​PEOPLE | Current | Alumni |
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Professor Yuriy Román
Principal Investigator


yroman@mit.edu | ChemE Faculty Page
Office: 66-558b
Phone: 617-253-7090

Professor Yuriy Román is from Mexico City, Mexico. He earned his B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. After working in industry for a year, Prof. Román moved to Madison, WI to pursue graduate studies.  He received his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, working under the supervision of Professor James A. Dumesic.  His thesis work involved the catalytic conversion of carbohydrates obtained from lignocellulosic biomass into chemical intermediates used for the production of biofuels and biomaterials. He then moved to the California Institute of Technology to do postdoctoral research in the synthesis and characterization of microporous and mesoporous materials in the group of Professor Mark E. Davis. There, he investigated the synthesis and implementation of  microporous Lewis and Brønsted solid acids for the isomerization of carbohydrates and production of acetic acid from methanol.

Alina Haverty
Administrative Assistant



haverty@mit.edu
Office: 66-542
Phone:
617-253-4533

2010 - present

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William Mounfield

Postdoc


wpm@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone: 617-253-7982

William was raised in Louisiana and South Carolina. He obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Florida in 2012. After graduating from UF he moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue graduate studies. He received his Ph.D.  in Chemical Engineering under the guidance of Professor Krista S. Walton from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016. His thesis work involved investigation of acid gas effects on metal-organic framework structural stability and gas adsorption properties. He came to MIT to gain a deeper understanding of catalysis to complement his background in adsorption and separations. His current research focuses on the design and synthesis of earth-abundant metal nanomaterials and their use in a variety of catalytic systems.

2010 - present

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Shuai Yuan
Postdoc


syuansdu@mit.edu 
Office: 66-008
Phone:
617-253-0848

Shuai Yuan received his B.Sc. in chemistry from Shandong University in 2013. He then went to Texas A&M University, and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2018 working under the supervision of Professor Hong-Cai Zhou. His graduate research is focused on the synthesis and functionalization of stable metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for energy conversion and storage. His research at MIT will explore the application of MOFs for heterogenous electrocatalysis.

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John Di Iorio
Postdoc


jdiiorio@mit.edu 
Office: 66-019
Phone:
617-253-7982

John hails from Redmond, Washington and received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2013. He then moved to West Lafayette, Indiana to pursue his graduate studies at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the guidance of Rajamani Gounder in 2018. At Purdue, John’s thesis work focused on the development of synthetic procedures to control the proximity of framework Al atoms within chabazite zeolites. Specifically focusing on how these different Al arrangements influence acid and redox catalysis. John joined the Román lab in 2019 to gain a better understanding of inorganic materials synthesis and characterization methods that interrogate the local structure of catalytic active sites. His current research focuses on the synthesis of Lewis acidic zeolites to better understand the role of framework polarity and confinement for cyclization reactions.

Bing Yan

Postdoc

bingyan@mit.edu

Office: 66-019

Phone: 617-253-7982

 

Bing is from Shenyang, China. She received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Peking University in 2014. She did undergraduate research on lanthanide single molecule magnets in Professor Song Gao’s lab. Then she moved to Boston to pursue her graduate studies. Bing received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT in 2019, being supervised by Professor Yogesh Surendranath. Her thesis focused on designing interfacial structures to realize selective electrocatalysis of fuel cells. Bing joined the Román lab in August 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher. Here, she will apply her knowledge and experience in electrochemistry and inorganic materials to valorizing lignin and plastics.

Julie Rorrer
Postdoc


jrorrer@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone:
617-253-7982

Julie received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2014, where she researched amorphous photocatalysts for water splitting with Professor Candace Chan. She then obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019. Her thesis work with Professor Alexis Bell and Professor F. Dean Toste was centered around the heterogeneous catalytic conversion of biomass-derived platform molecules to produce fuels and specialty chemicals. She joined the Román lab in September 2019 to investigate the activation of C-C bonds for the heterogeneous catalytic conversion of plastics to fuels.

Jong Hun (Kevin) Kang
Postdoc


jonghun@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone:
617-253-7982

Kevin completed the Army Officer Candidacy Program at the 101st Reserved Officers' Training Corps of the Republic of Korea Army in 2009, and at the same time, received B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering with the highest honor in engineering at Seoul National University (SNU). After receiving a discharge from the army, he started his academic careers in the Carbon Nanomaterials Design Laboratory, and studied the oxidative formation mechanisms of graphene oxide and its applications, and received M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2014 at SNU. He joined the Mark E. Davis Group at Caltech, and was involved in several projects including zeolite syntheses, topotactic transformations of germanosilicates, shape selectivity in the methanol-to-olefins (MTO) reaction, etc. Kevin received M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2017 and 2019 from Caltech, respectively. In September 2019, he moved to the East Coast and joined the Yuriy Román Group, pursuing a deeper mechanistic understanding in surface chemistry of olefin production processes.

