Alumni

Are you an alumnus of the Benicewicz Group? Please send us an update by filling out our alumni contact form.

Postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and other technical personnel


2009-2010
Mahesha Herath, Ph.D. Clemson University

2010-2012
Bing Liu, Ph.D. Clemson University

1989
Floyd Klavetter, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Currently: Assistant Professor, California State University, Pomona, CA

1990-1991     

Darren Pearson, Ph.D. University of South Carolina Currently: Assistant Professor, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC

Dr. Eui-Won Choe (left) was one of the pioneers in PBI chemistry and a long-time employee of Celanese Research Co.  After a long and accomplished career at Celanese, he became a senior advisor within our group at RPI as an adjunct professor, and worked on advancing the PBI chemistry and membrane effort, mentoring many students at RPI, and showing he was still a gifted and insightful chemist in the lab.  This picture was taken while he was hiking in the Hudson Valley, NY, with Derek Benicewicz (boss's son).  Derek  also worked in the lab during his undergrad days at RPI. 

1991-1992     
Michael Mitchell, Ph.D. University of Arizona
Currently: BASF, North Carolina

1992-1993    
Elliot Douglas, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Currently: NSF Program Director, Arlington, VA

1998-1999    
Jun Yeob Lee, Ph.D. Seoul National University
Currently: Professor, Sungkyunkwan University

1999-2001    
Subbareddy Kanagasabapathy, Ph.D. National Chemical Laboratory(Pune)
Currently: Assistant VP and Head Chemical Sciences Division, Aditya Birla Science and Technology Company (Maharashtra, India)

1999-2001    
Arumagan Sudalai, Ph.D. Indian Institute of Technology
Currently: Senior Scientist, National Chemical Laboratory (Pune)

L Ramananthan and Ru ChenTwo Ph.D's from our group: L. Ramananthan (left) (a.k.a. "Ram") and Ru Chen (right) at the 2009 Asilomar meeting on fuel cell membranes.  Ram now works at Battelle and Ru at Ultracell.

2000-2003    
Lalguldi Ramanathan, Ph.D. National Chemical Laboratory (Pune)
Currently: Scientist, Battelle Labs

2001-2004    
Mohammed Nasrullah, Ph.D. Indian Institute of Technology (Madras)
Currently: Director of Polymer Research, Graphene Technologies

2000-present    
Eui-Won Choe, Ph.D.
Currently: Retired

2002-2002    
Balaji Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. University of South Carolina
Currently: India

2002-2005    
Vijjula Raghunadh, Ph.D. National Chemical Laboratory (Pune)
Currently: Research Scientist, GE, Bangalore

Seonghan YuAnother Ph.D. alum from our group, Seonghan Yu (a.k.a. "Han"), in the background, with his wife and daughter during one of our summer group outings on Lake George, NY.  Han now works at BASF Korea as Manager of Technical Sales in Organic Electronics. Previously, Hans worked at BASF Fuel Cell in Somerset, NJ where our our developments on the high temperature PBI membrane began in commercial production. 

2003-2005    
Tushar Jana, Ph.D. Indian Association for the Cultivation of India
Currently: Professor, University of Hyderabad

2003-2005    
Ru Chen, Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Currently: Scientist, Ultracell, California

2004-2006    
Bin Gu, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Currently: Development Chemist, Avery Dennison, State College, PA

2006-2008    
Seonghan Yu, Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Currently: Manager, Technical Sales, Organic Electronics, BASF New Business

2008-2009    
Yu Li  Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  Currently: Scientist, E Ink, Fremont CA

Guoqing QianGuoqing Qian, Ph.D. from our group at RPI who is now a Research Assistant Professor in our group at USC, giving a poster at the 2009 conference on fuel cell membranes in California, a.k.a. the "Asilomar" meeting.

2008-2010    
Guoqing Qian, Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Currently:  Research Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

2008-2009    
Frank Schoenberger, Ph.D. University of Stuttgart, Germany
Currently:  Fraunhofer Institute, Darmstadt, Germany

2009     
Brandon Cash, Ph.D. North Carolina State University
Currently:  BPPG, Shelby, NC

Graduate Students

2000
Ying Shen, M.S. Synthesis of Aniline Side Chain Rigid Polymers
Currently: Unknown

2002
Jiping Shao, Ph.D. Linear Liquid Crystal Polymers from Phenylene-Naphthalene Monomers
Currently: Senior Research Chemist II, PPG, Monroeville, PA

2003
Ru Chen, Ph.D. Synthesis and Characterization of Electroactive Polymers Containing Oligoaniline Side Chains

Currently: Scientist, Ultracell, Livermore, CA

Lisa XiaoLisa Xiao, a Ph.D. from our group who is now at Pall Corp. on Long Island.  Lisa formerly worked for PEMEAS (now BASF Fuel Cell) and helped commercialize the high temperature MEA based on PBI membrane, called Celtec.  In this photo, Lisa attended the Fuel Cell Seminar meeting and was showing the benefits of high temperature PEM operation.

