Principal Investigator
Mark Thies

Dr. Mark C. Thies

Dr. Thies is the Dow Chemical Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University, where he has been on the faculty since 1985. He received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1977, worked for Procter and Gamble for 3 years, and then returned to academia, where he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware in 1985. Thies was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH) 1994-1995 and a Marie Curie Fellow at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) 2008-2009, 2011. His research interests are in the chemical and biomolecular separations of poorly defined, macromolecular systems, with an emphasis on those situations where thermodynamics and phase equilibria are important.
Contact: mcths@clemson.edu

Group Members

Cabell Lamie

Cabell is from Powhatan, Virginia and earned his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. He is a graduate student at Clemson University and is currently working on the separation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon oligomers using supercritical extraction.
Contact: wlamie@clemson.edu

Junhuan Ding

Junhuan is from Shanghai, China. He graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Applied Mathematics. His research interests lie in the characterization of pitch oligomers and lignin. In his spare time, Junhuan enjoys playing piano and competitive Dota.
Contact: junhuad@clemson.edu

Carter Fitzgerald

Carter is from Powder Springs, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Biochemical Engineering. As a member of the Thies group, Carter is working with lignin.
Contact: carterf@g.clemson.edu

Graham Tindall

Graham Tindall is from Rock Hill, South Carolina and is currently pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in polymer science. As a member of the Thies group, Graham works mostly with lignin and its unique phase equilibrium phenomena.
Contact: gtindal@clemson.edu

Spencer Temples

Spencer is from Clemson, South Carolina and is pursuing a B.S. in Chemical engineering with a minor in Mathematical Sciences. As a member of the Thies Group, Spencer focuses on characterizing lignin.
Contact: temple8@g.clemson.edu

Evan Miyasato

Evan is from Cincinnati, Ohio and is currently pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He plays competitive ultimate in his free time.
Contact: eamiyas@g.clemson.edu

Alumni

Sallye Gathmann

Sallye Gathmann is from Rochester, NY and is currently pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Economics. As a member of the Thies Group, her research focuses on characterizing pseudoternary lignin systems relevant to the ALPHA process. In her spare time, Sallye enjoys working on her project car and cooking.
Contact: sgathma@g.clemson.edu

Mikhala Cooper

Mikhala Cooper is from Charleston, South Carolina. She is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematical Science. As a member of the Thies research group, Mikhala's work currently focuses on the separation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon oligomers using supercritical extraction.
Contact: khasahc@g.clemson.edu

Anne Mason

Anne is from Pickens, SC and is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in polymeric materials. Anne focuses on characterizing lignin in her work with the Thies Research group.
Contact: ammason@clemson.edu

Matt Holmes

Matt Holmes is from Fort Mill, South Carolina and is currently pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. As a member of the Thies group, Matt's work focuses on the supercritical extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon oligomers.
Contact: mwholme@g.clemson.edu

Jed Gist

Jed is from Columbia, South Carolina and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering with minors in Mathematical Sciences and Physics. He's working on charaterization of the bio-renewable polymer lignin.
Contact: jedgist@gmail.com

Adam Klett, Ph.D.

Adam is from Melbourne, Florida and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University in 2012. His award-winning senior thesis focused on high temperature/high pressure phase-equilibrium measurements of the ternary HI-I2-H2O system for applications to the carbon-free production of hydrogen via the Sulfur-Iodine Cycle. Adam is now a Ph.D. candidate working on the purification, fractionation, and characterization of lignin from Kraft paper mill black liquor for use as a renewable biopolymer. His CV can be found here.
Current Location: Harris Corporation / Space and Intelligence Systems, Palm Bay, FL
Contact: aklett@clemson.edu

Jordan Gamble, B.S.

Jordan Gamble is from North Augusta, South Carolina. He is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in Energy Studies. As a member of the Thies research group, Jordan's work focuses on the purification and fractionation of lignin from Kraft black liquor as a renewable biopolymer.
Contact: jgamble@clemson.edu

Tu Nguyen, B.S.

