Current Team Members

Dr. Jonathan Curtis - Scientific Director

Office: 3-60D SAB
Phone: (780) 492-6364

Personal WebPage

Dr. Yuan Yuan Zhao - Technician

Office: 3-60F SAB
Phone: (780) 492-6878

Dr. Tolibjon Omonov - Research Associate

Office: 3-60B SAB
Phone Lab: (780) 492-6878

Dr. Rami Akkad - Postdoctoral Fellow

Office: 3-60G SAB
Phone: (780) 492-6878

Ereddad Kharraz - Technician & Laboratory Manager

Office: 3-60A SAB / Lab: 5-52 SAB
Phone Lab: (780) 492-6878

Magdalena Hubmann - PhD Candidate

MSc ETH Food Science

Solvent-free architectural coatings made from plant materials for reduced air pollution and dependence on fossil fuels.

  • A fully bio-based process for reduction in curing time and viscosity in drying oils
    Ozonized lipids demonstrated up to a 70% reduction in curing time and viscosity. The functionality of these lipids can be used to tailor the properties of the dual use curing agents/reactive diluents.
  • Bio-based nanotechnology to increase the adhesive strength of UV-cured coatings
    Relaxation stresses during the near-instantaneous polymerization of UV-curable coatings significantly reduce their adhesive strength. With our award-winning technology for urethane-based photo-oligomers, unmodified cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were shown to increase the by more than 150% in the model system. (publication)
  • Visible light curing of epoxidized oil as a more durable and fast-curing alternative to drying oils
    A drying oil analogue is being developed from epoxidized plant lipids to meet the demand for both sustainability and high performance. The lipids are minimally processed which allows fast cationic photopolymerization under visible light in the presence of plant pigments as photosensitizers.
  • LinkedIn profile

Vinay Patel - PhD Candidate

MSc Industrial Chemistry (Oils, Fats & Waxes), SP University, India
MBA Troy University, Alabama, USA

Solvent-free, plant oil-based epoxy resins to complement phenol formaldehyde resins in natural fiber bio-composite, coating and adhesive applications.

  • Synthesis of solvent-free, plant oil-based bio-resins. Synthesis of bio-based curing agent mixtures that are compatible with plant oil-based epoxides. These curing agents can eliminate the use of solvents in synthesized bio-resins.
  • Use of epoxidized methyl esters as reactive diluents in the preparation of bio-resins. The viscosity of epoxides and curing agent mixtures are being reduced significantly while overall mechanical performance of bioresins improved.
  • Patent pending: low temperature curable plant-oil based bio-resins. Novel, bio-based curing agent mixtures (patent pending) and plant oil-based epoxides are being cured at low temperatures to form bio-resins. These may be used for additional applications with existing ones where low temperature curable resins are being used.
  • Additional research interests: lipid modifications and oleochemicals for food and industrial applications; oilseeds processing and oil refining: process optimization, quality control, and R&D.
  • LinkedIn Profile

Savanna Won - MSc Student

BSc Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis

  • Protein quantification. Under the supervision of Dr. Curtis & Dr. Gaenzle, I am developing LC-MS/MS-based assays to quantify proteins in sourdough bread.
  • Optimization of sourdough technology. This project has applications in monitoring the degradation of wheat allergens in sourdough.
  • My interests include the use of 'omics & separation science for elucidation of bioactive compounds and development of innovative foods for enhanced nutrition and a more sustainable planet.
  • LinkedIn profile