The goals of my research program are aimed at understanding the fundamental behavior of transport through and reaction on inorganic membranes and catalytic membrane reactors. My current research projects include:
1) measuring and modeling transport of hydrogen in dense Pd and Pd alloy membranes combined with reaction on a supported catalyst
2) modeling transport in zeolite membranes for liquid and vapor separations based on diffusion and adsorption differences
3) modeling transport in mixed metal oxide membranes for oxygen separation from air.
I have also worked on further developing synthesis procedures to macro and micro structure inorganic materials and their supports to increase fluxes through supported zeolite thin films and supported and unsupported metals and metal oxides. Both experimental and modeling studies are being conducted to provide insight into the transport mechanisms driving the permeation and separation behavior.
Furthermore, I am beginning to conduct pedagogical research, specifically studying the effectiveness of different ways of increasing student engagement in the classroom, replacing “lecture time” with “discussion time”, and using real-time formative assessment tools to dynamically direct class to fit the students’ needs. Specifically we are studying the effects of having students use tablet PC’s and other free-form input devices in class, individually and in groups, to solve problems and answer discussion questions and to ask questions they would prefer not to ask aloud. This particular form of using technology in the classroom has been shown to increase student metacognition in Physics classes, and we are extending the study to engineering classes and looking in more detail at the ultimate effects on student learning.