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Jean-François Louf

Principal Investigator, CV

Jean-François is an Assistant Professor at Auburn University in the Chemical Engineering department. He did both his undergraduate and graduate work in France (Nice - Lyon - Marseille). Later on, he worked as a postdoc at Virginia Tech with Sunny Jung, at CNRS Grenoble (France) with Philippe Marmottant, at the Technical University of Denmark with Kaare H. Jensen, and at Princeton University with Sujit S. Datta.

Jean-François is French and, as a result, loves red wine (be careful! he's picky) and food. He also loves thrills and doesn't hesitate to go very high to sky dive/hike the highest mountains, or also very deep to scuba dive in the seven seas.


Shankar Kharal

Postdoctoral Associate

Shankar Kharal is a postdoctoral researcher at Auburn University. He received his undergraduate degree from Tribhuvan University in Nepal, MS in Physics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Rowan University in New Jersey. His research revolves around investigations of complex multiphasic fluid dynamics and the interfacial phenomena with the broad goal of establishing principles for control over soft materials.

Shankar enjoys playing volleyball in his free time. Other arts he enjoys include creative writing, interior design, gardening, and pattern recognition. Aside from that, he enjoys cooking with his wife and traveling to new places.

Tofayel Ahammad Ovee

Graduate student

Tofayel is a graduate student (Phd) of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University. He had 09 years of industrial Experience with different organisations. He worked for Chevron Corporation as Operations Specialist (oil & gas), for Krisenergy Ltd. as control Room Specialist (oil & gas), lead acid battery manufacturering and polymer processing industry. He completed his bachelor in chemical engineering and polymer science from Shahjalal University of Science and technology, Bangladesh. During his bachelor he did his research with wastewater characterization.


He was involved with Chevron Diversity and inclusion committee during his job. He loves traveling, swimming, and cricket, movie, TV series.

Tori Phillips

Graduate student

Tori Phillips is a graduate student in chemical engineering at Auburn University. She graduated with her bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in spring of 2021. She has a particular interest in materials engineering and botany. She enjoys seeking answers to many different “why” questions and feels that curiosity is very important to research.


Tori is often found on the weekends hanging out with her elderly dog Maggie while tackling new art projects. She has a vast collection of houseplants that fill all corners of her apartment. She loves visiting new places, especially if she is able to come home with a good story from her adventure. In her free time, she loves planning fun outings with her friends, trying new restaurants, and searching the clearance sections at stores for good deals.


Jacob Thornton

Undergraduate student

Jacob is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He plans to graduate in 2023 and attend graduate school. Jacob enjoys problem solving and finds interest in computation in engineering. He is obtaining a minor in Computer Science in order to better pursue his interests.


Jacob grew up in Minnesota and in his free time likes to spend time with friends and cook. Jacob also enjoys all things outdoors including camping, hiking and rock climbing. He is also the current coach of Auburn University’s Climbing Club!


Joshua Green

Undergraduate student

Joshua is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University and plans to graduate in 2023. Joshua enjoys working problems and finds interest in the medical field. He has worked in compounding pharmacy for six years and is a member of the Auburn Chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society.


Joshua grew up in north Alabama living on the river he enjoys fishing and swimming. In his free time likes to read, as well as spend time with friends playing pickleball or racquetball. Joshua also enjoys hiking and gardening.


Tori McDermott

Undergraduate student

Tori is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. She plans to graduate from Auburn in 2025. Tori has a particular interest in Biomedical Engineering and problem solving. She enjoys learning more about the Chemical Engineering by being a member of the Auburn University chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Tori grew up in Nashville, TN where she loves listening to country music. Tori also loves spending time hiking in the Smokey Mountains. Some of her other interests include running, reading, and volunteering as a member of Auburn’s Beat Bama Food Drive.


Ethan Wavra

Undergraduate student

Ethan is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He plans to graduate in 2025 and then attend medical school. Besides chemical engineering, Ethan has taken French since grade school, and he plans to complete his minor at Auburn. He also serves as a college of Engineering SGA Senator.
Ethan grew up in Birmingham, AL. Most of his free time is spent hanging out with his friends, playing tennis, or traveling. He hopes to visit every country in the world before the end of his life. He also enjoys working on personal projects. Along with his roommate, he has managed to build a working flamethrower, trebuchet, and forge over the past 3 years.

Past members

Setareh Heidari - grad student

Taylor Sorell - undergrad student

Molly McNair - undergrad student

Jebril Toumi - Intern student

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