Principal Investigator

Nathaniel A. Lynd, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor
McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering

email: lynd [at]

CV: cv-lynd

Google Scholar Profile

Bio: Nate was born in Kalamazoo, MI. As an undergraduate, Nate did research under Gregory L. Baker on renewable-resource derived polymers and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry, and a B.A. in German. He completed his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry at the University of Minnesota under Marc A. Hillmyer in late 2007. The title of his thesis was “The Effects of Polydispersity on Block Copolymer Self-Assembly”. Nate was a postdoctoral scholar in the Materials Research Laboratory at UCSB in 2007–2010 with Glenn H. Fredrickson, Craig J. Hawker, and the late Edward J. Kramer. Nate worked as a project scientist at UCSB during 2010–2013. After that time, Nate moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a staff scientist before moving to UT-Austin in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering in 2015.

Postdoctoral Scholars

None at the moment. If interested, please get in touch!

Graduate Students


Aaron A. Burkey (4th year)

email: burkey [at]

Bio: Aaron received his B.S. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Ohio University in 2015. At Ohio University, he did research with the Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials Laboratory and the Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research. He began his Ph.D. work with Dr. Nate Lynd’s group at the University of Texas at Austin in fall of 2015.

Research: Aaron studies polymer/ice interactions. His goal is to guide the development of improved cryopreservative materials for frozen storage of cells and tissue.


Malgorzata Chwatko (4th year)

email: malgorzata.chwatko [at]

Bio: Malgorzata graduated from University of Connecticut in 2015 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology. While at UCONN she worked for Prof. Jeffrey McCutcheon on the improving membrane’s structure and hydrophilicity for the use in water purification technologies. She joined the Lynd Group in the fall of 2015.

Research: Malgorzata is currently developing new synthetic strategies towards polymeric materials for water purification from diverse feeds with the joint UT-Austin/UCSB/LBNL M-WET center.

Natalie J. Czarnecki (1st year)

email: natalie.czarnecki [at]

Bio: Natalie graduated from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2018 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.  While at UTK, she worked with Dr. Michael Kilbey on co-polymer synthesis for fused deposition modeling.  Natalie joined the Lynd Group in the fall of 2018.


Research: Natalie studies structure-property relationships for cryoprotective polymeric materials.

Chola Bhargava Dandamudi (4th year)

email: cholab [at]
Bio: Chola graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati in 2015 with a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering. As an undergraduate, his research focused on simulation and experimental investigation of generating oil-in-water emulsions in a micro-channel using electric and magnetic fields. In 2015, he moved to UT Austin to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering. He is co-adviced by Dr. Nathaniel Lynd and Dr. C. Grant Willson.
Research: Chola is currently working on (a) synthesizing ultra high molecular weight polyglycerols of tunable architectures for enhanced oil recovery applications and (b) developing stimuli-responsive polymers to prevent collapse of high aspect ratio structures for lithographic applications.


Caitlin Donovan (3rd year)

email: caitlind [at]

Bio: Caitlin graduated from The Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016 with a B. S. in Chemical Engineering. While completing her degree, she worked with Dr. Christiaan Richter to synthesize titanium dioxide nanotubes for use as anodes in lithium ion batteries. She also held three cooperative education internships at RoviSys, Dow Corning, and Novomer with focuses including process automation and control, process engineering for product quality, and research and development of new production processes. After graduation Caitlin relocated to The University of Texas at Austin to pursue her graduate degree in chemical engineering. She is jointly advised by Dr. Lynd and Dr. Brennecke.

Research: Caitlin is studying the encapsulation of ionic liquids in selective polymer shells for application in carbon dioxide capture as a jointly advised student with the Brennecke Group.


Gang Fan (5th year)

email: gangfan [at]

Bio: Gang Fan received his M. S. in chemical engineering from Tianjin University in 2014. While at Tianjin University, Gang worked under the supervision of Prof. Zhijian Chen and completed his master thesis on “Supramolecular Assemblies Based on Amphiphilic Boron-Dipyrromethene Dyes and Their Applications in Bioimaging.” Meanwhile, he was co-advised by Dr. Hao Wang at National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST), Chinese Academy of Science. At NCNST, Gang worked on poly(β-amino ester)s for drug and photoacoustic agent delivery. In 2014, he was awarded Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship, and worked shortly in the lab of Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technische Universität München(TUM). Gang started the Ph. D. program at UT-Austin in 2015, and is now a Ph.D. candidate jointly advised by Dr. Lynd and Dr. Keitz in Chemical Enigneering at UT Ausin.

Research: Gang’s research focus is on advanced healthcare materials and microbial directed polymer synthesis.

Jennifer Imbrogno (3rd year)

email: jennifer.imbrogno [at]

Bio: Jennifer graduated from State University of New York at Stony Brook with a B.E. in Chemical and Molecular Engineering in 2016. She studied the self-assembly of block polymers in thin films at the polymer-substrate interface during undergrad. Jennifer received a minor in Japanese Studies, and worked as a TA for Organic Chemistry. In 2016 she came to UT to pursue PhD research advised by Prof Lynd.

Research: Jennifer’s research will focus on the design and optimization of catalysts for epoxide based monomer polymerization. She studies structure-kinetic relationships of organometallic catalysts that are used to achieve new polyethers.

Ji-Yeon Kim (3rd year)

email: [at]

Bio: Ji Yeon graduated from The National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2015 with a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering. While at NUS, she worked on a joint project between Dr. Chen Shing Bor and Dr. Neal Chung tostudy the effects of graphene oxide on thin-film composite polymer membranes for desalination. After graduation, Ji Yeon worked as a polymer process engineer at Invista Fibres Singapore. In 2016, she moved to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering. She is currently co-advised by Dr. Nathaniel A. Lynd, Dr. C. Grant Willson, and Dr. Carlos R. Baiz.

Research: Ji Yeon is working on the directed self-assembly of high cblock copolymers, and development and characterization of resist materials for lithographic applications.


Jai Hyun Koh (3rd year)

email: jhkoh [at]

Bio: Jai Hyun Koh graduated from Seoul National University (SNU) with a M.S. and a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering. While at SNU, he conducted research under Dr. Kookheon Char on developing soft lithographic techniques for biomimetic water-repelling surfaces. After graduation, Jai Hyun worked as a research scientist at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) where he did research on electrocatalytic CO2 reduction. In 2016, he moved to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering. He is co-advised by Dr. Nathaniel A. Lynd and Dr. C. Grant Willson.

Research: Jai Hyun is currently working on the synthesis of silicon-containing block copolymers and their applications in lithography and polymer electrolyte membranes.


Paul W. Meyer (3rd year)

email: paul.meyer [at]

Bio: Paul graduated from Texas Tech University in 2016 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Physics. As an undergraduate, Paul worked under the direction of Dr. Harvinder Gill, where he assembled gold nanoparticles for use in a universal Influenza A vaccine and also began a biodistribution study of said nanoparticles in mice. He has also completed two internships as a process engineer at both HollyFrontier and Renewable Energy Group. Paul joined the Lynd group near the end of 2016 and is co-advised by Dr. Willson. He also enjoys singing while using cleaning products.

Research: Paul’s research is composed of two main projects: Pitch-division photolithography at 365 nm for flat-panel display applications and block copolymer self-assembly for applications in lithium-ion battery separators, gas separation, and water purification.

Benjamin J. Pedretti (1st year)

email: pedretti [at]

Bio: Ben graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017 with his B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. While at UIUC, Ben worked under Prof. Steven C. Zimmerman on functionalized organic nanoparticles and small molecule therapeutic agents for Myotonic Dystrophy type I. He also completed internships with BASF and PepsiCo. He joined the Lynd Group in the fall of 2018. Ben enjoys long walks to the NMR and late nights by the chromatography column.

Research: Ben creates new concepts and materials for water purification with the joint UT-Austin/UCSB/LBNL M-WET center.

