Separation Science and Technology as a Convergence Platform for SusChEM

August 12-13, 2014

The NSF identified research in separations science and engineering (SSE) as a key priority for ensuring the sustainability of critical metals. This workshop features presentations and panel discussions on subjects related to the sustainability of critical materials.

Workshop Overview

Speaker presentations are now available (listed under abstracts in each session - view sessions here).

Participants interested in not only hearing about but also shaping the future of separation science and technology (SST) attended this enthralling NSF-funded workshop where about 20 speakers presented on sustainable chemistry, engineering and materials (SusChEM). For the workshop program and more information about the workshop, click here.  For specific information about each section, including speaker abstracts and presentations, click here.

The report for this workshop will be posted soon.

Previous Work

A 1-day symposium was held on Tuesday, August 21 during the 2012 Fall Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia: “Ensuring the Sustainability of Critical Materials and Alternatives: Addressing the Fundamental Challenges in Separation Science and Engineering.” Find out more about that workshop and read the report here.

Featured Speakers

David T. Allen

Dr. David T. Allen is the Gertz Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering, and the Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of six books and over 180 papers, primarily in the areas of air quality and pollution prevention.  For the past decade, his work has focused primarily on urban air quality and the development of materials for environmental education.  Dr. Allen was a lead investigator for the first and second Texas Air Quality Studies, which involved hundreds of researchers drawn from around the...Read more

Corby Anderson

Dr. Corby Anderson has over 35 years of global experience in industrial operations, management, engineering, design, consulting, teaching, research and professional service. He is a native of Butte, America. His career includes positions with Morton Thiokol, Key Tronic Corporation, Sunshine Mining and Refining Company, H. A. Simons Ltd. and at Montana Tech. He holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and an MSc and PhD in Metallurgical Engineering. He currently serves as the Harrison Western Professor in the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy as part of the George S. Ansell Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. (click name for full bio)Read more

Gretchen Baier

Dr. Gretchen Baier is currently Associate R&D Director of External Technology at The Dow Chemical Company. The External Technology Group is responsible for identifying and facilitating sponsored research with universities, research institutes, and other external partners around the world. The team also is responsible for creating a pipeline of R&D collaborations with government agencies and laboratories and developing win-win partnerships. (click name for full bio)Read more

Diana Bauer

Diana Bauer is the Director of Energy Systems Analysis and Integration within the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She led the DOE team that published The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities in 2014. She currently co-chairs DOE’s Water-Energy Tech Team (WETT). (click name for full bio)Read more

Paul Bohn

Paul W. Bohn is the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. He served as Editor for the Americas for the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Analyst 2007-09 and a full term as Chair of the Editorial Board for Analyst (2010-2013). Prof. Bohn also serves as Project Director for the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, one of five inaugural Strategic research Initiatives established in 2008 at Notre Dame. He has served on numerous editorial and scientific boards. Dr. Bohn’s research interests include: (a) integrated nanofluidic and microfluidic chemical measurement strategies for personal monitoring, (b) chemical and biochemical sensing in mass-limited samples, (c) chemical imaging, and (d) molecular approaches to nanotechnology. (click name for full bio)Read more

John L. Burba

Dr. John L. Burba serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Simbol Materials LLC. Dr. Burba served as the Chief Technology Officer of MolyCorp Minerals, LLC and has been its Executive Vice President since December 8, 2009. From August 2005 to October 2008, he served as Vice President of Technology at Chevron Mining Inc. He served numerous technology related positions with Dow Chemical Co., FMC, and MolyCorp where he managed development teams. (click name for full bio)Read more

Mark Caffarey

Mark Caffarey is Executive Vice-President for Umicore USA Inc. He is based in Raleigh, NC. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Brussels University in 1983. After graduation, he joined Umicore in 1984. (click name for full bio)Read more

Mamadou S. Diallo

Professor Mamadou Diallo was trained both as an engineer and physical chemist. His current research interests and activities focus on the use of dendritic nanomaterials (e.g. dendrimers, hyperbranched polymers and branched polymeric microparticles and nanoparticles) as building bolcks to develop novel adsorbents, membranes and filtration systems for water treatment, reuse and desalination. During the last 7 years, Prof. Diallo has been pioneering the applications of dendrimer nanotechnology to water purification while serving as the Director of Molecular Environmental Technology of the Materials and Process Simulation at Caltech. In 2007, Prof. Diallo co-founded the start-up company Aqua Nanotechnologies (ANT) to scale-up and commercialize high performance media for water treatment and environmental/industrial separations. (click name for full bio)Read more

Yves Gnanou

Professor Yves Gnanou is the Dean for Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE). Professor Gnanou joined KAUST from the École Polytechnique in Paris where he held the role of Vice President of Academic Affairs and of Research. Professor Gnanou received his PhD in Polymer Chemistry in 1985 from the L. Pasteur University (Strasbourg). His research interests currently focus on the design of metal-free “green” catalysts for chain and step-growth polymerizations and on the assembly of original polymeric architectures by novel synthetic methods. (click name for full bio)Read more

Bert Hamelers

Since 2011, Bert Hamelers (1958) has been the program director at Wetsus (, the Dutch center of excellence in sustainable water technology. Within Wetsus, companies and universities cooperate in pre-competitive technology development via an industry driven research program holding 60 PhD students. Wetsus focuses on the research and development of entirely new concepts and on breakthrough improvements of existing technology. (click name for full bio)Read more

