Thrust Teams

Thrust #1 - PPW Deconstruction

Tunable heterogeneous catalysts and microwave energy for the conversion of plastic packaging waste (PPW) into fuels, lubricants, precision macromolecules, and monomers.

Thrust #2 - PPW Upcycling

Functionalization and upcycling using a) plasma-assisted, catalysis and surface treatment, b) photoredox-catalyzed decarboxylation, and c) enzymatic routes to generate high-value monomers and polymers.

Thrust #3 - Cross-Cutting Tools

New cross-cutting tools driven by AI, PPW characterization, macromolecular property prediction through modeling, and additive manufacturing to enable scientific advances.

Senior Investigators

At the Center for Plastics Innovation, Senior Investigators represent one or more thrusts based on their core knowledge and develop emergent projects through collaboration across thrust boundaries.

LaShanda Korley


Thomas H. Epps, III

Deputy Director

Raul Lobo

Thrust #1 Leader

Peng Bai

Thrust #1 Co-Leader

Mary Watson

Thrust #2 Leader

Aditya Kunjapur

Thrust #2 Co-Leader

Mike Berg

Thrust #3 Leader

Hui Fang

Thrust #3 Co-Leader

Mark Blenner

Stavros Caratzoulas

Wilfred Chen

Juan de Pablo

Raymond Gorte

Emil Hernandez-Pagan

Laure Kayser

Daeyeon Lee

Dongxia Liu

Josh Michener

Eleftherios Papoutsakis

Joel Rosenthal

Stuart Rowan

Kevin Solomon

Dionisios Vlachos