Yanding Li
Postdoc


yanding@mit.edu
Office: 66-008
Phone:
617-253-0848

Yanding Li received his B.S. in Applied Chemistry from East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China. He then moved to Tokyo, Japan and start working in the wood chemistry area. He received his M.S. in Department of Biomaterial Sciences from The University of Tokyo. After that, Yanding moved to Madison, Wisconsin to pursue graduate studies in plant science under the advisement of Prof. John Ralph and plant cell wall deconstruction using heterogenous catalysis under the advisement of Prof. James Dumesic. Yanding’s current research focuses on the lignin depolymerization under various catalytic systems.

Ydna Questell-Santiago
Postdoc


questell@mit.edu
Office: 66-008
Phone:
617-253-0848

 

Ydna received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez in 2014. As an undergrad, Ydna worked in Prof. James Dumesic's group and Glucan Biorenewables LLC in Madison, Wisconsin investigating organosolv processes for biomass fractionation. She then moved to Switzerland to pursue her graduate studies. In 2019, she obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne under the supervision of Professor Jeremy S. Luterbacher. Her doctoral work involved the stabilization of biomass-derived carbohydrates using protection group chemistry and the understanding of the reactivity of stabilized carbohydrates. She won the Clariant CleanTech Award 2018 in the field of sustainable chemistry based on her thesis work. In November 2019, Ydna joined Prof. Román’s Lab as a SNSF postdoc fellow where her current work is focused in the design of multifunctional porous materials for the upgrading of stabilized carbohydrates.

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Michael Orella
Ph.D. Student


morella@mit.edu
Office: 66-019
Phone:
617-253-7982

Michael received his B.ChE. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2014. As an undergraduate, he researched in the lab of Professor Dion Vlachos as a part of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, one of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers. The topic of his honors senior thesis was the characterization of humins, unknown side products formed in the conversion of simple sugars derived from cellulose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. In addition to his work with the Vlachos group, Michael led the final trip to Cameroon for the University of Delaware chapter of Engineers Without Borders to aid in providing communities access to potable water sources.  As a co-advised student with the Brushett and Roman groups at MIT, Michael’s research interests lie in electrocatalytic lignin valorization and kinetic modeling of lignification.

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Kimberly Dinh
Ph.D. Student


kdinh@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone:
617-253-7982

Kim is originally from Midland, MI and earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. Kim performed undergraduate research for Professor Mahesh Mahanthappa studying the self-assembly behavior of lyotropic liquid crystals and also on the synthesis of a pi-shaped surfactant-like block  copolymer. At the same time, she also was a starting member of the varsity golf team and was named 2015 Big Ten Woman of the Year. During the summers, Kim interned for Dow Corning in both manufacturing and research and development. Her current research is focused on the oxidation of methane to methanol in copper-exchanged zeolites.

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Stan Wang
Ph.D. Student


zhenshu@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone:
617-253-7982

Stan earned his Bachelors degrees in Math, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2015. As an undergraduate, Stan worked in Professor Aditya Bhan’s group investigating the molybdenum carbide catalytic mechanism in hydrodeoxygenations of furfural and anisole. During the undergraduate research, he developed an interest in catalysis. His focus now at MIT is the synthesis and testing of novel core-shell architectures for various catalytic processes.

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Mickey Stone
Ph.D. Student


mlstone@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone:
617-253-7982

Mickey received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. As an undergrad, he performed research in Professor Song Jin’s group working with materials such as cobalt disulfide and cobalt phosphosulfide to tune their morphology and optimize electrocatalytic performance in the hydrogen evolution reaction. Mickey also spent a summer as a research and development intern in the Pest Control division at S.C. Johnson & Son. His current research is on catalytic lignin valorization.

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Sujay Bagi
Ph.D. Student


sbagi@mit.edu
Office: 66-021
Phone:
617-253-7982

Sujay grew up in southern India and received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (B.E.) from BMS College of Engineering, India in 2009. He worked for John Deere in their Product Design & Simulation group soon after bachelor’s degree. Sujay received his Master’s degree (M.S.) in Materials Science from University of Texas-Arlington in 2012 where his research thesis was in the area of tribology with a focus on developing engine lubricant additives, lubricating greases, engine soot characterization and materials failure analysis. Sujay interned for Albemarle Corporation in Louisiana in the summer of 2012 where he worked on developing Fuel and Lubricant Antioxidants. Prior to joining MIT, he was working for Paccar Inc in Seattle, WA where he worked on developing engine/powertrain lubricants, after-treatment system design, surface analysis, engine exhaust emission characterization and vehicle fuel economy testing. Sujay started his PhD program at MIT in Summer 2016 in Mechanical Engineering Department. He is currently working on continuous synthesis of zeolites and metal-organic frameworks.

