Welcome New Faculty

2020 New Faculty

The University of Florida Department of Chemical Engineering Welcomes Three New Faculty Members Starting January 2021.

Henry Chu, Ph.D.Henry C.W. Chu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. 2017, Cornell University

Dr. Chu’s research covers transport phenomena, colloid and interface science, electrokinetics, and rheology. His research develops multi-scale computational tools and fundamental theory to address emerging challenges in these research areas, emphasizing on close collaboration with experimental groups to translate knowledge into applications. Apart from classroom teaching, he enjoys interacting with students in mentoring and educational outreach programs.

Dr. Chu was a postdoctoral fellow of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Aditya Khair, Ph.D.; Robert Tilton, Ph.D.; and Stephen Garoff, Ph.D. He obtained a M.Phil. in mechanical engineering from The University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 2012. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, with minors in chemical engineering and applied mathematics, from Cornell University in 2017 under the supervision of Roseanna Zia, Ph.D.

Sumant S. Patankar, Ph.D.Sumant s. Patankar, Ph.D.

Ph.D. 2016, The Ohio State University

Dr. Patankar’s research focuses on studying the properties of supercritical fluids under nanopore confinement – a system relevant to geological systems such as shale gas. His teaching interests include semi-conductor processing, and design and analysis of experiments.

Dr. Patankar received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai, India. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2016 under the guidance of Dr. David Tomasko. He also worked for Intel Corp. in Hillsboro Oregon as a Process Engineer from 2017-2020. At Intel, he worked on developing lithography processes for the next generation of semi-conductor products.

Janani Sampath, Ph.D.Janani Sampath, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. 2018, The Ohio State University

Dr. Sampath’s research is motivated by the need to predictively design soft materials for clean energy and health. She utilizes molecular simulations and data science techniques to engineer and characterize novel polymer protein systems.

Dr. Sampath was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, supervised by Jim Pfaendtner, Ph.D., and Chris Mundy, Ph.D. She received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University in 2018 under the mentorship of Lisa Hall, Ph.D., where she studied mechanical and interfacial structure – property relationships in ion containing polymers using coarse-grained models. Prior to this, she worked as a Research Engineer in Unilever R&D, where she synthesized and characterized ultrafiltration membranes for water purification. She obtained her B.E. in chemical engineering in 2010 from R.V. College of Engineering, India.