Four faculty members from The University of Tulsa’s College of Engineering and Natural Sciences recently received a $461,162 research grant from the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation program. The grant allows the principal investigator, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Javen Weston, and his team of co-investigators to purchase a high-pressure, high-temperature small angle X-ray scattering instrument. Weston’s team includes Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Nagu Daraboina, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Erin Iski and Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Gabriel LeBlanc.
This device will enable the study of all types of nanoscale materials, from solar cells to pharmaceuticals and wax crystals in oil pipelines to consumer products like the shampoo you use every morning. It will be useful for research in an array of areas, including sustainable plastics, biomedical technology and the distribution of oil through pipelines.
Twenty-one researchers from TU, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas provided letters of support for the NSF grant and have plans to use the device for experiments. It will be the only one of its kind in Oklahoma, making TU a hub for regional nanoscale research. The instrument is expected to arrive and be installed in 2023.
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.
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