Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Nagu Daraboina has been named to the 2021 Class of Influential Researchers by the American Chemical Society journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (I&EC).
Daraboina, who is the associate director of The University of Tulsa’s Paraffin Deposition Projects, was among 36 researchers selected from institutions around the world. These researchers are in the first 10 years of their independent researcher careers.
I&EC’s global team of editors and editorial advisory board members selected this class of influential researchers on the basis of the quality and impact of their research. These influential researchers work on core areas of chemical engineering (e.g., kinetics, catalysis, and reaction engineering, thermodynamics, transport, separations) that describe important advances in bioengineering, process intensification, pharmaceutical engineering, biomass utilization, environmental protection, energy conversion, electrochemistry, membrane separations and synthesis of functional materials.
After receiving his doctorate from the University of British Columbia in 2012, Daraboina worked for two years as postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Energy Resources Engineering at Denmark Technical University. While there, he acquired skills in experimental and computational petroleum thermodynamics. At TU, Daraboina’s main research interest is in the areas of flow assurance, carbon dioxide capture and storage, petroleum thermodynamics and polymer degradation. He has authored or coauthored more than 40 publications in these areas.
Roberts is the current TU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry chairperson and has served on the faculty for 18 years. He also has mentored students as the TU student local ACS section adviser. Nearly 100 students from his research group have presented at the Annual ACS Meeting.
Research from his early career is based on the origins of cancer from chemical carcinogens using low-temperature fluorescence spectroscopy. That initial investigation led to further studies in chemical carcinogenesis and other bio-analytical studies such as the pharmacology of antibiotics during labor and delivery. Other research areas have included using luminescent nanoparticles to detect pathogenic bacteria and viruses, development of nanostructured third generation photovoltaics, hybrid photovoltaic/solar concentrators, materials properties under stress and environmental chemistry of Oklahoma water sources. His research is expansive, but one of the most enjoyable parts of his career involves “working on important projects with students in the laboratory.”
I’m very honored although it’s more of an award to all of the students as much as to me,” Roberts explained. “My achievements are their achievements.”
Dale Teeters, a former colleague and past department chairperson, said the award is very much deserved by Roberts.
“He is internationally known for his research in nanotechnology and environmental chemistry,” Teeters stated. “He has used his knowledge of water chemistry to serve the state of Oklahoma by leading a team of researchers and environmentally aware Oklahomans in the monitoring of water resources in Oklahoma. The state will benefit from his efforts in Oklahoma water quality research for generations to come.”
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