News Archives

Sep 2014
Congratulations to Dr Garrett Swindlehurst who defended his PhD thesis. He was co-advised by Professor Efie Kokkoli and Professor Klearchos Papas. He is on his way to a job at Praxair.
Dec 2013
Congratulations to Dr Ana Torres who defended her PhD thesis. She was co-advised by Professor Daoutidis and she is on her way to Boston for a postoctoral study with Professor George Stephanopoulos. 
Congratulations to Dr Berna Topuz who after spending two years in our group as a Tübitak scholar and postdoctoral fellow, she is joining Ankara University as an Assistant Professor.
Oct 2013
Kumar Varoon Agrawal and Xueyi Zhang defended their PhD theses. Kumar will stay with us until next spring as a postdoctoral fellow to continue his work on zeolite membranes while Xueyi is on his way to a faculty position at Penn State through UC Berkeley (postdoctoral fellow with Professor Enrique Iglesia).
Oct 2013
Professor Gies completes his stay as George T. Piercy Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2013. Since last August, Professor Hermann Gies presented lectures at our group meetings and at the CEMS department and interacted with several group members on ongoing projects. We thank him for visiting CEMS and our group, for generously giving us his valuable advise and we look forward to continued interactions.
Sep 2013
Professor Michael Tsapatsis receives the 2013 Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association. Professor Michael Tsapatsis of CEMS and Jurgen Caro, professor of physical chemistry at Leibniz University received the 2013 Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association (IZA) for their pioneering work on the processing of zeolite and MOF nanostructures enabling separation membranes. Caro and Tsapatsis were presented with the prize at the Moscow International Zeolite Conference in July, in front of approximately one thousand conference participants. Established in 1983, the Breck Award is named for Donald W. Breck of the Union Carbide Corporation who was a major figure in the early development of synthetic molecular sieves and one of the founders of the IZA. During this meeting Tsapatsis was elected as IZA council member.
Sep 2013
Professor Michael Tsapatsis receives the 2013 AIChE Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research. The Institute Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied chemical engineering research. Tsapatsis is recognized for breakthrough contributions in the design, synthesis and applications of molecular sieve membranes, adsorbents and hierarchical catalysts. He will be presented with the award at the Institute Honor's Ceremony, held during the AIChE's 2013 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California in November. Prior winners from the department include Rutherford Aris (1969) and Lanny Schmidt (1993). 
Aug 2013
Kumar Varoon Agrawal receives the 2013 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award. This is a highly competitive award with a global request for nominations. The award will be presented at the Separations Division's Awards Dinner on November 4, 2013 at the AIChE Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
Nov 2012
Welcome new students! The Tsapatsis group welcomes new graduate students Yasmine Guefrachi, Prashant Kumar, Nitish Mittal, Mansi Shah, Meera Shete and Wanlu Zhang.
Nov 2012
Congratulations Dr. Mallon and Dr. Atchison
Elizabeth Mallon and Nicole Atchison successfully defended their Ph.D. theses.
Aug 2012
CEMS catalyst synthesis highlighted by the Department of Energy. The discovery of a new method to fabricate hierarchical zeolite catalysts (first made by graduate student Xueyi Zhang), which was recently reported by a CEMS team and collaborators, is highlighted by the US Department of Energy among Stories of Discovery and Innovation. The work, which was reported in the journal Science¸ was supported by the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, a DOE Office of Science Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) led by the University of Delaware, in which U of M is a major partner, the Abu Dhabi–Minnesota Institute for Research Excellence, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. Zhang, X, et al. "Synthesis of self-pillared zeolite nanosheets by repetitive branching."
Aug 2012
Kumar Varoon Agrawal Participates in DOE Workshop on Membranes. DOE workshop on membrane focused on industrialization of membrane technology. DOE believes that inorganic and inorganic/polymer hybrid membrane has the best chances of success for industrialization. Kumar Varoon discussed the success story of thin nanosheet membrane which has a lot of potential for commercialization. He and many other from industry, national labs and academia brainstormed on the barriers to commercialization and possible actions to circumvent those barriers.
Aug 2012
Xueyi Zhang presents talks on self-pillared zeolite nanosheets in China and Japan
Xueyi Zhang presented seminars on “Synthesis of Self-Pillared Zeolite Nanosheets by Repetitive Branching” (Science 2012, 336, 1684) at Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), China University of Petroleum (Beijing, China), and the International Symposium on Zeolites and Microporous Crystals (ZMPC) 2012 (Hiroshima, Japan). The paper is freely available through the publication page.
Jul 2012
U helps develop catalyst that may lower gas prices. Nanosheets — thin layers of silicon the size of a molecule — stacked like a house of cards could be the cure for rising gas prices. Read more...
Belated welcome to Cory Thomas, Zheyu Jiang, Kevin Nguenkam, Wey Yi Foo and Keoni Sanny Jun 2012
During the spring semester and summer, Tsapatsis group was bolstered by undergraduate students. Cory Thomas, Zheyu Jiang, Kevin Nguenkam, Wey Yi Foo and Keoni Sanny are working on developing high performance nanosheet membranes, characterizing membrane stability and catalysis for producing biofuel.
