Before attending graduate school, Robert (Robbie) participated in several research involvements in renewable, sustainable energy and chemicals. He began working with the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies (CSET), now the Bioeconomy Institute, characterizing fast pyrolysis bio-oil. During his senior year Robbie conducted work involving the synthesis a common chemical intermediate, 5-HMF, from glucose with the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC). In the summer months, Robbie participated in two NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs. One REU program was with the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University studying ammonia pretreatment of lignocellulosic cornstover and a second at the University of Kansas where he was introduced to his current, graduate work of hydrothermal conversion of algae to generate a biocrude, petroleum-substitute product and other higher-valued coproducts.
In addition to research Robbie is an avid traveler and enjoys being introduced to a variety of different cultures; hence, he acquired a second degree in French. His favorite trips to date are sailing the Whitsunday Islands and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Outside the laboratory, one can catch Robbie on the soccer pitch or ice arena, out at Clinton Lake, or enjoying the many events held in downtown Lawrence and Kansas City.
Iowa State University
B.S. Chemical & Biological Engineering
B.S. Liberal Arts and Sciences: World Languages & Cultures – French
University of Kansas
PhD Student Chemical & Petroleum Engineering