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Contact Info:
Prof. Ayse Asatekin
Chemical & Biological
Sci-Tech Center
4 Colby Street, Rm 142
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617.627.4681
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Principal Investigator

Prof. Ayse Asatekin
Prof. Asatekin joined the faculty at Tufts University in 2012. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Program in Polymer Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Before that, she completed B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Prior to joining the faculty at Tufts, she worked at Clean Membranes, Inc., a start-up she co-founded to commercialize fouling resistant membranes she developed during her doctoral work. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, Massachusetts Clean Energy Council's Catalyst Award, and the Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Young Scholar Award. Her research interests are in developing novel membranes for clean water and energy-efficient separations. She is also interested in multi-functional membranes, controlling surface chemistry for biomedical applications, polymer science, and energy storage.

Graduate Students

Papatya Kaner
Papatya joined Prof. Asatekin's lab in January 2014. She received a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Florida State University in 2011. She completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey in 2009. During her Master's study, she worked on crystallization and structure-property relations of a set of polyethylenes with precise chlorine substitution. Prior to joining the PhD program at Tufts, she worked as a Research Associate at the Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey where she developed new skills in membrane and thin film technology. During this appointment, she modified commercial polyethersulfone membranes employing layer-by-layer self-assembly technique and tested the antifouling, permeability and organic matter rejection properties of these membranes. At Tufts, she is interested in designing stimuli-responsive ultrafiltration membranes aimed at potential applications in waste water treatment and protein separation.

Ilin Sadeghi
Ilin completed her undergraduate and master's degrees (dual degree program) in chemical engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology (aka: "Tehran Polytechnic"), Tehran, Iran. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012. For her master's thesis, she worked on fabrication of ultrafiltration polymeric membrane and membrane surface modification. Her thesis involved examining the effects of different parameters including solvents, polymeric additives, phase inversion speed, and membrane preparation conditions on the membrane structure and separation properties. The main novelty of her project was using corona air plasma to improve membranes’ hydrophilicty and fouling resistance for oil/water separation. She also studied Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) as another method of mitigating water decontamination problem. At Tufts, she is focusing on random copolymers self-assembly as a new and scalable method for fabrication of nanostructured chemoselective membranes for separations of small organic molecules for pharmaceutical applications and water treatment. She is also working on design and fabrication of multifunctional ultrathin hydrogel selective layers for different applications such as protein purification and water treatment.

Samuel Lounder
Sam received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2017. Prior to joining the Asatekin Lab in October 2017, Sam was a member of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, where he worked alongside engineers and UMaine faculty in the ongoing construction of a pilot-plant capable of producing commercial jet and diesel fuel from a cellulose feedstock. The underlying novelty in this process is the thermo deoxygenation of calcium levulinate formate, a reaction which yields organic volatiles that can be further processed into the final commercial product. At Tufts, he aims to create high performance thin-film composite nanofiltration membranes from self-assembling copolymers. Both copolymer architecture and monomer chemical properties will be leveraged in order to design higher-order structured membranes with attributes such as fouling resistance and chemical selectivity. Such membranes would be created from scalable methods, and could find utility in wastewater treatment and pharmaceutical purification.

Alice Olveira-Aguiar
Alice joined Prof. Asatekin's lab in September 2017. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, in 2012. And she received a Master's of Science in Environmental Engineering from the same institution in December 2015. During her Master’s project, Alice worked on the application of commercial Nanofiltration (NF) and Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes in the treatment of mining effluent. During this project, she developed new skills in membrane separation processes and membrane characterization methods such as SEM, AFM and ATR/FTIR. At Tufts, Alice is interested in designing ultra-thin ultrafiltration membranes which could be applied in industrial effluent treatment and small molecules separation. She is interested in sustainability and water reuse projects.

Undergraduate Students

Grace Aro
Jacob Kronenberg


Post-doctoral Fellows:

Dr. Chiara Vannucci
Partners Healthcare

Dr. Aslihan Gokaltun
Hacettepe University, Turkey

Ph.D. Students:

Dr. Prity Bengani-Lutz
Ph.D. 2017
Koch Membranes

Master's Students:

Susan Colt
BSCHE 2012
ME 2013
EMD Millipore

William Lind
MS CHE 2016
Navigant Energy

Mitch Saeger
BS/MS CHE 2016
EMD Millipore

Visiting Students:

  • Sefika Ozcan, Ph.D. candidate, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Fatma Calili, M.S. candidate, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Sefika Ozcan, Ph.D. candidate, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Undergraduate Students:

  • Mollie Chipman, BS Biochemistry 2017; Ph.D. candidate, Sloan Kettering Center
  • Elisha Converse, BSCHE 2016, Physical Sciences, Inc.
  • Lily Corcoran, BSCHE 2016
  • Diana Dzerovych, BSCHE 2015, Newell Brands
  • Shira Faigel, BSCHE 2016, Johnson Controls
  • Colleen Golja, BSCHE 2015, Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University
  • Daniel Harrigan, BSCHE 2015, Aramco Research Center
  • Do Hyun Kim, BSCHE 2016, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
  • Yangming Kou, BSCHE 2016, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
  • Elijah Martin, BSCHE 2017
  • Akash Mittal, BSCHE 2015, Pfizer
  • Jacquelyn Nwagwu, BSENVE 2017
  • Emil Rubakh, BSCHE 2017, Nalas Engineering Services
  • Jeff Stich, BSCHE 2015
  • Lindsey Walker, BSCHE 2015, UBS
  • Vinny Wang, BSCHE 2015, MACOM Technology
  • Phillip Weiner, BSCHE 2015, Sandia National Labs