Green Experts @ NJIT

NJIT faculty are at the forefront of environmental research in areas as varied as chemistry to communication. This is just a partial list of the green experts @ NJIT.

Lisa Axe, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, conducts research in biogeochemical processes in environmental systems. Research activities in her group include studies on contaminant speciation, mobility, bioavailability, transport, and fate. In studying natural attenuating processes and developing novel treatment systems, Dr. Axe’s group has produced and investigated nanostructured, microporous iron and manganese oxide coatings on silica, clay, and more recently biofilms. Her group employs a suite of complementary techniques to, for example, fundamentally understand and model molecular mechanisms that can then be included in modeling treatment and/or natural processes.

Robert B. Barat, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, obtained his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990.  His academic research includes environmental pollutants monitoring control, terahertz spectroscopy and imaging for homeland security, and applied optics.  He is honored with Saul K Fenster Innovation in Engineering Education Award 2003. His research includes finding ways to recycle or eliminate toxic chemicals from the environment.  He also studies high intensity combustion and flame velocities as a means of developing a new way to improve clean fuel burning. 

Basil Baltzis is department chair and professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He received his PhD at the University of Minnesota for Chemical Engineering. Some of his research interests involve experimental and modeling studies of reaction engineering so they can be applied to pollution prevention and control and also the production of pharmaceuticals. In particular his interests in research are the modeling of biodegradation kinetics of mixed pollutants, optimization studies for the minimization of pollutants, and theoretical and experimental studies on the dynamics of cyclically operated bioreactors for treatment of liquid waste. He has also done research on biofiltration which is the technology for the treatment of volatile organic compound emissions. He has been the recipient of a number of awards at NJIT for his abilities in teaching and research.

Joseph Bozzelli, professor of the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Environmental Sciences, received his PhD from Princeton University. Dr. Bozzelli’s focus is gases and particularly thermo chemistry, kinetics, reaction paths, atmospheric chemistry, and combustion chemistry. Dr. Bozzelli’s work has been on elementary reaction models which developed to help obtain a better understanding of the chemistry involved. The models are useful since they serve as valuable tools for researchers by optimizing or improving the chemical process. Dr. Bozzelli also researches chain branching reactions. With the information from this research he can further study the chemical reactions used for combustion engines and find ways to fully optimize fuels for these engines.

Nancy W. Coppola, professor of English in the Department of Humanities, received the doctoral degree from Syracuse University. Her research is in communicating the principles of sustainability. As technology transfer task leader on multidisciplinary environment grants, her research has explored computer-based training for green chemistry and technology transfer of green innovation in a university-business-government consortium. Dr. Coppola has published two books and many journal articles on environmental rhetoric.

Philip R Goode, professor in Department of Physics, obtained his PhD from Rutgers University.  His research includes solar physics, and theoretical and observational astrophysics.  He operates the Earth shine telescope and directs the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California.  Dr. Goode finds the issues of climate change to be very complicated.  Changes in the earth’s climate depend on changes in the sun’s output, the earth’s reflectance and green house gases. The sunlight is dimming because of the cloud cover, pollutants and green house gases.  Therefore, the sunlight is being reflected out of earth by these visible air pollutants thus reducing the green house effects.  He is constructing a seismic model of the sun with solar neutrino paradox to study the fusion of protons into heavy elements.  He received the NJIT Excellence in Research Award for his contribution in enhancing NJIT's reputation. 

Som Mitra , professor in the Department for Chemistry, received his PhD from Southern Illinois for Analytical Chemistry. Dr. Mitra’s research involves the monitoring of toxic chemicals in air emissions that are at very low levels. He conducts this research by using an automated device he invented that monitors for NMOC (Non-Methane Organic Carbon) emissions continuously. The main component of this device is the “microtrap” that captures the organic samples in the air flow. The device allows for analysis of possible emissions in the air by only using very small concentrations.  This technique it increases the sensitivity and the speed over which this process is done by conventional means.  Dr. Mitra has also published 70 journal papers and is the coauthor of Environmental Chemical Analysis.

Nuggehali Ravindra is professor and director of the joint NJIT-Rutgers applied physics program.  He is working on making more efficient silicon based solar cells.  These cells convert sunlight into electricity by photovoltaic effect. His PhD is from the University of Roorkee, India.  His academic interests are silicon interface, silicon oxide interface, advance metallization, etc.  Solar technologies use the sun's energy to provide light and electricity.  The sun is renewable resource of energy which makes an solar cell efficient in extracting more energy.   He is working with National Renewal Energy Laboratory to develop these solar cells. 

Trevor Tyson, professor in the Department of Physics, received the PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University and the BS in Physics from Andrew University.  His interests are transition-metal oxide systems, thin films, atomic physics and hemoglobin.  He is working on materials applicable to store and release hydrogen.  These materials will be very helpful in making fuel cells for today automobile to use clean burning hydrogen fuel.  These hydrogen fuel cells will replace our dependence on crude oil.  The transition-metal oxide systems are a local structural characterization of Colossal Magneto resistance material which stores the hydrogen particles.  He is honored with National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award in 1998 and Dorthy Danforth Compton Fellowship in 1983. 

Zeyuan Qiu, associate professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at NJIT, received his PhD at the University of Missouri-Columbia for Agricultural Economics. He particularly enjoys studying natural resources and environmental economics. with emphasis on closed land-water areas. He evaluates the social, institutional, economic, and technical factors of these areas and how they affect the preservation and protection of water supply. Dr. Qiu also takes into account the policy for the watershed’s management, storm water management, and the growth in the possibly unstable rural-urban areas that use these closed land-waters. He currently has five water preservation grants from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture.