Faculty & Staff

The Faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering

Susan Roberts
Professor and Department Head, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315669

To me there is nothing more exciting than watching a student learn and develop and there is no greater privilege than having the title of professor. My favorite part of my job is being able to mentor and teach students in a research context – be that in a biochemical engineering course or laboratory, through supervising undergraduate IQP/MQP projects or by advising doctoral students in their thesis work. There is no greater satisfaction than to watch a timid, insecure student gain confidence through knowledge and practice. I chose WPI because it is the ideal environment to support faculty and ...

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Laila Abu-Lail
Assistant Professor of Teaching, Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316545

Professor Abu-Lail is an assistant teaching professor of chemical engineering. She earned a PhD in civil engineering at WPI in 2011 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship while also teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in chemical engineering and civil and environmental engineering. While working with chemical engineering professor Terri Camesano, she investigated the effect of cranberry juice components on the ability of the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections to adhere to uroepitheial cells, and she continues to be interested in the studies of bacterial adhesion. She is ...

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Christina Bailey-Hytholt
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315756

My research focus areas include biomaterials, drug and gene delivery, and diagnostics. In my research lab, we apply concepts including lipid and polymeric material assembly, molecular interaction studies, and engineering cellular microenvironments. We use these skills to address critical unmet needs, particularly in the area of women’s health. The goals of my research include improving the understanding of pharmaceutical and environmental toxicant interacts at the maternal-fetal interface, developing techniques that lead to early and non-invasive prenatal diagnostics, and formulating ...

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Terri Camesano
Dean of Graduate Studies, Graduate Studies

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5380

Terri A. Camesano has been the Dean of Graduate Studies at WPI since 2014, and was the inaugural full-time Dean of Graduate Studies. In her current role, she oversees Graduate Admissions, Graduate Student Professional Development, Online Graduate Education, and Professional Education. Dean Camesano is also the primary advocate for our 2000+ graduate students, and oversees Master's, PhD, and Certificate programs in all areas of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Business. Dean Camesano is also faculty in Chemical Engineering, and has been at WPI since 2000. 

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N. Aaron Deskins

Phone: +1 (508) 8315445

Students here at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have a lot of enthusiasm and ambition, and it certainly is contagious. Teaching brings a lot of joy because of this, and I find myself often trying just to keep up with the students! I love to collaborate with people from many different backgrounds and technical interests. For my research, I work in the area of molecular modeling: trying to understand and solve energy and environmental problems using high-powered computer simulations. I am also involved in supporting, educating, and empowering introverted students. The world is always in ...

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David DiBiasio

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5372

My research involves educational scholarship: investigating how students learn chemical engineering and how the curriculum can be modified to optimize learning. That includes understanding learning in hands-on labs compared to virtual or remotely operated labs; learning in international contexts; and how safety, ethics, and social responsibility can be effectively integrated into the chemical engineering curriculum. WPI is a great place to conduct this type of work because of our project-based program, our extensive Global Projects Program, and our philosophy of student-centered learning.

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Anthony Dixon

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5350

My research is in the general area of reaction engineering and energy, in particular steam reforming and hydrogen production. A strong component of this work is the use of scientific computing methods to investigate transport and reaction in chemical reactors and porous media. Scholarly work is currently being carried out in the following areas: computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies of fluid flow through beds of particles, heat transfer in structured fixed-bed reactors, parametric analysis of nonisothermal behavior in inorganic membrane reactors, diffusion and reaction in microporous ...

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Nikolaos Kazantzis

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5666

I believe strongly in the primacy of the quality of the student-teacher relationship, its mutually precious intellectual and emotional rewards, and its key role in the attainment of educational objectives such as the development of the student's critical thinking, the capacity for self-exploration, and independence of judgment. Furthermore, at WPI both undergraduate and graduate curricula are creatively designed to highlight the many nuanced forms and features of the inherently complex, value conflict-laden and contextually rich interaction between science, technology, culture, and society. As ...

