EEE Research

This semester's research spotlight previews Dr. Inez Hua's Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program that launches this summer that will give high school teachers a hands on researched based experience to help strengthen their teaching curriculum. We also introduce Dr. Zhi (George) Zhou's work on microbial solutions to environmental challenges.

Inez Hua  

Dr. Inez Hua is launching a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program this summer that focuses on sustainable electronics. This program will be offered each summer over a three-year period, starting with summer 2016, and host 11 high school STEM teachers from the United States each summer for six weeks.

Teachers will choose the campus (Purdue or Tuskegee) at which they will participate. Teacher activities during the summer are divided into three phases. Phase 1 (the first week) will comprise an orientation week that will include an introduction to engineering, training in research methods and ethics, an introduction to best practices in teaching engineering and practices for teaching sustainability concepts in engineering contexts, and cohort-building.

Phase 2 will be focused on the teachers’ development as researchers in their respective research teams. Discussions will include basing the curriculum on science standards.  Additional teacher activities include field trips to facilities related to the theme of sustainable electronics, and integration with an Industrial Advisory board.

Phase 3 will bring all of the teachers together at Purdue for final presentations, discussions and summative evaluations and closure.

Following the six-week program, research mentors will maintain contact and provide support to teachers as they implement the high school curricula during the 2016-2017 school year.

For more information, please visit


Zhi (George) Zhou

EEE Professor Dr. Zhi (George) Zhou is focusing his research on environmental microbiology and developing microbial solutions to environmental challenges. Dr. Zhou is studying microbial community compositions and functions of antibiotic resistant bacteria in engineered and natural systems and evaluating the potential health risks of trace levels of antibiotics. The development, persistence, and horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes will provide useful insights for the management of water distribution, wastewater discharge, water reclamation, and land application of biosolids. He is also working on microbial electrosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide and water to produce biofuels, which is a simulation of oxygenic photosynthesis but avoids the energy-intensive biomass extraction process. Additionally, he is developing electrochemical filters for water treatment, which are potentially highly cost-effective due to the mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, and electronic conductivity of carbon nanotube and graphene membranes. His research group consists of Ph.D. students: Mian Wang and Zhe Sun and Master Students: Sol Park and Huanqi He.