Jun 2012
Belated welcome to Dr. Berna Topuz. Dr. Berna Topuz joined Tsapatsis group as a postdoctoral associate after finishing her phD in chemical engineering from Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey. Her work in Tsapatsis group focuses on high performance nanosheet membrane.
Apr 2012
Congratulations Dr. Stoeger! Jared Stoeger successfully defended his PhD thesis on the preparation, characterization, and processing of oriented polycrystalline zeolite and aluminophosphate membranes. He will be joining Intel Corporation as a Process Technology Development Engineer.
Jan 2012
Congratulations Dr. Lee! Pyungsoo Lee defended his PhD thesis and will join Oak Ridge National laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow working on membrane technologies. During his PhD, Dr. Lee designed a high performance zeolite membrane using sub-40 nm zeolite suspensions.
Jan 2012
Congratulations Prof. Liu! Dongxia starts her academic career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.
Jan 2012
Breakthrough of the Year! Zeolites were runner up for breakthrough of the year by Science journal. Nanosheet paper was among the four cited papers in this field.
Jan 2012
Professor Tsapatsis is elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by the AAAS Council. Each year the Council elects members whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished."
Nov 2011
Welcome, New Graduate Students! Maryam Khaleel, Neel Rangnekar, Dandan Xu and Han Zhang join Tsapatsis group starting November 2011. A very warm welcome to them.
Oct 2011
Nanosheet Article in Science Now Freely Available. The article "Dispersible Exfoliated Zeolite Nanosheets and Their Application as a Selective Membrane" published in Science magazine is now freely available through the Featured Articles in the publication page.
Oct 2011
Zeolite nanosheet featured on local TV news. Benefits of zeolite nanosheets and its membrane was featured in the local TV news (KSTP TV, channel 5).
Oct 2011
Smoothing Out Zeolite Nanosheet Synthesis: US scientists have overcome a significant hurdle in the production of zeolite nanosheets, which should make these versatile materials simpler to synthesise. Zeolites nanosheets could potentially be used for a wide range of applications such as sieves that can separate molecules based on their size and catalytic membranes.
Aug 2011
Congratulations Dr. Brewer! Damien Brewer recently graduated from the group. He was co-advised by Professor Satish Kumar. Dr. Brewer was studying convective assembly of nanoparticles to form uniform, well packed structures. At the start of his studies, he was co-advised by Professor L.E. (Skip) Scriven.
Aug 2011
Zeolites with Hierarchical Pore Structure by Hydrothermal Synthesis. Zeolites with hierarchical pore structure is desirable for molecular traffic control for improved catalysis and separations. It is now achieved by the conventional hydrothermal synthesis as reported by Chen et al. in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Aug 2011
Introducing Sub-40 nm Zeolite Nanoparticle Suspension. In the "Journal of the American Chemical Society", Lee et al. report the synthesis and characterization of sub-40 nm MFI nanoparticle suspensions and demonstrated its utility as a high performance zeolite membrane.
Oct 2010
Congratulations Dr. Lee, Dr. Kumar and Dr. Ranjan! Alex J. Lee, Sandeep Kumar and Rajiv Ranjan recently graduated from our group. Dr. Lee was studying convective assembly of nanoparticles to form uniform, well packed structures. Apart from academics, he conceptualized and designed this webpage. Dr. Kumar, co-advised by Professor Lee Penn, was investigating the growth mechanism of zeolites. Dr. Ranjan was studying the fabrication of metal organic framework membranes and adsorbtion & separation of biofuels.
Aug 2009
RTP Article in "Science" freely available. The article "Grain Boundary Defect Elimination in a Zeolite Membrane by Rapid Thermal Processing" published in Science magazine is now freely available through the publications page.
Jul 2009
Membrane Breaks Through Performance Barrier. Engineers have developed a new method for creating high-performance membranes from crystal sieves called zeolites; the method could increase the energy efficiency of chemical separations up to 50 times over conventional methods and enable higher production rates read more...
Jun 2008
Prof. Tsapatsis receives George W. Taylor Award. Professor Tsapatsis received the George W. Taylor Award for 2008, granted by the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology. The award was established in 1982 to recognize younger faculty members who have shown outstanding ability in research.
Nov 2007
Prof. Tsapatsis receives Charles M. A. Stine Award, which is bestowed annually to a leading researcher in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of materials science and engineering. The Stine Award is sponsored by E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co.
Sep 2007
On the cover of Langmuir: "Silica Nanoparticle Crystals and Ordered Coatings Using Lys-Sil and a Novel Coating Device" appears in Langmuir, The ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids 23(20) (see publications) featuring cover art submitted by the authors. Whether or not by accident, the cover's main colors are maroon and gold--our school colors!
Apr 2006
Crystal Sieves, Born Anew! In NSF news "...Now, however, a team of chemists, engineers and mathematicians, using some of the most advanced microscopes in the research arsenal, has uncovered new details for the step-by-step evolution from molecular soup to carefully engineered zeolite crystal..."
Feb 2006
Sowing The Seeds Of Oriented Films! In Chemical & Engineering News, "...Zeolite films in particular hold promise for practical applications, but their fabrication imposes challenges, including control of thickness, grain size, and pore orientation," says Michael Tsapatsis, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities..."