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Group Members

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Principal Investigator

Professor Xiao Su  (CV)

Office Number: RAL-107  //  E-mail: x2su@illinois.edu

Xiao Su is an Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his Bachelor in Applied Sciences in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2011. He completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2017, working under the supervision of Professor T. Alan Hatton from Chemical Engineering and Professor Timothy F. Jamison from Chemistry. During his doctoral studies, Xiao received the MIT Water Innovation Prize and the MassCEC Catalyst Award for his work on electrochemically-mediated water purification. Since joining Illinois, Xiao has been the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2019), the ACS Victor K. Lamer Award (2020), the ISE-Elsevier Prize for Green Electrochemistry (2021), the ACS Unilever Award (2023), and the AIChE FRI/John G. Kunesh Award (2023). His research focuses on molecular engineering for advanced separations and process intensification.

 

Group Members

Johannes Elbert

Research Scientist

Office Number: RAL-105 // E-mail: jelbert@illinois.edu

Johannes Elbert obtained his bachelor and master’s degree in chemistry from the Technische Universität Darmstadt. During this time, he spent 10 months in the group of Prof. Ian Manners in the at the University of Bristol. He completed his PhD in 2015 (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, under the supervision of Dr. Markus Gallei and Prof. Matthias Rehahn, with a thesis on immobilized ferrocene containing polymers. He then worked at the group of Alan T. Hatton at MIT, on electrochemical water purification, and the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena on redox-flow batteries. His research is focused on developing new redox active materials.

Kihyun Cho

Research Scientist

Office Number: RAL-105 // E-mail: ck84@illinois.edu

Kihyun Cho received his BS, MS, and PhD degree in Materials Science & Engineering at Korea University in South Korea. During his graduate studies, his research interests lied in the synthesis of semiconductor and metal nanomaterials for advanced energy applications, under the guidance of Prof. Yun-Mo Sung. His PhD thesis topic was the development of one-dimensional nanostructured photoelectrodes for hydrogen generation. After spending some time at Korea University as a research professor, he joined Prof. Prashant K. Jain’s group in Chemistry at UIUC, working on nanostructured fast ion conductors. His current research interest in the Su group lies in developing inorganic materials for electrochemical separations, and new approaches for electrochemical materials processing.

 

Wangsuk Oh

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office Number: RAL-105 // E-mail: wangsuk5@illinois.edu

Wangsuk Oh received his BS in Chemistry in 2014 and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Ji-Woong Park at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST). His doctoral work focused on the synthesis of nanoporous membranes from covalent network polymers and their application to membrane-based flow biocatalysis. His research interest in the Su group is on the polymer synthesis for electrochemically-mediated systems along with fundamental understanding of the structure-property relationship.

 

Shao-Wei Tsai

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office Number: RAL-105 // E-mail: swtsai@illinois.edu

Shao-Wei received his BS in Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology at Taipei Medical University. He received his MS and PhD degree in Microbiology and Environmental Engineering, respectively, at National Taiwan University (NTU). His doctoral work focused on selective nitrogen separation systems for nutrient recovery under the supervision of Prof. Chia-Hung Hou. He also worked on electrical regeneration of ion-exchange technology with Prof. Ashok Gadgil at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2018. His research interest in the Su group is on electrochemically-mediated nutrient upcycling.

 

Yuri Giovane Kappenberg

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office Number: RAL-7 // E-mail: yurigk@illinois.edu

Yuri received his BS in Chemistry at the Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC) in 2016. He received his MS and PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) under the supervision of Prof. Helio G. Bonacorso. His doctoral work focused on the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds and their biological and photophysical evaluation. His research interests in the Su group are in developing redox polymers for small molecule separation.

 

Hee-Eun Kim

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office Number: RAL-105 // E-mail: kheeeun@illinois.edu

Hee-Eun Kim received her BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Yonsei University in South Korea. She received her MS and PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) under the supervision of Prof. Hyunjoo Lee. Her doctoral thesis focused on heterogeneous electrocatalysis and application for energy devices. Her current research interest in the Su group is in the selective separation of critical elements.

 

Stephen Cotty

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: cotty2@illinois.edu

Stephen graduated from Clemson University in 2017 in Chemical Engineering. During undergraduate at Clemson, he worked with Prof. Mark Roberts on redox-flow battery research, and also full-time at the Argonne National Laboratory on the design of a pilot-scale Flame Pyrolysis Plant. His focus at UIUC is on leveraging redox electrochemistry for process intensification in chemical and environmental applications.

 

Devashish Gokhale

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: dgokhale@illinois.edu

Devashish received his BTech (Hons) in Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) in 2019. He received his MS (Chemical Engineering Practice, 2022) and PhD (Chemical Engineering, 2024) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked with Prof. Pat Doyle. His doctoral work focused on the development of novel hydrogel materials for the sequestration and destruction of micropollutants in water, also aiming at the commercial application of this technology. His current research interest in the Su group is the development of photoelectrochemical methods for water treatment and industrial separations.

 

Jemin Jeon

PhD Candidate, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-7  //  E-mail: jeminj2@illinois.edu

Jemin received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Hanyang University at Seoul in 2019. He conducted undergraduate research in solar cell with Prof. Min Jae Ko, microstructures with Prof.Bongjun Yeom, and nanocrystal synthesis with Prof. Brian Korgel at the University of Texas, Austin. He also had an internship as a process engineer at Hanwha Chemical in South Korea. Jemin’s interests at UIUC are on redox-polymer development, process intensification, and small molecule separations.

