Soleimani, Elham

Ellie is a PhD. Researcher and Environmental Engineer/Scientist with over ten years experience as an environmental consultant. Ellie received her B.Sc in Environmental Engineering from Tehran Environmental University, Iran, in July 2004 and Bachelor of Environmental Science from Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran in March 2016.

Ellie is working on Microplastics Characteristics, Migration, Accumulation, Serving as Vector and Media for Contaminants and fate of MPs in landfill leachate under the supervision of Prof Abdelmalek Bouazza (principal supervisor) and Prof Mark Monroe Banaszak Holl (associate supervisor) from February 2021.

Her M.Sc. research was waste-to-energy, calculating and implementing Methane emission potential &extractable energy of solid waste landfill, LandGem modelling – producing 2MW electricity led to a 50% CO2 emission reduction (Halghe Dareh landfill).

Ellie’s area of expertise is in waste management and landfill design and auditing, and environmental consulting within a broad range of industries and applications, including due diligence, statutory compliance, EES, EMS and EMPs, contaminated land & site with private and public centres in various industries (oil& gas, petrochemical, mining, automotive, pharmaceutical, food, construction, cement, wind and solar farm).

She has valuable extensive working experiences with roles in numerous environmental development projects, waste management and landfill audit and environmental and sustainability management. She has years of experiences as an Environmental Consultant with EPAWM, RSA and KWM consultancy companies in Iran (Tehran). After moving to Australia in 2016, Ellie joined GHD (Melbourne) as an Environmental Engineer and worked with waste management and landfill audit and environmental and sustainability audit team. Also, Ellie has valuable experiences as a Senior Professional Environmental Scientist with AECOM (Melbourne) regards to working on environmental projects with both Geoscience & Remediation Services and Impact Assessment & Permitting team.

Ellie enjoys reading books, playing tennis, travelling to unknown places, camping and the outdoors, spending time with her friends, music, movies, series.”

Pazirofteh, Mahdieh

Mahdieh received her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Kermanshah University of Technology in 2014. She spent her time working in Nanoalvand pharmaceutical company (Tehran, Iran) as a quality control specialist for 18 months. After moving to Australia in 2018, She started working as a research assistant and teaching assistant at the chemical engineering department, Monash University. She worked with PhD researchers on environmental projects including recycling of nanocellulose. She started her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Monash University in 2020. Her PhD is an industrial-based project with the partnership of Paintback® and BASF. She is interested in designing environmentally sustainable processes. During her graduate research degree, she will work on the valorisation of waterborne acrylic paint.

She is interested in camping in nature, she likes Australia’s nature. Also, she watches movies during her spare time.

Putera, Kevin Hutomo

Kevin was born in Indonesia and left home to Australia in 2015 to pursue his undergrad study at Monash University. He received his B.Eng. (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from Monash in 2019. Being very interested in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) research project that he worked on under the supervision of Professor Mark Banaszak Holl and Jinhee Kim during his final year of undergrad, he decided to pursue Ph.D. and joined the Banaszak Holl lab to continue doing research in that field after completing his undergraduate study. His Ph.D. research, co-supervised by Mark Banaszak Holl and Professor Victoria Haritos, will focus on domain morphology of damage induced to the human ACL as well as developing detection methods to prevent athletes from rupturing their ACL.

You can see Kevin’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition entry here. He won the Department of Engineering Competition in 2021.

Outside of University, Kevin loves to go to the cinema to watch newly released movies of various genres including comedy, sci-fic and action. He is also a big sport fan of soccer and particularly interested in the English Premier League.

Hu, Ting

Ting graduated from Hubei University 2013 and earned her Master’s degree in Polymer Science from Zhejiang University in 2016. For her Master’s research, she designed a series of bio-probes for the detection of biomacromolecules such as DNA, heparin and HA. After a period of work in Huanan Industrial Technology Research Institute of Zhejiang University as an assistant engineer for cosmetic formula development, she has returned to academia as a PhD student at Monash University in September 2019, co-supervised by Professor Mark Banaszak Holl and Professor Xiwang Zhang. Her PhD research in the ARC Research Hub for Energy Efficient Separation focuses on the development of a membranes for biological applications.

Master’s Research Publications:

Effect of ionic interaction on the mechanochromic properties of pyridinium modified tetraphenylethene. Ting Hu, Bicheng Yao, Xiujuan Chen, Weizhang Li, Zhegang Song, Anjun Qin, Jing Zhi Sun and Ben Zhong Tang. Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 8849-8852.

Multi-Functional Hyperbranched Poly(vinylene sulfide)s Constructed via Spontaneous Thiol−Yne Click Polymerization. Bicheng Yao, Ting Hu, Haoke Zhang, Jie Li, Jing Zhi Sun, Anjun Qin, and Ben Zhong Tang. Macromolecules, 2015, 48, 7782-7791.

Investigation of the binding modes between AIE-active molecules and dsDNA by single molecule force spectroscopy. Ying Chen, Ke Ma, Ting Hu, Bo Jiang, Bin Xu, Wenjing Tian, Jing Zhi Sun and Wenke Zhang. Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 8939-8945.

Deciphering the binding behaviours of BSA using ionic AIE-active fluorescent probes. Jiaqi Tong, Ting Hu and Ben Zhong Tang. Faraday Discussions, 2017 Feb 1, 196: 285 – 303.

Samadian, Hajar

Hajar received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Her field of research in Master was wastewater treatment using a biological method. After graduation, she spent her time working in pharmaceutical research laboratories. She began her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Monash University in 2019.
She is interested in applied pharmaceutical sciences. Thus, she joined the Banaszak Holl group. During her graduate research degree, she will work on folate binding protein (FBP) as a delivery agent for cancer treatment.
She is also expert in photography and spending her spare time doing voluntary work for children as well as bushwalking.

You can learn more about Hajar’s amazing contributions to COVID-19 diagnostic development. Her article was a 2020 Most-Read article in ACS Sensors and a 2020 Australian Research Council research highlight. It was also included in the ACS 2021 Virtual Issue on Advances in COVID-19 Testing.

She describes here thesis project in her Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition entry.

Dehghani, Mostafa

Mostafa received his B.Sc in Chemical Engineering (gas treatment) from Kermanshah University of Technology (KUT), Iran, in July 2014. For his M.Sc. research at the University of Kashan, he developed new polymeric membranes, mainly using the PEBAX polymers and nano-oxide materials as filler. He also prepared different functionalized materials for gas separation and used molecular simulation approach to simulated both diffusivity and solubility through polymeric mixed matrix membranes. He has also used molecular simulation to investigate adsorption processes for zeolite and oxide materials.

He began his Ph.D under supervision of Prof. Warren Batchelor and Prof. Mark Banaszak Holl at Monash University, Australia, in Sep. 2018. He will study Cellulose nanofiber composites for wastewater treatment by modification of these materials using the mesoporous oxide materials.

Outside of the lab, he is keen about research, sport and camping outside the city. He also is a fierce fan of movie and cinema.

A general overview of his thesis project is provided by his Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition entry.

Mostafa led a team competing in the James Dyson Design Competition.

He is currently a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Gil Garnier at BioPRIA.

Publications from B.Sc. and M.Sc work:

  1. Morteza Asghari*, Amir Hossein Harandizadeh, Mostafa Dehghani, Hossein Riasat Harami, Persian Gulf desalination using air gap membrane distillation: Numerical simulation and theoretical study, Desalination, 374:92-100 · October 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2015.07.019
  2. Mostafa Dehghani, Morteza Asghari*, Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Amir H. Mohammadi, Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulation of the structural properties, diffusion and adsorption of poly (amide-6-b-ethylene oxide)/Faujasite mixed matrix membranes, Journal of Molecular Liquids, 242:404–415 · September 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2017.07.034
  3. Mahdieh Pazirofteh, Mostafa Dehghani*, Saber Niazi, Amir H. Mohammadi, Morteza Asghari, Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Monte Carlo Study of Transport and Structural Properties of PEBA 1657 and 2533 Membranes Modified by Functionalized POSS-PEG Material, Journal of Molecular Liquids, 241:646-653 · September 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2017.06.073
  4. Mostafa Dehghani, Morteza Asghari*, Amir H. Mohammadi, Meisam Mokhtari, Molecular Simulation and Monte Carlo Study of Structural-Transport-Properties of PEBA-MFI Zeolite Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2, CH4 and N2 Separation, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 103:12-22 · August 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.compchemeng.2017.03.002
  5. Morteza Asghari*, Mahdi Sheikh, Morteza Afsari, Mostafa Dehghani, Molecular Simulation and Experimental Investigation of Temperature Effect on Chitosan-Nanosilica Supported Mixed Matrix Membranes for Dehydration of Ethanol via Pervaporation, Journal of Molecular Liquids, 246:7-16, November 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2017.09.045
  6. Abdollah Khosravanian, Mostafa Dehghani*, Mahdieh Pazirofteh, Morteza Asghari, Amir H. Mohammadi, Davood Shahsavari, Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Structural Properties, Diffusion and Adsorption of Hydrogen Molecules through Poly(Benzimidazoles)/Nanoparticle Oxides Composites, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, In Press, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2017.12.122
  7. Morteza Asghari*, Mostafa Dehghani, Hossein Riasat Harami, Effects of operating parameters in sweeping gas membrane distillation process: Numerical simulation of Persian Gulf seawater desalination, Journal of Water and Environmental Nanotechnology (JWENT).
  8. Morteza Asghari*, Mahdi Sheikh, Mostafa Dehghani, Comparison of ZnO nanofillers of different shapes on physical, thermal and gas transport properties of PEBA membrane: experimental testing and molecular simulation, Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology DOI: 10.1002/jctb.5614.

Cousineau, Kandarpa

Kandarpa Cousineau hails from Riverside, California, where she went to University of California at Riverside. She received a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Women’s Studies and graduated cum laude in 2006. She performed research on C-H activation using tin and investigating the reactivity of group 10 metal complexes with tin.

Kandarpa works as a quality control chemist at Uniqema.



Rohr, Ahleah

Ahleah graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2006 with a B.S. in Chemistry.  As an undergraduate, she worked in the Gudmundsdottir lab synthesizing triplet vinyl azides.  Ahleah worked on Organometallic chemistry and the development and analysis of a new chemical hygiene curriculum for her thesis. She went on to get her Masters in Public Health at Michigan.


Ahleah worked as a Senior Associate at ENVIRON in the Air Sciences Practice and the Health Sciences Group. She worked on various aspects involving air dispersion modeling, regulatory compliance, toxic tort litigation and hearing conservation. Her work at ENVIRON has included assisting clients with technical analyses for litigation proceedings, conducting noise surveying and monitoring, and air quality and GHG regulatory compliance at the state and federal levels. Ahleah supported clients and worked with diverse industries such as consumer products, petroleum refining, manufacturing, and construction.

She is currently an Industrial Hygienist for Earth Resources Technology, Inc working at NASA Ames Research Center.


Alheah on graduation day 2013 with Dean Philbert

Bartolin, Jeff

Jeff Bartolin received his B. S. in chemistry from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1999.  He was the second alumnus of that esteemed institution to join the research group!  Jeff pursued research in the area of organometallic chemistry.

Bender IV, John E.

John, the holder of a prestigious NSF graduate fellowship, joined the group in December of 1993. His research focus was the organometallic chemistry of germanium.

John graduated with his PhD in the summer of 1998 and is now an associate professor of chemistry at Grand Valley State University.

