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CBE Seminar - The Sixth Element - Chemical Engineering Approaches to Nanocarbon Assembly and Safe Design

Thursday, March 7, 2019
9:30am – 10:30am

Storrs Campus
GN 20

The Sixth Element - Chemical Engineering Approaches to Nanocarbon Assembly and Safe Design

Dr. Robert Hurt Professor Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Brown University

Carbon in pure elemental form self assembles through the action of fire into a broad family of solid materials related to crystalline graphite. Carbons are among the oldest synthetic materials and were used for ancient cave drawing, cooking fuels, ore smelting, odor capture and medicine. In the 20th century humankind learned to engineer carbon structures to produce fibers for aircraft composites, electrodes for Li-ion batteries, and activated carbons for environmental protection. At the beginning of 21st century, a series of discoveries catapulted carbon materials into the forefront of what would become the nanotechnology movement. Research on carbon materials led to two Nobel Prizes and two Kavli Prizes for nanoscience, and in the process transformed the field and recruited a host of new carbon researchers from around the globe.

This talk focuses on new carbon nanomaterials, which have become the building blocks for a wide range of emerging technologies. The talk includes examples of Brown University research using chemical engineering approaches to develop new applications for graphene-based materials related to human health and the environment. The talk also discusses the biological responses to nanocarbon exposure and new research to identify the principles of safe material design needed to support successful commercialization.


Robert Hurt is a Professor of Engineering at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and Director of the NIH-supported Superfund Research Program Center at Brown on environmental health. He received a B.S. from Michigan Technological University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Prof. Adel Sarofim. Before coming to Brown, he held posts at Bayer AG in Leverkusen, Germany and Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. He was founding Director of Brown’s materials and nanosciences institute, IMNI, and served from 2004-2010 as Editor of Carbon and from 2013-2018 as Editor-in-Chief. He was the Technical Program Chair for the International Carbon Conference and Graffin Lecturer of the American Carbon Society. He received the Tau Beta Pi teaching award at Brown, the Charles E. Pettinos Award of the American Carbon Society in 2013, and the 2017 Graphene Award of the IAAM. He has co-authored 150 scientific publications and his current research focuses on environmental nanotechnology, graphene and other 2D materials, the nanobio-interface, and safe material design.

Thursday, March 7, 2019 9:30am, Gant North Building (GN), 20 (Formerly IMS, 20) Refreshments will be served at 9:15am


Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (primary), Chemistry Department, Institute of Material Science, Materials Science & Engineering Department, Polymer Program, UConn Master Calendar

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