Ruilan Guo, an assistant professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named a recipient of a 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Development Research Program award. The program, now in its fourth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.
Guo’s primary research interests are focused on development and characterization of novel polymeric materials with applications in areas impacting both energy and the environment. Her research topics include studies on molecular design, synthesis and characterization of new co-polymers for cleaner energy production (fuel cells), high-performance polymer membranes for gas/liquid separations and water purification, structure-property relationship of polymer networks/gels, atomistic study on polymer-free volume, and polymer coatings.
Her Early Career Development Research Program project is titled, “Design Synthesis and Characterization of Tripycene-Containing Macromolecules with Hierarchically Controlled Architectures as Functional Membrane Materials for Energy Applications.” Membrane technology, which takes advantage of materials’ selectivity rather than energy to perform separations, is a promising approach because of its low-energy consumption, environmental friendliness, modularity and reliability. The objective of her research is to design and develop a new platform of high-performance functional polymeric membranes with hierarchically controlled architectures derived from three-dimensional, shape-persistent triptycene molecular units.
Guo earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Beijing University of Chemical Technology. She earned her doctorate from Georgia Tech and completed postdoctoral research at Virginia Tech.
Guo joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2012.