News and Press


Fall 2017


Prof. Rakesh Agrawal received the Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research during the 2017 AIChE National Meeting.


Swapnil Deshmukh, Zheyu Jiang, Radhakrishna Tumbalamgooty, Taufik Ridha, and Parham Mobed presented their works during the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting.


Swapnil Deshmukh is recognized at the Chemical Engineering GSO Graduate Research Symposium for Best Poster in the Materials and Nanotechnology Category

Summer 2017


Swapnil Deshmukh and Ryan Ellis attend the Hands on Photovoltaic Experience (HOPE) educational conference and present their work on solution processed CIGSSe


Prof. Agrawal’s Sustainable Full Earth Concept Recognized in News Article from DNA


Dr. Rakesh Agrawal awarded NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) funding for graduate education in STEM fields


Scott McClary and Joseph Andler’s paper titled “Solution-Processed Copper Arsenic Sulfide Thin Films for Photovoltaic Applications” is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C


Joseph Andler presents a poster at the 2017 Crystal Growth and Assembly Gordon Research Conference entitled ” Luzonite Nanoparticle to Enrgaite Grain Polymorphic Transition for Thin-film Photovoltaics”


Taufik Ridha presents a poster at the 2017 EFRC-Hub-CMS PI Meeting entitled ” Systems-Level Molecular Mapping of Biomass-derived Molecules to Target Products”


Scott McClary is nominated for the Best Student Presentation Award at the 2017 PVSC


Scott McClary gives a talk at the 2017 Photovoltaic Specialist Conference in Washington DC titled, “Fabrication of Copper Arsenic Sulfide Thin Films from Nanoparticles for Application in Solar Cells”


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Welcome to the Rakesh Agrawal Research Group Webpage


Dr. Rakesh Agrawal awarded NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) funding for graduate education in STEM fields

The NSF-wide NRT program addresses key issues in the scientific community, including educating and expanding the science and engineering workforce, broadening participation in STEM education to include traditionally underserved populations, and creating new resources at institutions that train STEM graduate students:

Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems (SFEWS): Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University, and Aavudai Anandhi Swamy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.



The Rakesh Agrawal Research Group consists of three sub-groups each focusing on different fields of research: Solar Energy (Photovoltaics), Energy Systems Engineering, and Separations Optimization.

The Solar Energy Group focuses on the fabrication of high efficiency solution processed solar cells. Using colloidal nanoparticle inks or molecular precursors, solar cells can be fabricated from solution based methods such as spin-coating, doctor blading, inkjet printing, or spray coating. The solution based method forgoes the typical high vacuum needed for semiconductor processing, potentially leading to significantly reduced manufacturing costs.

The Energy Systems Group focuses on development and optimization of processes to meet crucial societal needs, such as transportation fuel, chemicals, and electricity, primarily from renewable energy sources to enable a sustainable economy. This group also utilizes modeling to find the role of biofuels vis-a-vis other solar energy derived alternatives to propel an entire transport sector in a solar economy. Additionally work is being done on the efficient conversion of biomass to liquid fuel and maximizing liquid fuel from a given quantity of biomass.

The Separations Group focuses on developing efficient separation processes. Currently methods to synthesize and identify energy efficient distillation configurations for multi-component separation are being developed. Additional effort is being devoted to develop optimal methods for membrane separation processes.