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Summer 2021

Spring 2021

  • David Rokke’s poster presentation is nominated for the Best Poster Award at the 2021 Spring MRS Meeting and is selected as the best poster presentation in the Thin-Film Compound Semiconductor Photovoltaics Symposium at the 2021 Spring MRS Meeting, earning him the Symposium Award. Congratulations, David!
  • David Rokke and Kyle Weideman’s submissions to the 2021 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference are selected for poster presentations
  • Apurva Pradhan and Jonathan Turnley’s submissions to the 2021 Spring MRS Meeting are selected for oral presentations, and David Rokke’s submission is selected for a poster presentation
  • Tony Joseph Mathew and Zewei Chen both gave oral presentations at the 2021 AIChE Spring Meeting
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Swapnil Dattatray Deshmukh received the Outstanding Research Award 2021 from the College of Engineering. Congratulations, Swapnil!
  • Separations Research Group Member Jose Adrian Chavez Velasco, Prof. Mohit Tawarmalani, and Prof. Rakesh Agrawal’s manuscript “Systematic Analysis Reveals Thermal Separations Are Not Necessarily Most Energy Intensive” was published in Joule.

Fall 2020

  • Energy Systems Research Group member Zewei Chen received the Bill Murray Fellowship for 2020-21 academic year. Congratulations Zewei!
  • Separations Research Group Members Tony Joseph Mathew, Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty, Prof. Mohit Tawarmalani, and Prof. Rakesh Agrawal’s manuscript “Quickly Assess Distillation Columns” was published in Chemical Engineering Progress.
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Swapnil Deshmukh won the Second Place Award in the 2020 AIChE Graduate Student Award Competition in the Inorganic Chemistry Area. Congratulations Swapnil!
  • Separations Research Group member Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty successfully defended his thesis. Congratulations Radhakrishna!

Summer 2020

  • Tony Joseph Mathew received first place for his Oral Presentation in the Energy and Process Intensification & Biotechnology category, and won the Best Overall award, at the 29th Annual Symposium organized by Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congratulations, Tony!
  • David Rokke received first place for his Oral Presentation in the Material Science category at the 29th Annual Symposium organized by Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congratulations, David!
  • Solar Energy Research Group members David Rokke and Swapnil Deshmukh’s submissions to the 2020 Annual AIChE conference are accepted for an oral presentation and two Graduate Student Award Oral Presentations respectively.
  • Separations Research Group member Jose Adrian Chavez Velasco successfully defended his thesis. Congratulations Adrian!
  • Prof. Rakesh Agrawal and Separations Research Group Member Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty’s manuscript “Misconceptions about Efficiency and Maturity of Distillation” was published in AIChE Journal.
  • Separations Research Group member Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty is a winner of the 2020 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award in the Distillation and Absorption area. Congratulations Radhakrishna!
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Swapnil Deshmukh is a winner of the best student paper award at the 47th IEEE PVSC. Congratulations Swapnil!
  • Separations Research Group member Zewei Chen, and Prof. Rakesh Agrawal’s manuscript, “Classification and Comparison of Dividing Walls for Distillation Columns” was published in Processes.
  • Prof. Rakesh Agrawal is interviewed on the Purdue University College of Engineering’s podcast, “Sounds Like the Future” on Episode 08: Advancing Sustainability Across Disciplines. Prof. Agrawal discusses his research and interests centered around sustainability
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Swapnil Deshmukh, Kyle Weideman, and Prof. Rakesh Agrawal’s manuscript, “Analyzing and Tuning the Chalcogen–Amine–Thiol Complexes for Tailoring of Chalcogenide Syntheses” was published in Inorganic Chemistry

Spring 2020

  • Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis, Jonathan Turnley, David Rokke, Jacob Fields, Essam Alruqobah, Swapnil Deshmukh, and Prof. Rakesh Agrawal’s manuscript, “Hybrid Ligand Exchange of Cu(In,Ga)S2 Nanopartcles for Carbon Impurity Removal in Solution Processed Photovoltaics” was published in Chemistry of Materials
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Essam Alruqobah’s and Prof. Rakesh Agrawal’s manuscript, “Potassium Treatments for Solution-Processed Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 Solar Cells” was published in ACS Applied Energy Materials
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Joseph Andler successfully defended his thesis. Congratulations Joe!
  • Solar Energy Research Group members, Ryan Ellis and Swapnil Deshmukh’s submissions to IEEE’s 2020 PVSC conference were both selected for (now virtual) oral presentations
  • Solar Energy Research Group member, David Rokke, is accepted to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Hands on Photovoltaic Experience (HOPE) 2020 program, a week long on-site educational program with field experts at NREL
  • Group member Tony Mathew received the 2020 Estus H. and Vashti L. Magoon Award for Excellence in Teaching by the College of Engineering for his teaching assistantship of CHE660: Chemical Reaction Engineering during the Spring 2019 semester
  • Prof. Rakesh Agrawal and alumni Xianyi Hu are co-authors of a newly published book, “Sustainable Photovoltaics,” which is an overview of various research projects that were a part of the SERIIUS funding network
  • Group members Ryan Ellis, Swapnil Deshmukh, and Zewei Chen all receive $1000 travel grants from the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering for conference travel
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Swapnil Deshmukh’s submissions to the 2020 Spring MRS conference are accepted for oral presentations