2003
Lixiang Xiao, Ph.D. Novel Polybenzimidazole Derivatives for High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Applications
Currently: Senior R&D Manager, Pall Corp, Port Washington, NY

2004
Haifeng Zhang, Ph.D. Novel Phosphoric Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes for Fuel Cells
Currently: Scientist, Hollingsworth & Vose, West Groton, MA

2005
Chunzhao Li, Ph.D. RAFT Polymerization from Nanoparticles and Development of Novel Chain Transfer Agents
Currently: Product Development scientist, Henkel

Eugene Scanlon, Ph.D. Polybenzimidazole Bases Segmented Block Copolymers for High Temperature Fuel Cell Applications
Currently: Principal Scientist, BASF

2006
Seonghan Yu, Ph.D. Novel Polybenzimidazole Derivatives for High Temperature PEM Fuel Cells

Currently: Manager, Technical Sales, Organic Electronics, BASF New Business

Junwei Yang, M.S. Preparation of Low Density Polymer Brushes on Silica Nanoparticles via Surface Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization
Currently: Ilypsa, Inc., Santa Clara, CA

Kelly PerryKelly Perry, a Ph.D. from our group who is now staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee.  Kelly is getting ready for a whale watching trip in California and encouraging a potential future scientist.

2008
Yu Li, Ph.D. Combining RAFT Polymerization and Click Chemistry to Prepare Functionalized Polymers and Nanoparticles
Currently: Scientist, E Ink, Fremont, CA

Guoqing Qian, Ph.D. Fluorine-Containing Polybenzimidazoles for High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Applications

Currently: Research Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

2009
Kelly A. Perry, Ph.D. Structure-Property Relationships in Phosphoric Acid-Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes and their Application in a High Temperature Electrochemical Purification Device for Hydrogen Purification Currently: Staff Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

2010
Jordan Mader, Ph.D. Novel Sulfonated Polybenzimidazole Derivatives for High Temperature Fuel Cell Applications   
Currently: Assistant Professor, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Darren Seel, PhD.  Novel Polyphenylquinoxaline and Polybenzimidazole Proton Exchange Membranes for High Temperature Fuel Cell Systems
Currently:  Chemist, SI Group, Schenectady, NY

2011
Atri Rungta, PhD. Surface Modification of Nanoparticles Using Controlled Radical Polymerization for Designed Interfaces
Currently:  3M, St. Paul, MN

Jessica Frankel, M.S. Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Polybenzimidazoles and High-Solids meta-Polybenzimidazoles
Currently:  University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy.

2013
Junting Li, Ph.D. Design and Synthesis of Polymer-Based Nanomaterials using RAFT Polymerization and Click Reactions
Currently: 3M, St. Paul, MN

Max Molleo, Ph.D. Polybenzimidazole Membranes with Enhanced Mechanical Properties for Extended Lifetime Electrochemical Applications
Currently: PPG, OH

2014
Xin Li, Ph.D. Structure-Property Relationships in Polybenzimidazole Materials for Gas Separation and Fuel Cell Applications
Currently: Cytec-Solvay, New Haven, CT

Alexander Gulledge, Ph.D. Advancements in the Design, Synthesis, and Application of Polybenzimidazoles
Currently: INVISTA, Camden, SC

Jason Hoffman, M.S. Novel Monomers and Solution Polymerization Methods for Polybenzimidazole Polymers
Currently: Advanced Drainage Systems, OH

Lei Wang, Ph.D. Synthesis and Characterization of Polymer Nanomaterials Using Controlled Radical Polymerization
Currently: MeadWestVaco, Charleston, SC

Anand Viswanath, Ph.D. Surface Functionalization of Inorganic Substrates with Polymeric Ligands Using RAFT Polymerization
Currently: INVISTA, Camden, SC

2015
Tony Neely, Ph.D. Modification of Nanoparticles via RAFT: Designed Interfaces for Nanocomposites
Currently: BASF, Michigan

Kayley Fishel, Ph.D. Hydroxy Polybenzimidazoles for High-Temperature Fuel Cells and the Solution Polymerization of Polybenzimidazole
Currently: Goodyear, Akron, OH

2016
Michael Bell, Ph.D. Ligand Engineering for Advanced Functional Composite Materials
Currently: Army Research Labs, Adelphi, MD

2017
Mohammad Khani, Ph.D. Polymer Grafted Nanoparticles for Designed Interfaces in Polymer Nanocomposites
Currently: University of South Carolina

Yang Zheng, Ph.D. Synthesis, Characterization and Application of Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles
Currently: Alcon Laboratories, Atlanta, GA