Professor, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering

Associate Chair and Undergraduate Program Coordinator

James K. Ferri, Ph.D.

James K. Ferri is Professor and Associate Chair of Chemical and Life Science Engineering (CLSE) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia.  He has been a guest and visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany; the Consorzio per lo Sviluppo dei Sistemi a Grande Interfase and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florence, Florence, Italy; the Suzhou Institute for Biomedical Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, Suzhou, China; and the Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.  His research focuses on the stability of disperse systems, smart nanomaterials, interfacial phenomena, and additive manufacturing.  His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the U.S. Department of Education, as well as through industrial partnerships.  He has received awards from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), the Max Planck Society, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

Graduate Student, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering

NASA Graduate Research Fellow

Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker focuses on inorganic aerogels. An aerogel is a mesoporous solid made of connecting nanostructures and is the lightest solid material in the world. Aerogels are useful in many different applications due to their low density, low thermal conductivity, and high specific surface area. Her work aims to investigate the addition of surfactants to the sol prior to gelation. The surfactants are used as templating agents, preventing the collapse of the mesoporous structure of the aerogel upon gelation and supercritical drying.  Rebecca holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Graduate Student, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering

Kaitlin Kay

Kaitlin Kay studies complex colloidal phenomena include aggregation and deposition using both experimental approaches and theory.  She also has experience in aerogel fabrication and in the characterization of 3dP unit operations.  She is also focusing on properties - performance relationships in complex physical systems and is part of the development of the MPrint Open Knowledge Network.  She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and in Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Research Associate, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering

Robert McMillin

Robert (Mac) McMillin is interested in continuous emulsification and the analysis of concentrated emulsion systems. He develops photon correlation spectroscopy and multiscattering methods, particiularly diffusing wave spectroscopy (DWS) to gain insight into stability, mean drop size, drop size distribution, and aging kinetics of dense emulsions and suspensions. Mac is also skilled at design and fabrication of continuous reactor systems and continuous emulsification devices. I am also interested in developing both image analysis algorithms that determine physical properties of interfaces and automated experimental platforms to facilitate the development of large, precise sets of process performance data.


Virginia Commonwealth University