Fall 2019


Summer 2019

  • Ryan Ellis received first place for his Oral Presentation in the Energy and Process Intensification category at the 28th Annual Symposium organized by Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congratulations, Ryan!
  • Jose Adrian Chavez Velasco received first place for his poster in Energy and Process Intensification category at the 28th Annual Symposium organized by Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congratualtions, Adrian!
  • Prerena Prahlad, undergraduate student working with Peter Oladipupo, received ‘Top Research Poster’ award at the 2019 SURF Research Symposium. Congratulations, Prerena!
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Xianyi Hu and Scott McClary successfully defend their theses. Congratulations, Xianyi and Scott!
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Kyle Weidman’s abstracts for the 2019 AIChE conference were accepted for an Awards Session Oral Presentation and Oral presentation respectively
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Scott McClary and David Rokke were nominated for the best student presentation award and best poster award respectively at the 46th IEEE PVSC
  • Yiru Li presented an oral talk and a poster at the 12th Natural Gas Conversion Symposium, San Antonio, Texas

Spring 2019

  • Solar Energy Research Group member Kyle Weideman receives Purdue University’s Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award for outstanding work as a teaching assistant for CHE378
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Scott McClary, Ryan Ellis, David Rokke, and Joseph Andler’s submissions to the 2019 PVSC in Chicago are accepted for oral presentation, and three poster presentations respectively
  • Prof. Rakesh Agrawal is recognized at a National Medal and Patent Wall unveil in Purdue’s Armstrong Hall
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Essam AlRuqobah and alumini Steven McLeod publish a paper titled, “Liquid assisted grain growth in solution processed Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2,” in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Scott McClary and Brian Graeser publish a paper titled, “A Cu3PS4 nanparticle hold selctive layer for efficient inverted perovskite solar cells” in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Swapnil Deshmukh and alumini Caleb Miskin publish a paper titled, “Lead Chalcogenide Nanoparticles and Their Size-Controlled Self-Assemblies for Thermoelectric and Photovoltaic Applications” in ACS Applied Nanomaterials
  • Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty was awarded the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Fall 2018

  • Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Xianyi Hu give oral presentations at the 2018 Fall MRS conference in Boston and are featured in the Davidson School of Engineering Newsletter
  • Congratulations to Scott McClary on securing 3rd position for his talk in ‘Graduate Student Award Finalists’ (Electronic and photonic materials) session at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018.
  • Prof. Agrawal gave an invited talk titled “Electronic and Photonic Materials: Industry and Academia” at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018.
  • Prof. Agrawal gave an invited talk titled “FEW Nexus: Emerging Chemical Engineering Innovations from Microscale to Complex, Interconnected Systems” at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018.
  • Group members Dr. Zheyu Jiang, Yiru Li, Tony Mathew, Scott McClary, David Rokke and Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty gave oral presentations at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jiang for successfully defending his PhD Thesis titled “Multicomponent Distillation – Mathematical Modeling, Global Optimization, and Process Intensification”.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Ridha for successfully defending his PhD thesis titled “Transformation of Biomass and Shale Gas Carbon to Fuels and Chemicals”.
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Ryan Ellis completes a four month visiting graduate student position at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Melbourne, Australia where he worked with researchers on slot die coating of Cu(In,Ga)S2 nanocrystal inks
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Brian Graeser’s paper titled, “Pure phase synthesis of Cu3PS4 and Cu6PS5Cl for semiconductor applications” is published in RSC advances
  • Solar Energy group member Scott McClary and Solar group alumnus Bobby Balow’s paper titled, “Role of annealing atmosphere on the crystal structure and composition of tetrahedrite–tennantite alloy nanoparticles” is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C
  • Energy Systems Modeling group member Yiru Li received the Women in Engineering Program Travel Grant
  • Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Xianyi Hu’s submissions to the 2018 Fall MRS Conference are accepted for oral presentations
  • Solar Energy Research Group member Scott McClary is recognized at the Chemical Engineering GSO Graduate Research Symposium for best overall talk
  • Solar Energy Research Group members David Rokke and Kyle Weidman are recognized at the Chemical Engineering GSO Graduate Research Symposium for Best Poster in the Energy and Process Intensification Category