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Stephen Kmiotek
Professor of Practice, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4870

As a Professor of Practice, my focus is to bring my 30 years of experience in the chemical and environmental industries to the undergraduate classes.  My focus through most of my career has been on Chemical Process Safety, Environmental, Health and Safety, and, Air Pollution Engineering.  These fields draw on virtually every part of chemical engineering, including transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and reaction kinetics.  They also draw very heavily on legal documents, particularly governmental regulations and technical design standards, so I have often worked in multidisciplinary teams ...

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Aidin Panahi
Assistant Research Professor, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315878

          Academic Experience: Engineering Lecturer                                                 2021-2022 Harvard University Postdoctoral Research Associate                             2019-2021 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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Elizabeth Stewart
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316961

My research utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to explore and exploit the physical properties of biological soft matter systems. Through investigating the biophysical properties of cells, multicellular communities and their microenvironments, my group seeks to reveal connections between the physical properties of living systems and their disease states and to utilize these findings to develop biological control strategies, therapeutics and diagnostics. We are particularly focused on using our soft matter approach to address bacterial infection prevention and control. My approach to ...

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Andrew Teixeira
Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316361

Andrew is a classically trained chemical engineer with with specialties in the fields of chemical reaction engineering and materials science. He received his B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2009, and continued to pursue his Ph.D. with Professor Dauenhauer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014, before completing his postdoctoral studies with Professor Jensen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016, ultimately joining the faculty at WPI in 2017.Andrew's primary research focus combines a multidisciplinary approach with classical and new experimental ...

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Xiaowei Teng

Phone: +1 (508) 8316029

My research focuses on electrochemical engineering, particularly aqueous batteries and the conversion of small organic molecules for electricity.   My research strongly benefits from the use of synchrotron X-ray and neutron tools available at national laboratory user facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy, through which a fundamental understanding of electrode/electrolyte interaction can be obtained at an atomic level so that we can design the next generation of low-cost and green electrochemical devices using non-toxic and earth-abundant materials.   I love to work with people ...

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Michael Timko

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4101

Sharing that “ah hah” moment with a student struggling and suddenly mastering a difficult concept; helping expand the intellectual horizons of an aspiring engineer; tackling and solving problems that challenge the energy, economic, and environmental security with passionate students; sharing my passion for engineering science: these are the reasons that I am a professor of chemical engineering. WPI students understand the importance of translating their engineering talents into technologies and knowledge that benefit others. My role is to light the fire and open new doors for budding ...

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Eric Young
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316398

My research is in the broad, interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology, which applies engineering principles to biology. Within this field, we apply chemical engineering tenets to reprogram the DNA of yeasts, bacteria, and fungi so their metabolism produces interesting molecules. By treating these cells as "chemical factories," we can approach and solve problems in biofuels, biomaterials, and biosensors from a chemical engineer's point of view. Our strengths are in the disciplines of metabolic engineering, protein engineering, and systems biology, which we use to construct novel synthetic ...

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Susan Zhou

Professor Zhou’s research specializes in the versatile field of biosensors. Specifically, her research includes the application of microfabrication and nanotechnology to the development of biosensors based on Electrochemical (EC), Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). Her team seeks to use these technologies to advance the understanding of biological systems and processes. Such exploration will be ultimately applied to advancing healthcare, with a focus on infectious diseases and immune responses.  Professor Zhou teaches Advanced Chemical ...

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Alex Maag
Assistant Research Professor, Chemical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316244

Alex’s research focuses on processes that use biomass as a source of renewable energy or in the production of more sustainable commodities. His dissertation evaluates thermochemically converting biochemicals in compressed liquid water with the use of heterogenous catalysts; reaction conditions that can lead to many process engineering benefits such as increased product throughput and reduced energy usage. Alex has several years of experience in catalysis, high pressure and temperature process design, surface science and spectroscopic characterization. He is also passionate in mentoring ...

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Emeritus Faculty




William Clark

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Email: wmclark@wpi.edu

Robert W. Thompson

Email: rwt@wpi.edu

Yi H. MA


William R. Moser

Email: wmoser@wpi.edu

Staff of the Department of Chemical Engineering