Current Research

I work at the intersection of civil engineering, sustainable construction, materials science, ionizing radiation, polymer chemistry and waste management. Check out some of my research projects below!

The Synthesis of a Novel Polyelectrolyte Membrane for Coal Ash Lithium Ion Extraction

Ongoing
  • Researching the recycling of coal ash through the extraction of lithium ions via polyelectrolyte membranes
  • Lithium is essential for sustainable next-generation technology
  • Current lithium mining techniques are costly, time-and-energy consuming, and wasteful
  • Hypothesize that this technology will be successful in small-scale recovery and industrial-scale generation

Cost-effective monomer, 4-vinylbenzoic acid (4-VBA) for free-radical induced grafting

Equipment

  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • Ultraviolet-visible Spectroscopy (UV-Vis)
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX)

HVAC Ductoad Snaptics

Ongoing
  • Researching the performance of plastic snap-in-place flexible HVAC duct connectors
  • Evaluating laboratory capacity and equipment to perform UL and ASTM standard tests
  • Working with industry startup owner to discuss establish project details, timelines, goals, and deliverables

Schematic of Ductoad Snaptics project showing plastic snap-in-place connectors

Equipment

  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • Tensile Testing (ASTM)

Previous Research

Most of my previous work focused on the inclusion of waste plastics as a method for sustainable materials management. Check out some of my research projects below!

The Recovery of Waste Polypropylene & Synthesis of a Sustainable Extrudable Paste for Additive Manufacturing

May 2021
  • Researched the recovery of waste polypropylene from COVID-19 face mask waste using selective solvent-recovery techniques
  • Explored the use of recovered polypropylene for the synthesis of a more sustainable extrudable polymer filament for additive manufacturing

Schematic showing the recovery of polypropylene and synthesis of an extrudable paste

Paper →

Presentation →


Cutting out Cobalt: Cathode Alternatives

December 2020
  • Researched the removal of cobalt cathode materials in modern rechargeable lithium ion batteries

Schematic of the charging and discharging cycles of lithium cobalt oxide cathode in a rechargeable battery

Paper →

Presentation →


Literature Review: The Impact of Limestone and Plastic Additives on Concrete

April 2020
  • Researched the physical performance, material characterization, and mix design of “green” concrete
  • Participated in pilot civil engineering undergraduate research course

Shaking Concrete Cylinders to Remove Air Bubbles

Image 2 of 3

Equipment

  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer (SALD 2300)
  • Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (EDX-7000)
  • Compression & Tensile Testing (ASTM)

Research Methods →

Literature Review →


The Incorporation of Plastics in Asphalt: A Review

June 2019
  • Researched global plastic production and evolving uses of waste stream plastic as a means of improving asphalt physical performance
  • Secured grant funding to attend first international professional conference

7th International Conference on Bituminous Mixtures & Pavements

Poster Sessions

12 June, 2019 Parallel Sessions – 2, Epidavros Room 2

14 June, 2019 Parallel Session – 7, Ballroom 3

Siciliano, A.P., Das, G.P., & Jafferji, H. (2019). “The Incorporation of Plastics in Asphalt: A Review.” 7th Int. Conf. on Bituminous Mixtures and Pavements, Bituminous Mixtures & Pavements VII (Poster), Thessaloniki, Greece, 12 June – 14 June 2019.

Siciliano, A.P., Das, G.P., & Jafferji, H. (2019). “The Incorporation of Plastics in Asphalt: A Review.” Wentworth Research & Writing Review Undergraduate Journal, 1(1), 6-12.


The Effects of Recycled Additives in Concrete

April 2018
  • Researched the benefits of using additives such as nails, rubber, PVC fibers, brush fibers in concrete mixtures as a means of improving mixture sustainability
  • Presented findings at the 2018 Colleges of the Fenway Muddy River Symposium

Experimental brush fiber concrete cylinder showing crack marks after compression testing

Equipment

  • Compression & Tensile Testing (ASTM)

Poster →

Abstract →