Research Topics

Members of the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at the University of Connecticut are involved in a wide variety of research activities.  Through the application of core chemical engineering principles, the faculty excel in a variety of application areas.

Biomolecular Engineering 

Kelly BurkeYongku ChoCato LaurencinYu LeiMu-Ping NiehJennifer PascalLeslie ShorRanjan Srivastava

Faculty involved in biomolecular applications carry out research in areas ranging from microbiome engineering to proteomics and metabolomics.  Researchers are engaged in developing next generation technologies in areas such regenerative medicine and drug delivery.  Others are involved in the creation novel and more sensitive biosenors and new innovations in agricultural biotechnology.  Research efforts include everything from purely computational to purely experimental and everything in between.

  • biomaterials & biomimetic materials
  • systems biology
  • drug delivery
  • metabolic engineering
  • tissue engineering
  • bionanotechnology, bio/nanosensor, bio/nanomaerials,
  • regenerative medicine
  • microfluidics
  • microbial assay systems


George BollasC. Barry CarterDouglas CooperRadenka MaricJulia VallaBrian Willis

Energy expertise includes work on electrochemical systems, fuel cells, and batteries.  Larger scale efforts involve systems engineering and optimization of power plants to enhance efficiency, cut costs, and run more cleanly.  Alternative energy research in areas such as photovoltaics, thermochemical conversion of biomass, and the development of biofuels are also actively being pursued.

  • forward osmosis/osmotic power
  • biodiesel power generation
  • proton exchange membrane fuel cells
  • aerobic biocathodes for oxygen reduction
  • electrochemical kinetics and ionic transport


Jeffrey McCutcheonLeslie ShorRanjan SrivastavaMatthew StuberKristina Wagstrom

Several CBE faculty members have significant research thrusts with environmental applications.  Efforts include cutting edge studies in water technology, including fundamental work in water purification to large-scale systems engineering of water treatment plants.  On-going research efforts also include understanding atmospheric chemistry and its relationship to air pollution.

  • remediation
  • air pollution modeling and impacts to human health
  • emissions reduction
  • water purification and desalination

Polymers and Composites

Daniel BurkeyKelly BurkeCato LaurencinJeffrey McCutcheonMu-Ping NiehRichard ParnasLuyi Sun

A tremendous number of CBE faculty do research in the area of polymers and composites, with several being joint members in the Polymer Program.  Faculty are working to design materials with unique structures that may be tuned for specific purposes, including catalytic processes and energy applications.  Others are studying self-assembly and directed assembly formation mechanisms to customize nanostructures with applications to biomedical technology, sensing, and energy.  Faculty are engaged in understanding the behavior of fluids containing nanoparticles, foams, and emulsions among others.  Efforts range from the nano/molecular scale to macro-level incorporating a combination of experimental and computational studies.

  • ionomers
  • sol-gel glasses
  • hybrid organic-inorganic materials
  • biodegradable polymers
  • rheology and complex fluids
  • membrane separations
  • polymer electrospinning
  • polymer gels & filled polymers
  • structural characterization of soft materials