Summer 2018

  • Group members David Rokke, Scott McClary, Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty, Yiru Li, Zheyu Jiang and Tony Matthew’s submissions to the 2018 AIChE Conference are accepted for oral presentations
  • Prof. Rakesh Agrawal delivered plenary lecture on “Energy Systems Engineering for Emerging Solar Economy” at the 13th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering (PSE) 2018
  • Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty and Yiru Li presented their research at PSE 2018
  • Congratulations to Zheyu Jiang for receiving the 2018 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award
  • Congratulations to Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty for receiving PSE 2018 Young Researcher Award

Spring 2018

  • Professor Rakesh Agrawal and the NSF NRT research project are featured in an article by Forbes
  • Congratulations to Solar Energy Research group alumni Charles (Chuck) Hages for accepting a faculty position at the University of Florida
  • Congratulations to Solar Energy Research group alumni Charles (Chuck) Hages for receiving the Citation Award from the Purdue University Davidson School of Chemical Engineering
  • Congratulations to Scott McClary for receiving the 2018-2019 Bisland Dissertation Fellowship
  • Congratulations to Yiru Li for passing her Preliminary Examination
  • The Solar Energy Research Group and Energy Systems Research Group welcome Kyle Weideman and Zewei Chen respectively

Fall 2017

  • Congratulations to Essam AlRuqobah, Swapnil Deshmukh, and Ryan Ellis for passing their Preliminary Examinations
  • 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
  • Prof. Rakesh Agrawal was selected by the executive editors of Chemical Engineering Science to give the prestigious Denckwerts Memorial Lecture titled “Challenges and Opportunities for Chemical Engineering in an Emerging Solar Economy” at the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, Barcelona, Spain (October 2017).

Summer 2017

  • Swapnil Deshmukh and Ryan Ellis attend the Hands on Photovoltaic Experience (HOPE) educational conference and present their work on solution processed CIGSSe
  • 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 Enargite 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”
  • Congratulations to Dr. Mark Koeper for accepting a job at Intel in Portland, OR. Best of Luck in Industry Mark
  • Congratulations to Dr. Xin Zhao for accepting a job at Roche in Pleasanton, CA. Best of Luck in Industry Xin
  • Congratulations to Dr. Caleb Miskin for accepting a job at ASM in Pheonix, AZ. Best of Luck in Industry Caleb

    Spring 2017

  • Emre Gencer and Caleb Miskin paper titled, “Directing Solar Photons to Sustainably Meet Food, Energy, and Water Needs” is published in Nature Scientific Reports
  • Congratulation to Dr. Mark Koeper, Dr. Xin Zhao, Dr. Brian Graeser, and Dr. Steven McLeod for successfully defending their PhD theses
  • Congratulations to Taufik Ridha for winning the 2017 Undergraduate Award for Teaching Excellence in a Senior Course
  • Congratulations to Scott McClary for passing his preliminary examination
  • Dr. Caleb Miskin was selected as the 2017 winner of the Faculty Lecturship Award for outstanding scholarly research and publications
  • The Solar Energy Research Group welcomes new student, David Rokke
  • Dr. Bobby Ballow and Dr. Caleb Miskin’s paper “Synthesis and Characterization of Cu3(Sb1-xAsx)S4 Semiconduction Nanocrystal Alloys with Tunable Properties for Optoelectronic Device Applications” published in Chemistry of Materials

    Fall 2016

  • Ryan Ellis, Essam AlRuqobah, Swapnil Deshmukh, Yiru Li, and Radhakrishna T. Gooty successfully pass their qualifying exams.
  • Dr. Emre Gencer and Dr. Gautham M. Ramapriya successfully defend their theses
  • Emre Gencer is the recipient of the 2016 AIChE Sustainable Engineering Forum Student Paper Award
  • Emre Gencer is the recipient of the AIChE Process Development Student Paper Award for 2016!
  • Melissa LaGuire receives Bravo Award. Congratulations Melissa!
  • Mark Koeper and Xin Zhao Receive First Conference Papers at the PVSC
  • Dr. Caleb Miskin successfully defends thesis
  • Scott McClary receives a honorable mention for the NSF fellowship
  • Robert Boyne and Mark Koeper receive purdue presidential safety award
  • Emre Gencer receives the highest award recognizing graduate student teachers: The 2016 Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award
  • The Solar Energy Research Group welcomes new students, Joespeh Andler, Essam AlRuqobah, Swapnil Deshmukh, and Ryan Ellis
  • The Modeling Research Groups welcomed Yiru Li and Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty

Press News

Prof. Rakesh Agrawal writes a “Behind the Paper” blog post for Nature Sustainability describing the motivation behind the recently published paper

