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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

Our People

SAGE is made up of a team of faculty, staff and students working together to enhance the environmental performance of electricity production.

Our Faculty

SAGE is lead by Dr. Jochen Lauterbach 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.


 Post-Doctoral Researchers

The SAGE center is currently recruiting well qualified post-doctoral researchers.


Graduate Students

Blake MacQueen 

B.S. - The University of Alabama, 2017 
Blake is from West Palm Beach Florida and joined SAGE under the supervision of Dr. Jochen Lauterbach in the Fall of 2017. He was awarded his bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from The University of Alabama with a minor in Mathematics. His work focuses on producing platform chemicals and fuels from biomass derived sugar alcohols. He works on utilizing statistical design of experiments for reaction and catalyst optimization and fundamental catalyst characterization.

Michael Royko

B.S. - The University of Alabama, 2017 
Michael joined the SAGE center in Fall of 2017, first working for Dr. Bihter Padak before working for Dr. Jochen Lauterbach. Since working in the SAGE center, Michael has worked on several different projects including flame synthesis of nanomaterials, pollutant remediation from natural gas furnaces and coal power plant exhaust, catalytic upgrading of ethane to ethylene, diesel upgrading, and catalytic biomass torrefaction to produce materials for novel polymers and to offset coal consumption in conventional coal-fired power plants. 

Rasika Jayarathna 

B.S. - University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 2016 
Rasika is from Sri Lanka. He received his B.S. in Chemical and Process Engineering from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Then he entered the Ph.D. program at the University of South Carolina in 2019. Currently his research is focused on the development of novel methodologies for machine learning predictions for heterogeneous catalysts.

Andrew Jaeschke  

B.S. - University of Kansas, 2019 
After living in numerous states, Andrew spent the majority of his childhood in Overland Park, KS. He then attended the University of Kansas to receive his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering; after which, he chose to attend the University of South Carolina to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Under the advisership of Dr. Jochen Lauterbach, Andrew's current experimental research is geared toward the catalytic cracking of waste polyol plastics through the use of zeolite catalysts.

Jennifer Naglic

B.S. - University of South Carolina, 2019

Jennifer was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma and attended the University of South Carolina where she was awarded a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. She entered the Ph.D. program at the University of South Carolina in the summer of 2019 and joined SAGE where she is advised by Dr. Jochen Lauterbach. Currently, her research is focused on the discovery and optimization of low pressure ammonia synthesis catalysts for hydrogen storage applications. 

Kaveh Shariati

B.S. – Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran 2016  

M.S. – University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, 2019 

Kaveh was born in Gachsaran, a small town in the southwest of Iran that is well-known for its gas and oil resources. He did his undergraduate study in Chemical Engineering at the Shiraz university located in Shiraz, a beautiful city where the tomb of Hafez and Saadi, two famous Persian poets, are located. He joined SAGE in Fall 2019 to pursue his graduate studies under Prof. Lauterbach’s supervision. He is currently working on shape-selective silver catalysts for ethylene epoxidation. 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.