Academic Involvement and Interdisciplinary Research

Meryem Pehlivaner, PhD, Chemical Engineering, 2018— A fourth-year PhD student in the Ekenseair Group, Meryem Pehlivaner develops innovative materials for a variety of applications, including biomedical, environmental, and industrial.

Most recently, Pehlivaner worked on a project where she created an electrode with an interdisciplinary team from Cornell University. This cutting-edge research led to a story in R&D Magazine titled “Bacteria-Coated Nanofiber Electrodes Digest Pollutants”.

“I value the discussions with cross-disciplinary research teams, shared ideas, and formed collaborations. It is great to work with an interdisciplinary team. It improves the quality of research and shortens the project timeline. In this study, I had a chance to work with environmental engineers,” Pehlivaner explains.

This ground-breaking material reduces the price of electrodes, makes it easier to clean up wastewater, and increases current production in bioelectrochemical systems. “This research relates to the career area that I would like to work in eventually. My focus in this research was to develop a cost-competitive electrode material with high conductivity and porosity for simultaneous wastewater treatment and production of electrical energy.  During my PhD at Northeastern, I have worked on developing sprayable regenerative hydrogels that can be applied during endoscopic procedures in order to provide a higher quality of life for patients,” Pehlivaner says.

While at Northeastern University, she is a model for the experiential learning concept by participating in conferences, department events, poster sessions, and going on co-op at Saint-Gobain.

Related Departments:Chemical Engineering