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Thejas Wesley
Ph.D. Student


tswesley@mit.edu
Office: 66-008
Phone:
617-253-0848

Thejas graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Honors in Research. He conducted undergraduate research under the advisement of Professor James Dumesic, investigating the reactivities of supported AuPd catalysts for pyrone hydrogenation and 1-hexanol amination, and PtMo catalysts for low-temperature Water-Gas Shift. This work led to Goldwater and Astronaut Scholarships. As a co-advised student in the Román and Surendranath labs here at MIT, Thejas is studying the electrochemical promotion of nonfaradaic catalytic reactions.

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Soonhyoung Kwon
Ph.D. Student


s1105hk@mit.edu
Office: 66-008
Phone: 617-253-0848

Soonhyoung Kwon received his B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Seoul National University, Korea in 2017. He conducted undergraduate research with Professor Kookheon Char. His study was focused on two schemes. The first one was design, synthesis, and application of nanoporous fluorescent PPE films via NVIPS(Non-solvent Vapor Induced Phase Separation). The second one was use of PrDA(Photo retro Diels-Alder) reaction  for wavelength modulation of photoluminescence in fluorescent conjugated polymers. Soon’s current research focuses on the mechanism of pore generation in zeolites with transition-state analysis.

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Terry Gani
Ph.D. Student


terryg@mit.edu
Office: 66-008
Phone: 617-253-0848

Originally from Singapore, Terry received his B.Eng.(Hons) in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2013. He did undergraduate research with Professor Mark Saeys on microkinetic modeling of the Fischer-Tropsch process. He received the M.S. in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT in 2017, completing Practice School stations at Cabot, Saint-Gobain and MSD Ireland. He previously worked in Professor Heather Kulik's group on the computational screening of transition metal complexes as catalysts. In the Román group, he is integrating computation and experiment to understand and design heterogeneous olefin metathesis catalysts.

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Alexander Khechfe

Ph.D. Student

akhechfe@mit.edu

Office: 66-019

Phone: 617-253-7982

Alexi Khechfe is from Cupertino, CA, and received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018. He conducted research with Professor Eric McFarland, where he characterized carbon formation mechanisms in molten Ni-Bi for the catalytic production of hydrogen and solid carbon from methane. He also spent a summer as an undergraduate researcher at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden where he studied the electrodeposition of MnO2 for hybrid supercapacitor electrodes. Alexi’s current research focus is catalyst design for electrochemically promoted catalyst systems.

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Kaylee McCormack

Ph.D. Student

kaymcco@mit.edu

Office: 66-019

Phone: 617-253-7982

Kaylee was raised in upstate New York and east Central Florida. She obtained her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University in May 2017, where her research was in organic chemistry, working on the development of photoresists that degrade completely to gaseous materials. She then performed research at the Technical University of Denmark in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark as part of a Fulbright grant from Fall of 2017 to the Summer of 2018. There her thesis focused on the deactivation of the industrial catalyst used for methanol to formaldehyde oxidation through experimental and mathematical modeling.  After completing the Fulbright grant, she moved to Boston, MA to pursue graduate studies at MIT. Her current research focuses on the development and characterization of novel core-shell electrocatalysts that have enhanced stability under ORR conditions compared to traditional catalysts.

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Amber Phillips

Ph.D. Student

akp76@mit.edu

Office: 66-008

Phone: 617-253-0848

Amber grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She then moved to Cleveland, OH where she recieved her BSE in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. As an undergraduate, she did research with Professor Daniel Lacks and Professor Mohan Sankaran, studying the fundamentals of electrostatic charging granular materials. This project lead to a summer research internship in Lanzhou, China, where she applied her prior electrostatics knowledge to study the contact charging that occurs in sand storms on a larger scale. Amber was also heavily involved, and continues to volunteer, with Camp Kesem, a national non-profit that provides a free week long summer camp for children affected by a parent's cancer. Amber's current research focuses on the thermal and electro-catalytic upgrading of bio-mass, particularly lignin.

Ivan Kumaniaev

Visiting Ph.D. Student

ivank@mit.edu

Office: 66-008

Phone: 617-253-0848

Ivan Kumaniaev was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1995. In 2016, he received his master’s degree from Higher Chemical College of Russian Academy of Sciences and University of Chemical Technology of Russia, where his research was dedicated to modeling of energy transfer in photosynthetic complexes of plants. The same year he started his PhD studies in Stockholm University under the supervision of prof. Joseph Samec with focus on lignin valorization, flow chemistry, and biofuel production. Within the 5-month internship at MIT in the group of prof. Yuriy Roman, Ivan’s research includes development of a multicell reactor system for reductive catalytic fractionation of lignin.

© 2011-2018 Román Research Group

Last modified: 05.09.2018

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Department of Chemical Engineering
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 66-558 | Cambridge, MA 02139 | 617-253-4569