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Student Research

The Institute actively engages students in the various research opportunities we are conducting. We train and mentor students of various research objectives. Some students are designated as Research Apprentice Students, who seek immersion into a research work they are interested in. Some are Student Workers, who seek on-campus employment and experience through research. The MS and PhD Students of various faculty collaborators conduct guided independent research works using the various facilities we have. We guide these students in all aspects of research work such as theoretical frameworks, experimental designs, data collection via physical or chemical analyses, data analysis and interpretation, and publishing. Most of the time, we just provide them with good on-campus company as they finish their degrees. Following are some remarks from these students.

Maci Gauthreaux, BS Chemical Engineering Student

"As an undergraduate research apprentice working in The Energy Institute of Louisiana, I have had the opportunity to learn so many things. I have also had the privilege of meeting a lot of people that have helped me throughout my career as a student. I can't imagine doing my research for any other program. It has been an amazing experience, and I will always remember the family that I have made here."

Kyle Leleux, BS Mechanical Engineering Student

"From using anaerobic bacteria that produces hydrogen, we are building a device that feeds the hydrogen into a fuel cell. The fuel cell can then have different applications. From powering a small stereo to potentially a small go-kart, EIL has given me the chance to be creative with what I do with my projects.”

Kyle Zappi, BS Chemical Engineering Student

"My project has been working with anaerobic bacteria that have been conditioned to produce hydrogen in a mixture of treated sewage sludge and waste from vegetable matter. From there I will be partnering up with mechanical engineering student Kyle Leleux to use the hydrogen produced by the bacteria to power a fuel cell. The EIL has given me the chance to apply what I’m learning in class to real-world applications.”

Pictured are Kyle Zappi (R) & Kyle Leleux (L) with their hydrogen fuel-cell kit.

Maria Rojas, BS Chemical Engineering Graduate

“In my time working at the Energy Institute of Louisiana I have gained valuable research experience. I analyze blue-green algae cake before and after a chemical reaction that creates glue. Even though I am not an official part of the research apprenticeship program, I am being trained and guided in my chosen research topic. This experience will be valuable for my graduate studies later on, and for my personal growth as a student. Being exposed to analytical equipment and individual research has been my favorite experience at UL as a chemical engineering undergraduate student.”

Will Gardner, BS Chemical Engineering Graduate

“While working with the EIL as an undergraduate research assistant, I have had the opportunity to work on many projects. Working with a variety of subjects has kept me very engaged throughout my experience working in this laboratory. This opportunity has served as a perfect compliment to my undergraduate courses. On top of that, I truly enjoy the company of everyone I work with. They make my experiments that much more exciting!”

John Pippins III, BS Chemical Engineering Graduate

“I worked at the Cleco Alternative Energy Center from the fall of 2012 through the summer of 2016, but am now working on campus. My main focus of research is lab-scale torrefaction, but I’m also equipped with analytical lab skills including elemental composition, energy content, and moisture analysis. Because of the research opportunities available through the Energy Institute of Louisiana, I was able to present at a variety of events throughout my time at UL.”

Mariah Fritz, BS Chemical Engineering Student

“We've collected wild- and farm-raised alligator eggs, and are comparing their yolk's lipid content via fatty acids analysis through gas chromatography. The goal is to re-engineer the alligator feed to increase the egg hatchability in the farm-raised alligators.”

Jonathan Trahan, MS Civil Engineering Student

"I am new to the EIL team here at UL. The first experiment I have become involved with is the treatment of wastewater through anaerobic digestion in order to measure the biogas production that results from providing various nutrient levels. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at EIL thus far and look forward to beginning my primary research dealing with the treatment of food waste from the cafeteria in the student union."

Gopi Chand Tripuraneni, MS Chemical Engineering Graduate

"My project is Performance of Activated Sludge as Additive in Water-based Drilling Fluid, a concept that proposes to utilize lipid-enhanced activated sludge as microbial lubricants in water-based mud. This can potentially reduce the usage of chemical additives to improve the properties of the drilling mud for oil and gas well-drilling operations."

Robert Bertrand, MS Chemical Engineering Graduate

“I gained research experience while obtaining an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at McNeese State University. While pursuing my master's degree here at UL, I am researching the impact of physical and chemical factors on emulsion stability.”

Jerry "Jace" Conerly, MS Chemical Engineering Student

“My current project at the EIL is focusing on the catalysis of different sulfur contaminants from natural gas streams.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the EIL while working towards my master's degree.  I have learned much from my fellow colleagues, bosses, and friends within the Institute while obtaining new knowledge and overcoming obstacles daily.  Everyone is friendly, caring, and willing to help you with whatever you need.”

Liew Chen Go, PhD Chemical Engineering Student

“My research is on the production of corrosion inhibitors from wastewater activated sludge. Having a chance to work in EIL is exciting. There are many things to learn. We encounter new challenges everyday but the faculty and staff are helpful and friendly!”