Principal Investigator

Dr. Wenyu Huang

Dr. Huang received a B.S. in Chemistry from Nanjing University, China in 2000. After receiving an M.S. in 2002 also from Nanjing University, he started his Ph.D. research with Professor Mostafa A. El-Sayed at Georgia Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D. in 2007. Dr. Huang then began postdoctoral research with Professor Gabor A. Somorjai at University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in August 2007. He joined the faculty at Iowa State University in August 2011 as an Assistant Professor.


PostDoctoral Fellows

Dr. Chao Meng

Chao received his Ph.D. degree in Shanghai Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, East China Normal University (2017-2022), majoring in Physical Chemistry. He is currently working on polymer upcycling to lubricant oil. His personal interests include playing basketball, hiking, and watching movies.

Dr. Xun Wu

Xun received his Ph.D. degree at Iowa State University in 2023 from Dr. Huang’s group. His highly successful work on polymer upcycling led him to start his own company, Upcycling+. Xun considers himself an innovator who connects the fundamental understanding of polymer deconstruction to the commercial focus by designing, testing, and navigating the pathway for non-recyclable plastic upcycling!

graduate Students

Puranjan Chatterjee

After receiving his integrated BS-MS degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata with experience in organic synthesis, Puranjan started his PhD at Iowa State University in Fall 2018. Over the course of his PhD, Puranjan worked extensively on the synthesis, functionalization, and characterization of nanostructured materials to understand their interfacial behavior. His primary focus was on developing novel materials for important catalytic conversions and separation of rare-earth elements. Some of my hobbies include photography, watching movies, and exploring new places.

Charles Ward

Charles received a B.S. in Chemistry from Iowa State University in 2018, with research experience in the field of metal-organic frameworks. He started his PhD at Iowa State University in the Fall of 2019. Charles’s PhD work has focused on the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of nanoscale intermetallic compounds as highly effective catalysts. Outside the lab, Charles enjoys disc golf, basketball, and cooking.

Tommy Johnson

Tommy grew up in Lindsborg, Kansas, then graduated from high school from Mason City High School. He received his bachelor of science in biochemistry from North Park University in 2018. He began his graduate program, joining the Huang Group in 2020, researching platinum and ruthenium single-site catalysts for the upcycling of polyethylene and modular metal oxide supports. What do you like to do in your free time? “I love to spend quality time with my beautiful wife, Sophie, and my amazing one-year-old daughter Toviana.”

Kanika Lalit

Kanika earned her master's degree from Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. Currently, her focus is on electrochemical CO2 reduction through heterogeneous catalysis. Kanika also works on heterogeneous catalysis using metal-organic frameworks as support. Outside of her academic pursuits, she enjoys engaging in activities such as journaling, cooking, and listening to soothing music during her free time.

Simin Sun

Simin received a bachelor's degree from Beijing Normal University with a major in Chemistry. Currently, Simin is working on the polymer upcycling project and electrocatalysis. Her personal interests include playing badminton, traveling, and watching movies.

Andrew Lamkins

Andrew got his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State in Spring 2021 and started graduate school in the Fall. He studies the design of optimized materials before applying them to various industrially relevant processes. His research focuses on synthesizing single-atom catalysts by isolating metal atoms and dispersing them in a high-entropy system. Some of his hobbies include rock climbing, video games, and cooking.

Longji Li

Longji received his BA degree from Western Kentucky University in 2021, majoring in chemistry and minoring in mathematics. He is currently working on developing catalysts for the hydrogenolysis of polyolefins and ring-opening metathesis polymerization. His hobbies include reading, watching movies, and video games.

Minghui Niu

Minghui Graduated with a BA degree from Jilin University, majoring in chemistry (2016 - 2020). He is interested in nanocatalyst synthesis, and his personal interests include games, music, and books.

Ruoyu Cui

Ruoyu received a B.S. in chemistry from Anhui Normal University (2018-2022). Then, he started PhD at Iowa State University in Fall 2022 and worked on polymer upcycling. Ruoyu loves running and playing football during his free time.

Xiao Yang

Xiao received his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 2023 and continued his doctoral studies at Iowa State University in the same year. Xiao’s major is inorganic chemistry. His hobbies include travel, history, and movies.

Joseph Thuma

Joseph was born in Woodstock, Il and grew up in Harvard,Il. He attended Dominican University in River Forest, Il. Here he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and worked with Dr. Daniela Andrei. He joined the Stanley group in the Fall of 2023.

Sebastian Huerta-Romo Picazo

Sebastian was born in Mexico, where he obtained his bachelor's degree in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering. As an undergraduate, he worked on functionalizing nanoparticles to remove contaminants from wastewater. In 2023, he joined our group to work on the plastic upcycling project. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and making music.

Undergraduate Students

Ana Downing

Ana is a sophomore in chemistry. She is currently working on CO2 reduction. Ana like to knit, paint, make jewelry, take care of her plants, and read.