Tu Nguyen was born in Woodland, California but primarily grew up in North Charleston, South Carolina. He is currently pursing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in Applied Engineering, Mathematics, & Science and a minor in Mathematical Sciences. He is working with separations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon oligomers using supercritical extraction and characterization of lignin from Kraft paper mill black liqour for use as a renewable biopolymer. His research interests are in physical and chemical separations of complex solutions.
Contact: tun@clemson.edu

Candace Ballentine

Candace Ballentine is from Columbia, SC and is currently working on her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Music. Currently she is doing research on the phase behavior of lignin-acetic acid-water systems relevent to the ALPHA Process (Aqueous Lignin Purification with Hot Acid) for its application to the purification and fractionation of lignin.
Contact: cmballe@clemson.edu

Rebecca Demarco

Rebecca is from Marietta, Georgia, and is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Business Administration. Her work focuses on the purification and fractionation of lignin from Kraft black liquor as a renewable biopolymer.
Contact: rdemarc@clemson.edu

Brent McJunkin, B.S.

Brent was born in Seneca, SC and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in energy studies. His research focused on the separation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) oligomers via supercritical extraction for advanced-carbon applications.

Mark Payne, B.S.

Allen Mark Payne is from Irmo, South Carolina, and earned bachelor of science degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry, with an emphasis in applied engineering, math, and science. As a member of the Thies research group, Mark developed a continuous process for the production of ultra-pure lignin that contains less than 100 ppm of metals. He also has worked to develop a batch process for molecular weight based fractionation of lignin. After he graduating from Clemson University, Mark went to graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to continue with research and teaching.

Ladawan Songtipya, Ph.D.

Ladawan Songtipya graduated with her Ph.D. from the Department of Packaging and Materials Technology at Kasetsart University, Thailand. Dr. Sane was her advisor and Dr. Thies was her co-advisor. Her research was focused on the nanoencapsulation of bioactive compounds in a polymer using the rapid expansion of supercritical solutions (RESS) process.

Jesse Richards, B.S.

Senior Thesis title: Phase Behavior of Carbon Dioxide and Guaiacol Binary Mixtures at Supercritical Pressures

Meredith Manning, B.S.

Senior Thesis title: An Investigation Into the Liquid-Liquid Phase Transition Temperatures of the Indulin AT and Water-Acetic Acid Solvent System

Julian Vélez, Ph.D.

Thesis title: Solvated Liquid Lignins from Kraft Black Liquors: Phase Behavior and Molecular Characterization
Current Location: Santa Tecla, El Salvador
Title: Process Engineer at Compañía Azucarera Salvadoreña

Brian Klett, B.S.

Brian is from Melbourne, Florida and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, with a Business emphasis in May 2014. Brian's undergraduate work was focused on the fractionation and molecular characterization of naphthalene oligomers via supercritical fluid extraction, with applications in advanced-carbon materials.

David Esguerra, Ph.D.

Thesis title: Pyrene Oligomers: Their Isolation, Molecular Characteterization, and Phase Behavior
Current Location: Intel Corporation, Portland, OR
Title: D1C Bulk Chemical Delivery Engineer

Alexandra Kleven, B.S.

Honors Thesis title: Gel Permeation Chromatography and MALDI-MS Analysis for the Determination of Molecular Weight of Kraft Lignin
Current Location: Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, TN
Title: Chemical Engineer in the Reaction Engineering Research Lab

Halil Tekinalp, Ph.D.

Thesis title: Pitch-Based Activated Carbon Fibers: The Effect of Precursor Composition on Pore Structure
Current Location: Oak Ridge National Labs, Material Science and Technology Division, Carbon and Composite group, Knoxville, TN
Title: Postdoctoral research associate

Super Sourabh Kulkarni, Ph.D.

Thesis title: Quantitative Analysis and Structural Characterization of Carbonaceous Pitches
Current Location: Intel Corporation, Portland, OR
Title: Process Technology Development Engineer