Catherine T. Hunt

Catherine T. “Katie” Hunt, Ph.D. is Former R&D Director, Innovation Sourcing & Sustainable Technologies at The Dow Chemical Company. She has a strong history of building federally-funded, technology partnerships across industry, academia and national labs; partnerships that have successfully delivered innovative solutions. Katie began her career as a senior scientist in analytical research at Rohm and Haas in 1984 after completing an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. Over her 25 year career with Rohm and Haas, Katie held positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately served as Corporate Sustainability Director and Leader for Technology Partnerships. (click name for full bio)Read more

Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Yoshiaki Kawajiri is an assistant professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. He earned his Master and Bachelor of Engineering degrees in chemical engineering from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan in 1997 and 1999, respectively. After working as an R&D engineer at Organo Corporation in Saitama, Japan for four years, he completed his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. in 2007. (click name for full bio)Read more

Alex H. King

Alex King was born and raised in London. He attended the University of Sheffield as an undergraduate and earned his doctorate from Oxford. He was a postdoc at Oxford and then M.I.T. before joining the faculty at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also served as the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies (Dean of the Graduate School). He was the Head of the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue in from 1999 to 2007, the Director of DOE’s Ames Laboratory from 2008 until 2013, and since June 2013 he has been the Director of the Critical Materials Institute – one of DOE’s Energy Innovation Hubs. (click name for full bio)Read more

Bruce A. Moyer

Bruce Moyer is Leader of the Chemical Separations Group in the Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. With 33 years of experience in the area of separations science, he has specialized in both fundamental and applied aspects of solvent extraction and ion exchange, publishing over 180 open-literature articles, book chapters, proceedings papers, and reports. His patents range from solvent extraction of cesium for nuclear-waste cleanup to supported liquid membrane systems and novel anion-exchange resins. (click name for full bio)Read more

Seyi Odueyungbo

Dr. Seyi Odueyungbo is Staff Research Engineer at the Chevron Energy Technology Company (ETC), Richmond, CA. He has over 25 years of combined university teaching, research and industrial experience in chemical engineering. He is ETC’s Subject Matter Expert for filtration and solids/liquid separations. He has expertise in heavy oil upgrading, gas conversion (gas-to-liquid), metal recovery and mercury removal technology development and deployment. (click name for full bio)Read more

Eric Peterson

Dr. Eric Peterson is currently a Senior Manager at Exponent, Inc, where he performs technical process safety and risk analyses within Exponent’s Thermal Sciences practice. Employing his chemical engineering expertise, coupled with that of physics and meteorology, Dr. Peterson provides engineering guidance in the design and verification for all or part of facilities and systems....Read more

Karen Pickering

Dr. Karen Pickering has worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center since 1991, working in water recovery systems technology development in roles ranging from subsystem engineer to project manager.

She is currently the Deputy Chief of the Thermal Systems Branch, leading engineers responsible for active thermal control of the International Space Station as well as development of advanced thermal technologies. 

Dr. Pickering earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. She earned Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees...Read more

David Reed

David Reed is a staff scientist in the Biological and Chemical Processing Department at Idaho National Laboratory. He has specialized in molecular microbiological approaches for extremophilic enzyme expression, detection, and characterization. He is involved in engineering novel enzymes and microorganisms for improving value-added products from biomass at high-temperature and/or acidic conditions. Currently he is developing a biological strategy for recovery of rare earth elements from recyclable materials. (click name for full bio)Read more

Darlene Schuster

Darlene Schuster is responsible for the successful implementation of AIChE conferences, publications,  educational AIChE Academy, membership programs and membership groups, and growth of AIChE impact to serve members in areas of relevance to chemical engineering.  Previously she was the executive director of the Technical Entities of AIChE, including the Institute for Sustainability, Society for Biological Engineering, the International Society for Metabolic Engineering, and the start-up entities. Schuster joined AIChE as director of government relations and headed AIChE’s...Read more

Susannah Scott

Scott received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta (Canada) in 1987, and her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Iowa State University in 1991, where she worked with J. Espenson and A. Bakac on the activation of O2 and organic oxidations. She was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow with Jean-Marie Basset at the Institut de recherches sur la catalyse (CNRS) in Lyon, France, before joining the faculty of the University of Ottawa (Canada) in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. She moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003, where she is currently holds joint faculty appointments in both Chemical Engineering and Chemistry & Biochemistry. (click name for full bio)Read more

Rosemarie D. Wesson

Dr. Rosemarie D. Wesson joined the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a Visiting Scientist/Engineer on leave from The Dow Chemical Company. During her tenure at NSF she has held numerous Director positions, including Acting Director for the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program and Acting Senior Advisor for Emerging Technologies and Interdisciplinary Research. She is currently Program Director for the Chemical and Biological Separations Program at NSF and also an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. (click name for full bio)Read more

Tracy Young

Tracy Young is the Core R&D Program Director for the Consumer and Infrastructure Solutions Division at The Dow Chemical Company. In this role, she is responsible for leading the innovation portfolio for Energy & Water, Electronic Materials, Building & Construction, Coatings, and Consumer Care. Prior to this role, she was the Growth Technologies R&D Director for the Dow Water and Process Solutions business unit. She is a member of the Dow Corporate Water Strategy Team, and has been actively involved in leading technology programs to address the water-energy nexus and advance Dow’s 2025 sustainability goal to advance a circular economy through breakthrough water reuse partnerships. She is currently the co-chair for AIChE’s International Society for Water Solutions and past advisory board member for several water industry and research organizations.Read more