Melissa Novy

Ph.D. candidate in Macromolecular Science and Engineering
B.S. Chemistry, American University, Washington, D.C.

Current Research Objectives:
Elucidate solution properties and optimize film casting of perfluorosulfonic acid polymer dispersions. Synthesize metal nanoparticles on electrospun carbon nanofiber mats, then coat with Nafion to produce durable, flexible fuel cell electrodes. Measuring electrochemical and mechanical properties of the electrodes and fuel cell performance is in progress.

Chris Kasprzak

Ph.D. candidate in Macromolecular Science and Engineering
B.S. Biochemistry, concentrating in polymers and coatings, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo CA  
B.S. Biology, concentrating in molecular and cellular technologies, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo CA

Current Research Objectives:
Tailoring copolymer architecture through gel state post-polymerization modification of poly(ether ether ketone) using a variety of synthetic techniques. Intended applications range from fuel cell technologies. My research passions lie with bridging the gaps between chemistry and engineering to alleviate societal issues and provide platforms for next-generation materials.

Glenn Spiering

Ph.D. student in Macromolecular Science and Engineering
B.S. Plastics Engineering Technology, Penn State Behrend, Erie PA

Current Research Objectives:
Manipulate phase separation parameters to tune the morphology of semicrystalline polymer aerogels and obtain desirable mechanical properties. Characterize polymeric systems using x-ray scattering methods.

Garrett Godshall

Ph.D. student in Macromolecular Science and Engineering
B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA

Current Research Objectives:
Evaluate the morphology, phase separation behavior, and mechanical properties of various semi-crystalline polymeric thermoreversible gel systems.

Michelle Pomatto

Ph.D. student in Macromolecular Science and Engineering
B.S. Chemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA

Current Research Objectives:
Understand the morphologies resulting from high temperature isothermal gelation of semi-crystalline polymers and the effect on blocky functionalization in the gel state.

Emily Plunkett

Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry
B.S. Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA

Current Research Objectives:
Investigating polymer materials for more efficient fuel cell membranes. Currently examining different ways of functionalizing semi-crystalline polymers in the gel state and how these methods affect the properties of the resulting material and their membranes.

Erin Crater

Ph.D. student in Chemistry
B.S. ACS Certified Chemistry, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg MS
B.S. Polymer Science, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg MS

Current Research Objectives:
Heterogeneous, gel-state functionalization of semicrystalline polymers to afford novel block copolymers.

Sophia Han

Undergraduate student majoring in Chemistry with minors in Mathematics and Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA 

Current Research Objectives:
Recently, I have found great interest in polymer chemistry and am enjoying spending my time in the lab this summer. My research is focused on exploring new post-polymerization modification strategies of blocky copolymers. 

Graduate student mentor: Erin Crater

Drew Evans


Undergraduate student majoring in Nanoscience and minoring in Chemistry

Current Research Objectives:

My research focus is creating and characterizing poly(ether ketone ketone) gels to help understand ways they could be applied.  

Former Group Members

Christina Orsino, PhD, Solvay Specialty Polymers

Zahra Mansouri, MS, Washington D.C.

Gregory Fahs, PhD, Parallel

Lin Ju, PhD, DuPont

Kristen Felice Noble, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor at Roanoke College

Lindsey Anderson, PhD, Solvay Specialty Polymers

Samantha Talley, PhD, Los Alamos National Lab

Jeremy Beach, PhD, IARL

Theodore Canterbury, PhD, AkzoNobel

Joe Rittenhouse, MS, Memjet Technology

Elise Naughton, PhD, University of Colorado

Amanda Hudson, PhD, RJ Reynold’s

Mingqiang Zhang, PhD, Machine Zone

Scott Forbey, PhD, SAIC

Orkun Kaymakci, MS, Arcelik Group

Katherine Finlay, PhD, Eastman Chemical Company

Nathanael May, MS, GrafTech International

Gilles Divoux, PhD, Solvay Specialty Polymers

Angela Osborn, PhD,

Sonya Benson, PhD, PepsiCo

Shawn Osboorn, PhD, Ascend Performance Materials

Kirt Page, PhD, Dean at Connect University

Greg Geminhardt, PhD, GE Aviation

Alan Phillips, PhD, Eastman Chemical Company

Peyton Hopson, PhD, Vistakon

Angels Domenech, MS, Dow Plastics, TS&D

Grant Barber, PhD, Ticona

Bo Pan, PhD, Pall Corporation

Eric Taylor, PhD, Hard Eight Holdings, LLC

Any Landis, PhD, Penn State York, Instructor of Chemistry

Raghu Gummaraju, PhD, BASF Corporation

Marty Boykin, PhD, Eastment Chemical Company

Kristine Ludwig, PhD, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Kari Haley, MS, Invitrogen

Steve Manning, PhD, Ascend Performance Materials

Bruce Orler, PhD, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Kevin Cable, PhD, Eastman Chemical Company