“In December 2015, my wife, Manju, and I visited the majestic Munnar Hills in the southern Indian state of Kerala. We were awestruck with the serene beauty that surrounded us. Wherever our eyes could gaze, the hillside was covered with beautifully manicured tea plants. While taking in the view, a fleeting question crossed my mind – how will people living in these hills meet their energy needs in a renewable world? There was no empty land to install photovoltaic (PV) modules to harvest solar energy as electricity. Shadow casting PV modules could not be installed atop the tea plants – their shadow would deprive the tea plants underneath of solar photons, and likely impede the growth of these plants. I quickly found myself reenchanted with the natural beauty that surrounded us, and the thought of PV modules faded away. “

Prof. Rakesh Agrawal and Prof. Mitch Tunistra write a second blog post on Medium discussing the concept of Aglectric Farming

Solar power is poised to become the world’s primary energy source, but a land shortage in most regions of the world will be the next hurdle blocking progress. Purdue researchers have found a novel way to knock down the barrier. The race for energy production from renewable resources is in full swing. The good news: The cost of solar energy production has decreased so significantly that it is now viably competing against natural gas. Unfortunately, there is bad news, too, which is that the world doesn’t have sufficient unused land for solar production. Our research at Purdue develops a workaround to solve this challenge.”

Prof. Rakesh Agrawal and Prof. Mitch Tunistra write a blog post on Medium featuring the NRT team and their research along with the new Nature Sustainability publication

“Life teems on earth in vast variety and across a wide geographic distribution, just as it did eons ago with ancient plants and organisms. Fossil fuel energy sources formed from the decay of that primeval life, and just as it was spread unevenly across the planet then, the natural availability of these fossil resources is limited to certain regions of the world today as well. This has led to an economic order where most countries — constituting a major fraction of the human population — rely on oil, coal and natural gas that must be imported over long distances.”

Professor Rakesh Agrawal and the NSF NRT Project are Featured in an Article by Forbes

“A Purdue University professor is developing a way for farmers to capture solar energy without blocking the sunlight their crops need. The solar collectors being developed by Chemical Engineering Professor Rakesh Agrawal and his colleagues would capture infrared radiation for energy production while letting visible light pass through to crops. “We are going to build this structure on agricultural land. We have an agronomist who will grow corn and we will monitor the land and make sure we can produce electricity and grow food at the same time,” he said in Chicago Wednesday. “The day we figure out how to have food and energy coexist together, I think it is perfect.””

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

“Using different parts of sunlight’s spectrum to produce crops, generate electricity, collect heat and purify water could provide food, energy and water resources for the world’s growing population, a team led by an Indian origin scientist has proposed. He led a team which proposes a system that would use the entire solar spectrum to maximize resource production from a given land area. The concept, described in the journal Scientific Reports, works by separating and harvesting the three specific segments of the solar spectrum that are best suited to facilitate the production of food, energy and clean water.”

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

Dr. Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, is principal investigator (PI) of a research project awarded funding as part of the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program. Seventeen projects received a total of $51 million to develop bold, new, potentially transformative models for graduate education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The new NRT awards included funding for Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems (SFEWS). Dr. Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University, and Dr. Aavudai Anandhi Swamy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Professor Rakesh Agrawal Recognized at Inventors Recognition

During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization officials reported a record-breaking 376 invention and copyright disclosures, 236 licensing deals, 151 U.S. and global patents issued, 521 global patent applications and $5.45 million in royalty income. They also reported a record 27 startups based on Purdue intellectual property launched in the fiscal year. Prof. Agrawal was among those recognized.

Professor Agrawal Wins ACS Award in Separations Science and Technology

Professor Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, was recently selected as the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s 2017 ACS Award in Separations Science and Technology.

This award recognizes the development of novel applications with major impacts and/or the practical implementations of modern advancements in the field of separation science and technology. It is sponsored by Waters Corp.

Professor Agrawal will be honored at the ACS Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in conjunction with the 253rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

‘Hydricity’ Concept Uses Solar Energy to Produce Power Round-the-Clock

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. “Researchers are proposing a new hydricity concept aimed at creating a sustainable economy by not only generating electricity with solar energy but also producing and storing hydrogen from superheated water for round-the-clock power production.

The proposed hydricity concept represents a potential breakthrough solution for continuous and efficient power generation, said Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University’s Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, who worked with chemical engineering doctoral student Emre Gencer and other researchers. The concept provides an exciting opportunity to envision and create a sustainable economy to meet all the human needs including food, chemicals, transportation, heating and electricity.

Dr. Rakesh Agrawal Receives National Medal of Technology and Innovation

President Barack Obama congratulates Purdue’s Rakesh Agrawal (left) during the presentation of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in Washington, D.C. The award is the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the president of the United States. (Photos by Ryan K. Morris Photography)