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Growing number of climate disasters causing problems
Climate change is challenging infrastructure like seawalls, drainage culverts, and wastewater systems. Carrick Eggleston, professor and head of WPI’s Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering explains that extreme rainfall is happening more frequently in New England, and in some places, a storm that used to have a 1 in 100 chance of happening in any given year now has a 1 in 8 chance of happening in any given year.
"What we wanted to know was if we could make the process much more efficient by using the plastic itself to fuel the cleanup process." GBH News’ All Things Considered spoke with chemical engineering professor Michael Timko about his research with professor Nikolaos Kazantzis to turn plastic into fuel to improve ocean cleanup.
Newsy spoke with Chemical Engineering Professor Mike Timko and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Ali Salifu about their research that found bamboo can be converted into biofuel to power vehicles and generators.
The CBC Radio program Quirks & Quarks spoke with Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Michael Timko about his research to have ships remove plastic waste from the world’s oceans, and then chemically convert that waste into fuel that could power the plastic-collecting ships. Timko says this could significantly reduce the emissions associated with efforts to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.
Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Timko spoke with U.S. News & World Report about the future of hydrogen energy. “I think that societally, we're just entranced with this silver bullet thinking… you’re hoping that each one's the perfect solution, when in fact, you're probably going to need a layered approach – lots of different solutions for different applications,” said Timko.
Martha Stewart Living cited work by Associate Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Timko in their online article. “What do you get when you mix food and yard waste? Hopefully a new eco-friendly source of biofuel. Michael Timko, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, Massachusetts, is working on a project—being funded by the Department of Energy to the tune of almost $2 million—to mix food waste with municipal green waste, such as yard trimmings, leaves, and sticks. By combining the two kinds of waste, Timko is aiming to create even more energy-dense oil that can be upgraded to a liquid biofuel.”
Nearly 80 media outlets, reported on research projects led by Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering; Aaron Deskins, associate professor of chemical engineering; and Nikolaos Kazantzis, professor of chemical engineering, that explore finding applications for nitrogen-rich waste products and converting marine plastics into ship fuel.
In the article, “WPI Awarded $3M for Graduate Data Program” the Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI using a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a unique graduate curriculum to train the next generation of scientists who can apply chemical sciences along with data analytics, mathematics, and computing power to reduce energy usage, waste, and pollution. Elke Rundensteiner, professor of computer science, founding director of the Data Science program, and principal investigator on the grant, is collaborating with Michael Timko and Aaron Deskins, associate professors of chemical engineering, and Randy Paffenroth, associate professor of mathematical and data sciences, among others.
Mike Timko, assistant professor of chemical engineering, wrote a special piece for Biofuels Digest on how people should consider biofuels instead of waste for power, following the goal behind his research of transforming food waste and yard waste into biofuel.
WBUR spoke with chemical engineering professor Mike Timko about his research on food and yard waste. Timko and his team recently received $2M to see if both types of waste can make a more efficient biofuel.
The Telegram & Gazette reported on Professor Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, expanding his green energy research with a $2M Department of Energy grant. Timko is teaming up on the project with Andrew Teixeira, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Geoffrey Tompsett, assistant research professor of chemical engineering.
The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI and the University of Massachusetts Lowell partnering to award more than $111,000 in seed funding to six different teams, focusing on work ranging from human-robot collaboration to cancer detection and rehabilitation for stroke patients.
Mike Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, did a Q&A with Advanced Science News about his renewable fuels research. The article also sites Mike's video, "A World Without Waste," which was submitted to the NSF's 2026 Idea Machine competition earlier this year.
The Boston Herald reported on Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Michael Timko developing a novel process using an unusual solvent and an exotic microorganism that may make it possible to manufacture isobutanol and other biofuels more economically.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science kicked off National Clean Energy Week by highlighting research conducted by Mike Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, on their home page. Through his research, Timko is aiming to greatly improve the yield of oil from the waste food conversion process while also improving efficiencies.