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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.

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.

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.


Joshua Green

Graduate 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.


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.


Nicolas Ulrich

Undergraduate student

Nicolas is an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University and plans to graduate in 2024. He has Co-op experience as a Process Engineer at Argos Cement LLC. He is also currently working part-time at a startup called Automation Media Group.


Nicolas is from Athens, AL and grew up spending most of his time in the outdoors. These days camping, hiking, working on his car, reading and playing soccer are his favorite hobbies.

Isabella Perez

Undergraduate student

Isabella Perez is an undergraduate student at Auburn University majoring in Industrial & Systems Engineering, with plans to graduate in 2026. After graduation, Isabella plans to pursue Biomedical Engineering both in a graduate program and professionally. She has had a love for research for many years and hopes to use the skills she has developed in that time to improve the world of prosthetics. She also hopes to be part of an international exchange student program in the near future.

Isabella enjoys swimming, playing guitar, reading, listening to music, and playing board games. However, her favorite pastime is being in the company of the people she cares about.


Carson Williams

Undergraduate student

Carson Williams is an undergraduate student in chemical engineering at Auburn University class of 2025. He has experience working in the water treatment industry for Veolia Water Technologies and Solutions at various different plants that produce plastic films all the way to the new 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe. Over the years he has acquired some self-taught programming skills and is always looking for new projects to improve them. I enjoy problem-solving in various fields, specifically exploring physics phenomena.

Carson is from Daphne, AL, where he grew up playing soccer, which has partly led to his enjoyment of exercise and nutrition. Whenever he gets the chance, he loves traveling to new places and exploring the different cultures around the world. He helps others when he can and challenges himself in the areas where he cannot. He also appreciates all kinds of music and loves spending time with his family.

Gavin Johnson

Undergraduate student

Gavin is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He plans to graduate in 2026. He's interested in the oil & gas field as well as the coffee industry. He is looking to best integrate his passion for coffee into his future career in engineering. His ultimate dream is to open a coffee shop and roastery, utilizing the skills he will learn in the Chemical Engineering field to roast the beans himself.


In his free time, Gavin likes to watch baseball, work out, play pickleball, play video games, and go to coffee shops/find new ones. He spends a lot of time with his miniature schnauzer, Macie. Gavin also enjoys building his entrepreneurship business on eBay, buying and selling a variety of items for profit.

Mari Miles Dempsey

Undergraduate student


Ryan Duerr

Undergraduate student

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Yunseo Ha

Highschool student

Yunseo is a student from the Alabama School of Math and Science (c/o 2025) who is interested in robotics and biomimicry. She has recently gotten involved in research through an engineering project under the Research Fellows Program at her school, with which she has competed in the Regeneron ISEF. This summer, she hopes to further explore this newfound interest in research with a project in soft robotics under the mentorship of the NIFE lab.


Yunseo loves listening to, talking about, and playing music, especially on her guitar. She hopes to pursue electrical engineering in college and maybe own an electric guitar shop one day.

Past members

Setareh Heidari - grad student

Taylor Sorell - undergrad student

Molly McNair - undergrad student

Jebril Toumi - intern student

Jacob Thornton - undergrad student

Jay Griggs - undergrad student

Fiona Gambin - intern student

Samantha Banas - intern student

Kevin Label - intern student

Colin Lainey - intern student

Shankar P. Kharal - postdoctoral associate

Tori McDermott - undergrad student

Mari Miles Dempsey - undergrad student

Clay Williams - undergrad student

Will Johnson - undergrad student

Bennett Milton - undergrad student

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