Our Team

Interested in joining our team? Learn more here.


Name Project Role Institution Discipline
Rakesh Agrawal Director Purdue University Chemical Engineering
Mitch Tuinstra Co-Director Purdue University Agronomy
Peter Bermel Thrust Lead Purdue University Electrical Engineering
Sylvie Brouder Thrust Co-Lead Purdue University Agronomy
Nathalie Duval-Couetil Chair, Assessment & Dev. Committee Purdue University Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Margaret Gitau Thrust Lead Purdue University Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Michael Harris Chair, DERR Board
& Thrust Co-lead
Purdue University Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Education
Juan Sesmero Thrust Lead Purdue University Agricultural Economics
Aavudai Anandhi Swamy Site Leader &
Thrust Co-Lead
Florida A&M
Biological Systems Engineering
Gang Chen Florida A&M
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Name Project Role Institution
Melissa LaGuire Program Coordinator Purdue University
Chris Murray Project Manager Purdue University

Graduate Student Trainees

Name Institution Discipline
Elizabeth Grubbs Purdue University Electrical Engineering
Shelby Gruss Purdue University Agronomy
Val Z. Schull Purdue University Agricultural and Biological Engineering
David Rokke Purdue University Chemical Engineering
Kyle Weideman Purdue University Chemical Engineering
Jonathan Turnley Purdue University Chemical Engineering
Apurva Pradhan Purdue University Chemical Engineering
Anna Murray Purdue University Chemical Engineering
Chloe Henson Purdue University Agricultural Economics
Daniel Hayes Purdue University Chemical Engineering

Graduate Student Associates

Name Institution Discipline
Varsha Purdue University Chemical Engineering

NRT Team Alumni

Name Institution Discipline Current Activity
Ryan Ellis Purdue University Chemical Engineering Senior Scientist I at AbbVie
Yiru Li Purdue University Chemical Engineering Process Research Engineer at Sinopec
Allison Perna Purdue University Electrical Engineering Graduate Research Intern at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Advisory Boards

External Advisory Board

Naoki Abe IBM
Klaus Koehler Corteva
Timothy Hebrink 3M
William Tumas National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Erick Fernandes The World Bank
Don Villwock Villwock Farms

Internal Advisory Board

Melba Crawford Purdue University
Tomas Diaz de la Rubia Purdue University
Bernie Engel Purdue University
Carol Handwerker Purdue University
Sangtae Kim Purdue University
Karen Plaut Purdue University
Ronald Turco Purdue University
Timothy Moore Florida A&M University
Robert Taylor Florida A&M University
David Jackson Florida A&M University
Carl Goodman Florida A&M University

Diversity, Engagement, Retention, and Recruitment Board

Michael Harris (Chair) Purdue University
Pamala Morris Purdue University
Virginia Womack Purdue University
Beth Holloway Purdue University
Audeen Fentiman Purdue University
Linda S. Lee Purdue University
Shonda Bernadin Florida A&M University
Charmane Caldwell Florida A&M University