.E. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 through the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER), and my M.S.E. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. My research at Columbia focuses on simulating entanglements present in polymer-grafted nanoparticle systems to gain further insight into the underlying mechanism responsible for enhanced mechanical properties. I also conduct permeation and sorption experiments to better understand the nature of gas transport through these materials.



Marshall Tekell
mct2180@columbia.edu

Ionic and thermal conductivity of polymer nanocomposites
Interests: Ionic and thermal conductivity, ion-exchange membranes

I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, a B.A. in Plan II Honors, and a Certificate in Computational Science and Engineering. At UT-Austin, I worked with Prof. Donglei Fan on 3D hierarchically porous materials for supercapacitors and 2D materials for photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution and solar steam. In the Kumar group, I will explore the ionic and thermal conductivity of polymer nanocomposites.



Masters Researchers

Angela Hu
ah3599@columbia.edu
2018-Current



Mayyadah Yusuf
my2579@columbia.edu
2019-Current



Beatrice Bellini
beatrice.bellini2@studio.unibo.it
2019-Current
Advisor: Ferruccio Doghieri, Università di Bologna



Yuhan Gong
yg2608@columbia.edu
2019-Current



Undergraduate Researchers

Gabrielle Jones
gnj2101@columbia.edu
2018-Current



Priscilla Ditren
prd2123@columbia.edu
2018-Current



Past Members

Sebastian Russell (PhD, 2014-2019) - Postdoctoral Researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory


Connor Bilchak (PhD, 2014-2019) - Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Pennsylvania


Wes Barnett (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2017-2018) - Senior Machine Learning Engineer at American Express


Ellie Buenning (Ph.D., 2013-2018) - Polymer Technologist at Gore


Kai Zhang (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2015-2018) - Data Scientist at Data Incubator


Thi Vo (Ph.D., 2012-2017) - Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Michigan


Makoto Asai (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2013-2017) - Asst. Professor at Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University


Mayank Misra (Ph.D., 2011-2016) - Senior Scientist at Schrodinger


Dan Zhao (Ph.D., 2011-2015) - Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Minnesota Twin Cities


Mithun Radhakrishna (Ph.D., 2010-2014) - Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Ghandinagar


Dong Meng (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2011-2015) - Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University


Daniel Sinkovits (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2012-2015) - Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Stout


Nicolas Jouault (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2011-2013) - Assistant Professor at Université Pierre et Marie Curie


Jagannathan T K (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2009-2013) - Assistant Professor at National Institute of Technology - Surathkal


Pinar Akcora (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2005-2008) - Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology