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         William M. Chirdon, Ph.D.
         Assistant Professor
         Department of Chemical Engineering





Dr. Chirdon has a variety of research interests in material science with expertise in the science and engineering of polymers and cementitious composites. His graduate work involved studying the optical properties of dielectrophoretically aligned short-fiber composites. His postdoctoral work involved the modeling of heat generation and transfer in concrete, where he invented a novel method for determining the transient thermal properties for reactive solids or semi-solids. His expertise in polymer science, structure/property relationships, finite element modeling, molecular weight characterization, and thermal characterization make him an strong collaborator for the Laboratory of Composite Materials.


      Dr. Dilip Depan,
      Research Scientist
      Department of Chemical Engineering
      Institute of Materials Research and Innovation




Dilip Depan, is Research Scientist at the Chemical Engineering Department at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  He is the member of The Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS-USA), and The Society of Polymer Science (India).  He received Ph.D. (2009) degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from National Chemical Laboratory, India, with an emphasis on biopolymers.  His research is focused on biomaterials for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. He is the recipient of Faculty of Dentistry Annual Fellowship Award at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and International Travel Grant Award from Institute of Nanotechnology, Scotland. He is an Editorial board member of Bioinspired, Biomimetic and Nanobiomaterials, and International Journal of Polymer Science. In his academic career he has published more than 30 research papers with ~ 980 citations, edited one book on “Biodegradable Polymeric Nanocomposites: Advances in Biomedical Applications” and several book chapters.              


         Mohammad J. Khattak, Ph.D., P.E.
         Associate Professor (Endowed)
         Department of Civil Engineering




Dr. Khattak has over 15 years of combined research, teaching experience in the areas of transportation materials characterization, numerical modeling, nondestructive testing, advance pavement design, and management and pavement performance modeling.

         Rebecca Scherff
         Director, Advanced Materials Laboratory
         Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana
         Scherff's Web Site





Scherff began her career with MEPOL as the Polymer Lab Technician in 2004. She rose to Polymer Lab Manager, then Project Director, before being named the Director of the Advanced Materials Laboratory in the spring of 2009. She attended Louisiana State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. Upon graduation, she was employed at C-K and Associates as an environmental scientist. Duties at the laboratory included quality control and toxicity testing. Scherff is responsible for delivering solutions on a myriad of plastic issues. Testing plastics for their mechanical and thermal properties and performing accelerated weathering and rapid prototyping highlight the functions of the Advanced Materials Laboratory. Scherff is heavily involved in new product development and assessments as well. Awards include the Unsung Hero of the Year Award, presented at the 2007 MEP National Conference.