Mecke, Almut

Almut graduated with a Diplom degree in physics from the University Tuebingen in Germany in 1997. Although she initially intended to obtain a Ph.D. in theoretical high energy physics from the University of Michigan, she switched fields in the summer of 2000 and joined the Banaszak Holl / Orr research group. During her Ph.D. research she studied the properties of branched polymers, called dendrimers, using both experimental and computational methods. She investigated how dendrimers interact with surfaces, in particular lipid membranes which serve as a model for cell membranes. Using an atomic force microscope she was able to observe the interaction of dendrimers with such membranes. The results showed how various properties of dendrimer molecules influence their ability to enter cells through the cell membrane. This information can help to design “smart” molecules that can be used to fight disease, for example by transporting drugs into specific cells. Almut graduated in 2004, and in April of 2005 was awarded the annual Terwilliger Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in the University of Michigan Department of Physics. After graduation Almut continued her work with the Banaszak Holl / Orr group as a postdoc for six months and then as a postdoc at the University of Basel in Switzerland.   She currently works for Roche Pharmaceuticals.

Ge, Song

Song Ge obtained his B.S. from Shandong University in China. His research work employs SQUID imaging of magnetic nanoparticles as part of a larger project developing nanotherapeutics for cancer therapy.

Meeuwenberg, Leah

Leah obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College.  She worked on the characterization of thin silicon oxide films.

McCalmont, Karla A. Miller

Karla graduated from the St. Olaf in the spring of 1997 with a B.A in chemistry and math.  During her time as a graduate student at Michigan she discovered novel intermolecular CH-insertion reactions and CH-activation reactions using germanium.  Karla completed a post-doc with Bill Trogler at UCSD.  She currently lives in San Diego.

Landmark, Kevin

Kevin graduated from Michigan Technological University in May 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in physics. He then spent the next two years working in the automotive industry for Visteon Corporation as a Test Engineer before deciding to pursue a Ph.D. Kevin’s PhD research involved  synthesizing and characterizing magnetic nanoparticles and studying their targeted uptaked into cancer cells.

Kevin’s 2008 ACS Nano paper was featured in the February 2011 ACS Nano  Virtual Special Issue on Drug Delivery.

Kevin is current working at Northern Technologies International Corporation.

Khan, Damian

Damian Khan received a B.S. in physics from Morehouse College and an M.S. in physics from Clark Atlanta University. He is currently an applied physics graduate student working with the Orr group and Banaszak Holl groups where he does STM imaging of coated gold surfaces.

Kelly, Christopher

Chris graduated from Oberlin College in 2003 and spent the following year performing research at the NASA-Glenn research labs. Chris’ research at Michigan made contributions towards exploring the physical and chemical principles underlying the interactions of poly(amidoamine) dendrimers with biological membranes.  While at Michigan, Chris was a  Fellow of the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute.

Chris was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratories of Barbara Baird and Harold Craighead at Cornell University.  He is currently an assistant professor of physics at Wayne State University.

Kavara, Ajdin

Ajdin Kavara is originally from Capljina, Bosnia and Hercegovinia.  He moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1997 and obtained his B.S. in chemistry from Grand Valley State University in 2004.  He did undergraduate research with Prof. Kovacs on the heterogeneously catalyzed breakdown of sugars.  His PhD work is focused on CH-activation chemistry using Sn, applications of the products to cross-coupling chemistry, and novel approaches to natural products.

In 2009, Ajdin received the Peter A. S. Smith fellowship for research in synthetic organic or inorganic chemistry.

Ajdin was a post-doctoral associate in Pat Holland’s group at the University of Rochester and then an adjunct faculty member at Grand Valley State University.  Ajdin then moved to industry working at Pfizer and Jordi Labs.  He is currently working at Avitide, Inc.

Chen, Jiumei

Jiumei was a double major at Tianjin University obtaining a Bachelors of Engineering in Polymer Materials and Engineering and a Bachelors of Arts in English.  She then obtained an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Wayne State University.  She is now using patch clamp techniques to study the interactions between nanoparticles and biological membranes.  This work will help to provide an understanding of nanoparticle toxicity and the mechanism of DNA transfection.

In October 2006, Jiumei won the prestigious Mayaterials Incorporated Award in recognition of her academic excellence in the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Center.  The award was presented at the banquet of the annual  symposium.  In the 2009, Jiumei won the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program.