Photocatalytic remediation involves the use of light-activated semiconductor oxide catalysts for the treatment and purification of lightly contaminated water and air. Applications for such photocatalysts include organic contaminant mineralization, detoxification, and dehalogenation, oxidation of inorganics such as ammonia, oxidative/reductive removal and recovery of metals, microbial cell killing and viral deactivation for water disinfection, total carbon analyzers, and self-cleaning glass and tile surfaces. Projects underway include fundamental models of photon utilization efficiencies in light-activated semiconductor oxides, enhancement of photocatalyst activity through chemical pretreatments and periodic regenerations, and transient kinetic model development for deactivation and surface inventory effects.
Graduate Professional Development
Historically, graduate training has involved “learning by osmosis,” by placing graduate students into laboratory setting where they may, over time, absorb information and learn how to do research through observation and imitation. This informal route we have enhanced through professional development first year courses in proposal ideation, organizing, writing, and presenting. Additional profession development topics include critical thinking and critiquing articles, intellectual property, research ethics, advisor expectations, and research citizenship. Currently underway is a professional development seminar for PhD candidates (3rd year students), including graduate plan creation, resume development, self-assessment, management and leadership skills, entrepreneurship, and transitions to industrial research and development.