Graduate Mentors


Chiamaka Obianyor

Chiamaka is a graduate student at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering at Georgia Tech. She earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University in Fall 2016, where she worked with Dr Theodore Wiesner as an undergraduate researcher.  She currently works for the Center for Chemical Evolution (CCE), and is co-advised by Martha Grover and Nicholas Hud. Her work focuses on understanding the origins of biopolymers such as nucleic acids in dynamic non-aqueous environments. Chiamaka organizes and participates in science outreach events with the CCE and served as a Leadership Coach with the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) office at Georgia Tech. She is originally from Lagos, Nigeria.


Ifayoyinsola Ibikunle

Ifayoyinsola (Yoyin) is a Chemical Engineering PhD student conducting research in the Athanasios Nenes group where she investigates the impacts of atmospheric aerosol chemistry on human & ecosystem health. Before GaTech, she obtained her BS in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to being involved in the Exxon-Mobil Success Program, she also serves as the Programs chair for the GaTech NSBE chapter.  Her personal life goal is to use her education and knowledge from previous experiences to help expose underrepresented minorities to available opportunities. 


Claudia Okonkwo

Claudia is a Chemical Engineering PhD student researching in the Christopher Jones Group at Georgia Tech. She completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. In March 2017, she received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award for her work on amine-modified mesoporous oxides.

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Juan Mena

Juan L. Mena is a Chemical Engineering PhD student at Georgia Tech, where he has been since Fall 2016. He earned his BS, also in Chemical Engineering, at Michigan State University. As a graduate student in the Prausnitz Lab, he works in the development of microneedle devices for diagnostic applications. During his time at Georgia Tech he has been involved in various student groups, including the ChBE Graduate Research Symposium organizing committee and the Student Alumni Association. He is originally from the Dominican Republic.

Past Mentors


Monica Perez-Cuevas

Monica Perez-Cuevas is a graduate student at the School of Chemical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology working in the lab of Dr. Mark Prausnitz. Her interests lie in drug delivery with applications in healthcare and cosmetics, and her current research involves the transdermal/topical delivery route. She has experience with small pre-clinical animal models and has collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through her work at Georgia Tech. 


Brian Pimentel

Brian completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in March 2018 with a focus on experimental measurement of adsorption and diffusion of hydrocarbons within metal-organic-frameworks, and their application towards scalable separation units. His work aims to reduce the energy costs associated with the purification of natural gas production by the development of a low energy separation process to supplement existing distillation technologies.