SAGE: Strategic Approaches to the Generation of Electricity
SAGE is made up of a team of faculty, staff and students working together to enhance
the environmental performance of electricity production.
SAGE is lead by three faculty members within the chemical engineering department.
Dr. Jochen Lauterbach
SmartStateTM Endowed Chair
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Dr. Lauterbach focuses on the fundamental and applied research in heterogeneous catalysis
and the synthesis of new nanomaterials, as applied to environmental processes for
hydrocarbon based power generation.
Dr. Bihter Padak
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Dr. Padak's research includes combustion, reaction kinetics and emissions control
Dr. Jason Hattrick-Simpers
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Dr. Hattrick-Simpers focuses on the high-throughput methodologies to discover and
understand how novel materials perform during operation in the harsh environments
required for energy applications.
Dr. Erdem Sasmaz
Dr. Sasmaz Erdem joined the Lauterbach group as a Senior Research Scientist in 2011.
He has a background in catalysis, reaction kinetics, adsorption, electronic structure
calculations, high-throughput experimentation and instrument development. He enjoys
working at the interface between chemistry, physics, and engineering. His research
interests are in the area of emission control technologies, clean energy production
and fuel conversion systems; particularly selective catalytic reduction of NOx, trace
metal removal from flue gas, solid-state gas sensing materials and catalytic cracking
of high-carbon hydrocarbon fuels.
Dr. Cue Wen
Dr. Wen's research background is in energy catalysis with a focus on understanding
reaction mechanisms and catalyst synthesis. During Cun's Ph.D. study, he investigated
why hot spots form during methane partial oxidation. Cun's combinatorial research
approach revealed that lattice oxygen reducibility is the key factor governing hot
spot formation; sophisticated catalysts can be tuned for improved lattice oxygen reducibility.
Thus, Cun joined the University of Notre Dame du lac and the University of South Carolina
to pursue nanoscale catalyst synthesis skills.
B.S. - Sahand University of Technology, Iran 2006
M.S. - Sahand University of Technology, Iran 2010
Nazli was born in Tabriz, north western Iran, which is the city of candies. She graduated
from Sahand University of Technology in Chemical Engineering. She began her doctoral
work with Dr. Padak at USC in the fall of 2013. Her research is focused on NOx-CO formation in High Hydrogen Content (HHC) Fuels Combustion in Gas Turbine Applications.
B.S. – Charleston Southern University, 1998
M.S. - University of Miami, 2000
Joining SAGE in the summer of 2013, Elizabeth comes from a mathematical background
earning both her BS and MS in mathematics. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical
Engineering and is co-advised by Dr. Jochen Lauterbach, Dr. Jason Hattrick-Simpers,
and Dr. Donna Chen. She is currently working to advance biofuel technology by focusing
her efforts in developing catalysts and processes for the alkylation and hydrodeoxygenation
of waste derived chemicals into diesel.
B.S. University of South Carolina, 2012
Kenneth was born in Johnson City Tennessee and attended the University of South Carolina
where he was awarded with a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. He is interested
in researching computational modeling of thin film systems and combinatorial analysis
of systems. He is currently working on developing a new model for multigun magnetron
sputtering for the synthesis of thin film samples. He is also working on the analysis
and improvement of the performance of high temperature jet turbine materials. He is
advised by Dr. Jason Hattrick-Simpers.
B.S. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 2012
Nujhat was born in Sylhet, a place known for its tea gardens in Bangladesh. Nujhat
joined SAGE under Dr. Bihter Padak's supervision in Fall 2012. Her research focuses
on Oxy-coal Combustion for power generation and formation of pollutants.
B.S. University of Pennsylvania, 2011
After growing up in Memphis, TN, Ben attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
where he received a degree in Chemical Engineering. After graduation, he came to USC
where he is working on various emissions from coal-fired power plants. His experimental
research focuses on the reduction of mercury emissions using novel SCR catalysts.
He is also conducting theoretical studies with VASP and Gaussian to predict the capture
of SO3 in oxy-combustion flue gas.
B.S. Harvey Mudd College, 2008
Michael was born and raised in Hawaii and moved to California to receive a general
engineering degree from Harvey Mudd College in May 2008. He is an IGERT student interested
in exploring composite materials for energy conversion and harvesting. His research
is coadvised with Dr. Jochen Lauterbach and Dr. Thomas H. Epps, III. Specifically,
he looks at modifying the surface energy of nanoparticles and studies their phase
behavior in block copolymer thin films.
B.S. Clarkson University, 2013
Kathleen was born in the state of Maine and attended college at Clarkson University
in New York. After receiving her bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson
in 2013 she entered the Ph.D. program at the University of South Carolina. Currently,
her research is focused on the synthesis of nanomaterials for energy applications.
Kathleen is co-advised by Dr. Jochen Lauterbach and Dr. Jason Hattrick-Simpers.
B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011
Ben was born in Seoul, South Korea, and his family moved around quite a bit before
settling in Columbia, South Carolina. He received a BS in Chemical-Biological Engineering
from MIT and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering under the advisement
of Dr. Jochen Lauterbach and Dr. Jason Hattrick-Simpers. Currently, he is working
on using combinatorial methods to find novel materials to improve sensitivity of gas
sensors under extreme conditions.
B.S. Fudan University, 2012
Chao was born in Inner Mongolia, which is the northern part of China. He received
a B.S. degree in environmental science from Fudan University. He is interested in
developing nanomaterials for environmental applications. Now, he is trying to employ
high-throughput screening methodologies to discover excellent catalysts for selective
catalytic reduction of NO. Chao enjoys ice-skating, playing basketball and going hiking
B.S. Dalian University of Technology, 2010
Zhiyong received his B.S. at Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China. After
graduation, he joined Dr. Jochen Lauterbach's group at University of South Carolina
in 2010. His research focuses on surface science and catalysis with a unique technique:
polarization modulation infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy. With this unique
system, it is possible to unveil the fundamentals of different reactions on model
supported catalysts, thus facilitating catalyst discovery. After his PhD work, Zhiyong
would like to work in an industry related with clean energy or environmental catalysis.