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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.

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.

Setareh Heidari

Graduate student

Setareh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. She obtained her Master's in Chemical Engineering from Sahand University of Technology (Iran) in 2014 where she gained experience in membrane science and technology field. Setareh has worked on research for the synthesis, functionalization, and applications of polymeric and nanocomposite membranes (MF, UF, NF, and RO) at the Membrane Research Centre, Sahand University of Technology (Iran), and Polymer and Membrane Research Centers of Razi University (Iran). She has also collaborated in several multidisciplinary research projects covering various fields of application such as sustainable energy, process technology, materials science, Nano, and biotechnology. 

In her spare time, Setareh loves traveling, shopping, music, and going on adventures with friends. Beyond anything, Setareh loves learning and acquiring knowledge of state-of-the-art technologies and talking with other passionate people.  

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Molly McNair

Undergraduate student

Molly is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. She plans to graduate in 2023. Currently, Molly serves as the Secretary for the Auburn University chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and is on the chapter’s Jeopardy team. As a Jeopardy team member, she participates in chemical engineering-based Jeopardy competitions with other AIChE chapters across the southeastern United States. The team has been very successful and qualified to compete at the 2021 National AIChE Student Conference.


In her free time, Molly loves to swim. She grew up on the Gulf Coast and spends many afternoons swimming in both pools and the ocean, although in Auburn, that has become mostly pools. Additionally, she enjoys ending her day with a home cooked meal, and spent the summer of 2021 studying flavor combinations and preparing a variety of meals for her family.

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.

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.

Taylor Sorrell

Undergraduate student

Taylor is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He plans to graduate in 2023 and begin work in industry. His areas of interests include specialty chemicals, energy generation, and pharmaceuticals. Taylor shows enthusiasm for both the technical and relational aspects of engineering, appreciating teamwork just as much as lab work. This appreciation has caused him to seek a minor in business at Auburn as well as consider a future in engineering management.


Taylor is from the US Gulf Coast and as a result loves being near the water. In his spare time, he enjoys reading as well as playing team sports such as baseball and basketball. Taylor also loves to travel, both domestically and internationally. He enjoys visiting new and exciting places, whether they are as close as a few miles away or as far as his favorite travel destination, Florence, Italy!

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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.