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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Meet our students.

PhD student Danielle Harrier joined Illinois in Fall 2017

Where are you from? Where did you receive your undergraduate degree?

I am from Española, a small town in northern New Mexico. I received my bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico. Go Lobos!

Why did you choose the University of Illinois and the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program?

I chose to attend graduate school at Illinois because the breadth of research offered by the department and more particularly by the opportunity I received to work with two principle investigators, Professor Damien Guironnet and Professor Paul Kenis. This collaboration puts me at the forefront of understanding and solving current global issues—including creating sustainable polymers.

Tell us about your research interests. What lab do you work in and what is your role in the lab?

My research surrounds utilizing microfluidics to perform advanced encapsulation of catalytic material. This encapsulation will allow me to perform water sensitive catalytic polymerizations of biodegradable polymers in an aqueous dispersion. This project utilizes the expertise in catalytic polymerization and emulsion polymerization of Professor Damien Guironnet. The development of the microfluidic technology is overseen by Professor Paul Kenis.

What are your plans after you receive your Ph.D.?

I have found my passion in the laboratory and I want to continue exploring the depth of research that I am passionate about. I would like to continue my research career as a professor, to solve global problems, while providing information, mentorship, and support for minority students across the STEM disciplines.

What’s your favorite thing to do around campus or in Champaign-Urbana? (Favorite restaurant, favorite way or place to unwind?)

Every morning you can find me starting my day at the Campus Recreation Center with a couple of other women in the department. I’m also a huge fan of going around town and trying all of the different coffee shops.

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