Jonathan Colón Ortiz, President, PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering
Hello! My name is Jonathan Colon and I am a fourth-year Chemical Engineering PhD student working at the Alexander Neimark research group. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where I completed my bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. My research focuses on the development of materials for the protection against chemical warfare agents by using polymeric-nanoparticle composites. I study growth of nanoparticles within polyelectrolyte membranes, transport properties of membranes and catalysis of chemical warfare agents. In my time of leisure I love to play guitar, basketball and volleyball.
Ashley Pennington, Vice President, PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering
Hey Ya’ll! My name is Ashley Pennington. I am now a second-year PhD Candidate (though this is my fourth year at Rutgers). I earned my Masters of Science with Thesis in 2015 from Rutgers’ Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department. I work in the Celik Catalysis Laboratory on various projects. My PhD thesis project, under the direction of Prof. Fuat Celik, is focused on increasing the photocatalytic activity of anatase phase titanium dioxide for the sustainable generation of fuels and chemicals from renewable sources, which means that I have the pleasure of running photocatalytic heterogeneous phase reactions on TiO2 nanoparticles that I (and my wonderful 5 undergraduate research assistants) synthesize and modify. I am from Colorful Colorado (though I was born in the delightfully warm state of Arizona)! I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering with a focus on Tissue Engineering from The University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013. I am also the President of Rutgers Graduate Branch of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE Grad). When I’m not synthesizing TiO2, running reactions, teaching, or participating in extracurricular activities I am in the great outdoors with my boyfriend and our puppy, Helios! I am a hiking and camping/backpacking enthusiast and if there is one thing that I love more than engineering, it’s being outside!
Apóstolos Zournas, Secretary, PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering
Hello everybody! I am a first year PhD student in CBE. I was born and raised in Greece. My research interests are in mainly in the Biochemical side, and I am not involved in any research projects, yet. My research interests revolve around biological applications of chemical engineering, and my undergraduate studies were in Environmental Engineering. and I hold a MSc in Horticultural Genetics and Biotechnology. In my spare time, among others, I recently started practicing judo.
Matthew Zivi, Treasurer, M.S. in Chemical Engineering
Hi! My name is Matt Zivi, and I am a first- year CBE Masters student on the non-thesis track. I graduated this past May from Stockton University with a B.S. in Chemistry. My undergraduate research and my most recent internship both involved the analytical detection of trace-particle explosives, working closely with the TSA in Homeland Security. At Stockton, I helped to revive and grow our Chemistry Society, and I look forward to using that experience for the CBE GSO. I enjoy most outdoors activities, and will find every excuse to walk rather than drive (and I am always up for an adventure!). I am commuting from Hillsborough, NJ, which is where I’ve lived for the past ~14 years. If you see me on campus, feel free to say hi 😀