Freddy Rivers (1st year)

email: frivers [at]

Bio: Freddy graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2018. While there, he worked with Dr. Mary Laura Lind assisting with research regarding desalination membrane processes. He joined the Freeman/Lynd research groups in the fall of 2018 to begin work with the newly founded EFRC Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems (MWET).

Research: Freddy is working on new methods for creating polymer membranes for use in water purification and ion transport/selectivity.

rodriguez-christinaChristina G. Rodriguez (4th year)

email: cgrodriguez [at]

Bio: Christina majored in Chemistry in the College of Letters and Science at UC Santa Barbara and graduated in 2012. While at UCSB she worked under Prof. Craig Hawker through the internship program California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP). Her research focused on polymers for biomedical applications as well as DNA sequencing and smart coatings. After graduation she worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab exploring properties of polymers to better tune membranes for solar fuels. In 2015 she moved to Austin to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the advisement of Dr. Lynd and Dr. Freeman.

Research: Christina is developing a synthetic platform for polyether membranes used in gas separations.

Bill Wheatle

Bill K. Wheatle (4th year)

email: bkw686 [at]

Bio: Bill graduated from Cornell University in 2011 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. At Cornell, he studied the electrochemical behavior of Prussian blue type films electrodeposited on nickel surfaces and electroactive monomers in the presence of small metal cations. Aside from his work as a graduate student, Bill is an avid (but still novice) homebrewer.

Research: Bill is the theory and simulation powerhouse of the group! He studies ion solvation and dynamics in high polarity polymer electrolytes using molecular dynamics simulations and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. He also uses density functional theory to study polyether catalysts.

Qingjun Zhu - Portrait

Qingjun Zhu (3rd year)

email: qingjunzhu [at]

Bio: Qingjun Zhu graduated from Zhejiang University (ZJU) with a M. S. in Chemical Engineering and Technology in 2016. While at ZJU, he conducted research under the supervision of Prof. Kun Cao and Prof. Zhen Yao in the State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering. His research focused on developing effective polymeric additives as flow improvers for heavy crude oils. After graduation, he moved to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering. He is jointly advised by Dr. Nathaniel A. Lynd and Dr. C. Grant Willson.

Research: Qingjun is currently working on the synthesis and directed self-assembly of high χ block copolymers for applications in lithography and polymer separators/electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries.

Undergraduate Students

Christian Natajaya

Bio: Christian is one semester away from finally completing his degree in Chemical Engineering at UT Austin! Christian previously studied the effects of solvent on polyimide structure in thin films and its coefficient of thermal expansion.

Research: Christian is currently investigating the solution dynamics and stability of ultra-high molecular weight polyethers with different structures.



Diana Zhang

Bio: Diana is a fourth-year undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering. After a summer research experience, she joined the Lynd Group in Fall 2017 to pursue her newfound interests in soft matter. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school. Outside of lab, Diana enjoys trying new ice cream flavors, rock climbing, and cycling with Texas 4000.

Research: Diana works with Aaron to synthesize and investigate the properties of new polymer cryoprotectants.



William Sprague

Bio: William is a third-year undergraduate in the Chemical Engineering department at UT Austin.  He has worked with the Lynd Group since Summer 2018.  Major interests are classical music, chemistry, hiking, and programming.

Research: William is currently applying artificial membrane systems to investigate the behavior and mechanism of novel polymer cryoprotectants.



Youngjin Lee

Bio: Youngjin is a second-year undergraduate in the Chemical Engineering department at UT-Austin. He joined the Lynd Group in Fall 2018. His major interests outside of lab are watching soccer and reading novels.

Research: Youngjin works with Gosia to devise new methods for block copolymer synthesis.





Bio: Hyo Chul is a fourth-year undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering.  He joined the Lynd research groups in Spring 2019. Major Interests outside of lab are traveling, playing soccer and editing videos.

Research: Hyo Chul is currently working on capsules for CO2 absorption in a fluidized bed.



If interested in carrying out undergraduate research in the Lynd group, please fill out the form after the jump. [link]