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TEAM

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Spring 2023

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Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio (she/her)

Associate Professor

Principal Investigator

aalbaru@clemson.edu

Postdoctoral research.  Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015).

Ph.D. Applied Physical Chemistry.  Universidad Autónoma de Madrid & ICP-CSIC, Spain (2011).

B.S. Chemical Engineering.  Universidad de Málaga, Spain (2007).

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Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Málaga, Spain in 2007. She then moved to the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain to pursue her doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Manuel López Granados. Her Ph.D. focused on base and acid catalysis for biodiesel production from vegetable oils. As a doctoral student, she enjoyed two short research stays in Brazil and the Netherlands. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Alba-Rubio joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to conduct postdoctoral research with Prof. James Dumesic and Prof. Manos Mavrikakis. She focused on the controlled synthesis of metal, bimetallic and bifunctional catalysts for reactions of interest in biomass conversion and the direct synthesis of H2O2 from H2 and O2. In 2015, she joined the faculty at the University of Toledo, and in 2021, she moved to Clemson University as an associate professor. Her current research interests involve the rational design and synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts to provide fuels and materials sustainably and the development of nanomaterials for sensing applications. She currently serves as a director of the AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division (CRE) and member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Energy & Fuels journal. In her spare time, you can find her listening to music, dancing, crafting, reading, or playing with her dogs and cats.

  • 2023 - I&EC Early Career Fellow (Industrial & Engineering Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society).

  • 2022 - Catalysis & Science Technology Emerging Investigators.

  • 2022 - Energy & Fuels Rising Stars.

  • 2021 - Nanoscale Emerging Investigators. ​

  • 2020 - I&EC Research Class of Influential Researchers.

  • 2019 - UToledo College of Engineering Excellence in Supervision of Undergraduate Research Award.

  • 2019 - NSF CAREER Award for "Dual Function Materials for Capture and Conversion of CO2 into Methanol and Higher Alcohols."

  • 2018 - UToledo President's Award for Outstanding Contributions in Scholarship and Creative Activity.

  • 2018 - Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship to attend the first Gordon Conference. 

  • 2010 - Scholarship from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) to a research stay in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. 

  • 2009 - Scholarship from the Federal University of Ceará to do a research stay in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering. Fortaleza, Brazil.

  • 2006 - Undergraduate Research Scholarship from the Spanish Government to conduct research in the Dept. of Inorganic Chemistry, Crystallography, and Mineralogy at the University of Málaga, Spain.

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Dr. Francielle Candian Firmino Marcos

Postdoctoral Researcher

fcandia@clemson.edu

Dr. Francielle Candian Firmino Marcos is a Latin woman scientist. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Federal University of Lavras, Brazil in 2010, and the Regional Council of Chemistry recognized her as the best student. She then moved to the São Carlos Institute of Chemistry in São Paulo, Brazil, to pursue her master's and doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Elisabete M. Assaf, focusing on heterogeneous catalysis for hydrogen, methanol, and dimethyl ether production. During her Ph.D., she taught physical chemistry as a teaching assistant. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Marcos joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of São Carlos and the University of São Paulo to conduct postdoctoral research with Prof. Jose Mansur Assaf, Prof. Elisabete M. Assaf, and Prof. Reinaldo Giudici, including a study abroad at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, associated with Dr. José A. Rodriguez group. She focused on the chemistry of carbon dioxide to produce methanol via hydrogenation. In 2022, she joined Clemson University as a postdoctoral research associate under the supervision of Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio. Her current research interests lie in exploring scientific solutions for global sustainability challenges, specifically via heterogeneous catalysis for CO2 capture and conversion. Currently, she also serves as a peer reviewer for RSC Advances and the Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, working out, shopping, watching TV, listening to music, or exploring new places.

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Sai Teja Nekkanti

Ph.D. student

snekkan@g.clemson.edu

Sai Teja was born in India. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Sri Venkateswara University, India in 2020. As a part of his undergraduate curriculum, he pursued two industrial internships in his second and third years. His first internship was with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Visakhapatnam where he studied a working diesel hydrotreating unit to produce ultra-low sulfur diesel. Then, he performed a whole plant mass balance in the production of diamino stilbene disulfonic acid during his second internship at Deepak Nitrite Ltd. After graduating, he started his research journey as a technical assistant under the supervision of Dr. Sunil Kumar Thamida at the Indian Institute of Technology, Tirupati. His work primarily focused on improving the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation reactions to produce bioethanol. He was involved in the commissioning of a pilot plant and lignocellulosic pretreatment studies. He went on to work at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras under the supervision of Dr. Preeti Aghalayam and Dr. Jithin John Varghese on a project for on-board NOutilization in automobiles exhaust. He was responsible for the design and fabrication of the oxidation reactor followed by conducting experiments on the utilization of exhaust gases. Currently, Sai Teja is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University. Under the supervision of Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio, he is working on carbon capture and utilization technologies.

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Franchesca Hauck

Ph.D. student

franchh@g.clemson.edu

Franchesca Hauck is from Peachtree Corners, GA. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton in 2022. She also received a Minor in Computer Science. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in a campus-sponsored co-op program where she worked as an RFID applications engineer with Avery Dennison for two terms. She also participated in faculty-sponsored research under the direction of Dr. Joshua Heyne. Her focus was on analyzing property prediction models for sustainable aviation fuels. Currently, Franchesca is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University under the supervision of Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio. Her research focuses on carbon dioxide capture and conversion. In her spare time, you can find Franchesca reading, watching TV, playing video games, or trying different local coffee shops.

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Nimasha Jayasinghe

Undergraduate student

Nimasha Jayasinghe is an undergraduate studying chemical engineering 

with a concentration in biomolecular engineering. She enjoys doing research and working in the lab and hopes to do something similar in the future. She also works in Clemson’s Light Imaging Facility, which she enjoys greatly. Her family is originally from Sri Lanka, but she was born here in the U.S. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, go hiking, paint, and work out. She started doing research in Dr. Alba-Rubio’s lab in Spring 2023 and looks forward to continuing on. 

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Tejasvi Joshi

Undergraduate student

Tejasvi Joshi is a sophomore chemical engineering student from Greenville, SC. She chose to go into chemical engineering because she wanted a versatile field where she could work in various industries, from producing semiconductors to producing vaccines. At Clemson University, she is an officer of the Society of Women Engineers and the professional head of the Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority. She joined the Alba-Rubio research group to understand the practical applications of chemical engineering. In her free time, Tejasvi likes to listen to music, watch movies, or hang out with her friends.

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Laura Donahue

Undergraduate student

Laura Donahue is a junior chemical engineering student from Atlanta, GA. She is excited to gain new experience and apply chemical engineering concepts by joining the Alba-Rubio research group. Laura is a member of the Clemson chapters of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Sigma Kappa sorority. In her free time, Laura enjoys working out, crocheting, reading, and spending time with friends. 

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Ashton Poole

Undergraduate student

Soon

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Evan Jordan

Undergraduate student

Soon

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Whitney Guillot

Undergraduate student

Soon

Alumni

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