 

Riccardo Candeago

PhD Candidate, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: candeago@illinois.edu

Riccardo received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Land Engineering at the University of Trento, Italy, in 2016. He did his Master’s program in Materials and Mechanical Engineering with the University of Trento and the Technical University of Munich, under the supervision of Prof. Sonja Berensmeier. He wrote his Master’s thesis at UIUC under the supervision of Prof. Su. Riccardo current focus in on fundamental materials interaction at redox-interfaces and molecular selectivity.
 

Nayeong Kim


PhD Candidate, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
 

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: nkim65@illinois.edu

Nayeong Kim received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. She earned her M.S. at Seoul National University in 2020 in Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Jeyong Yoon, introducing a multi-channel redox system for the enhanced electrochemical desalination. Her research interests are environmental electrochemistry and sustainability, with a focus on integrated electrochemical separations along with the redox-polymer synthesis.
 

 

Darien Raymond

PhD Candidate, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: darienr2@illinois.edu

Darien graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2020 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Computational Statistics. During his undergraduate, Darien worked with Prof. Timothy Brenza on biodegradable block copolymers and metal organic frameworks for biosensing. He participated in the NSF REU program at the University of Iowa, working with Prof. Allan Guymon on nanostructured polymerized ionic liquids, and at the Penn State with Prof. Xeuyi Zhang on MOFs for gas separation. Darien’s interests at UIUC include electrochemical separations and the development of crystal-based Faradaic systems.
 
 

Anaira Roman Santiago

PhD Candidate, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: anairar2@illinois.edu

Anaira graduated from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez in 2020, obtaining her B.S in Chemical Engineering. She conducted research in the transport and destination of contaminants in groundwater with Dr. Ingrid Padilla, and synthesis of metal organic frameworks wastewater treatment with Dr. Hernández-Rivera. She participated in the NSF REU program at the University of South Carolina in graphene oxide membranes for water treatment, and  at the University of Florida in wind speed up with Dr. Forrest Masters. Her current research interests focus on developing effective electrochemical systems for water decontamination and environmental applications.

 

Jaeyoung Hong

PhD Candidate, Material Science and Engineering

Office Number: RAL-7  //  E-mail: jh76@illinois.edu

Jaeyoung received his B.S. in Material Science and Engineering at Seoul National University in 2014. He obtained his M.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the same university in 2016, working on the synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles under the supervision of Prof. Taeghwan Hyeon. He also worked as a researcher in KIST, conducting in-situ TEM research regarding the formation of metal nanoparticles in liquid. His research interests at UIUC focus on the development of polymer-inorganic nanoparticle composite for electrochemical systems.
 

Ching-Hsiu Chung

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: chchung3@illinois.edu

Ching-Hsiu received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University, in 2020. He conducted his undergraduate research in CO2-coversion catalysis and surface chemistry with Prof. Wen-Yueh Yu. Ching-Hsiu’s interests at UIUC focus on critical element recovery, design of functional electrochemical interfaces, and spectroscopy characterization.
 
 

Ching-Yu Chen

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: cc109@illinois.edu

Ching-Yu received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2019, and her M.S. in Chemistry in 2021 from National Taiwan University. During her graduate and undergraduate research, she worked on the self-assembly synthesis of macromolecules under the supervision of Prof. Sheng-Hsien Chiu. She also conducted operation unit CFD simulation in Prof. Hsiu-Po Kuo’s particle technology and fluid operation lab.
 

Aderiyike Aguda

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: faniyan2@illinois.edu

Ade graduated from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2019. She conducted research with Dr. Daniel Ayo on the design of a batch reactor for the extraction of oils from shea nuts. She interned with Halliburton, Solina Health and PyClas. Her focus at UIUC is on leveraging redox electrochemistry for process intensification in chemical and environmental applications.
 
 

Melanie Fournier

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: mf36@illinois.edu

Melanie received her B.S. in Chemistry from Connecticut College in 2022. She conducted research on manganese oxide nanoparticles with Prof. Stanton Ching. Her focus at UIUC is on developing inorganic materials for electrochemical separations.
 
 
 

Feray Buyuktopcu

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (co-advised by Prof. Mohan Sankaran)

Office Number: RAL-105  //  E-mail: fzb2@illinois.edu

Feray received her B.S in Chemical Engineering at the Middle East Technical University in 2023. She conducted undergraduate research on methane dissociation kinetics in low-temperature plasmas with Dr. Necip Uner. Co-advised by Prof. Mohan Sankaran in Nuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering, her current research interests focus on water remediation by coupling plasma and electrochemical methods.
 

Undergraduate Researchers

Matthew Faustino

Academic Year: Senior

Graduation Date: May 2024

Research Period: Sep 2022-

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Shihyun Park

Academic Year: Senior

Graduation Date: May 2024

Research Period: Feb 2023 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Martin Pouliot

Academic Year: Sophomore

Graduation Date: May 2026

Research Period: Jan 2023 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Danielle Elizabeth Chao

Academic Year: Junior

Graduation Date: May 2025

Research Period: Mar 2023 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Edwin Choi

Academic Year: Senior

Graduation Date: Dec 2024

Research Period: Jun 2023 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Nidhish Lella

Academic Year: Sophomore

Graduation Date: May 2025

Research Period: Feb 2024 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Jiyan H. Cen

Academic Year: Senior

Graduation Date: December 2024

Research Period: March 2024 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Giovanny Dominguez

Academic Year: Junior

Graduation Date: May 2026

Research Period: May 2024 –

Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering