Thomas Epps

Thomas Epps, III

Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Materials Science & Engineering

Email : thepps@udel.edu

Phone : (302) 831-0215

232 Colburn Lab

Biosketch

Prof. Epps is the Director of the Center for Research in Soft matter & Polymers and the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD) with a joint appointment in Materials Science & Engineering and an affiliated appointment in Biomedical Engineering. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1998 and an M.S. from Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1999.  He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2004. Prof. Epps was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at NIST from 2004-2006, prior to joining UD in the Fall of 2006.

His research interests include nanostructured soft materials from biobased feedstocks, nanotemplating of polymer films and coatings, polymeric materials for ion-conduction membranes (batteries and fuel cells), polymer/MOF composites, and nanostructured assemblies for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy.Prof. Epps has received several honors and awards including: the John H. Dillon Medal from APS (2016); the Owens-Corning Early Career Award from AIChE (2015); named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences (2014); the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award (2014); the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professorship at MIT (2012); the Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Professorship at UD (2012); the UD Alison Society, Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award (2011); the DuPont Young Professor Grant Award (2010); the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2009); the Air Force Young Investigator Award (2008); the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award (2007), and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2007) among others.  Prof. Epps also is active in the American Chemical Society (ACS Board of Directors Development Advisory Board), American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Physical Society (Polymers Division), and Sigma Xi.  He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2017 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2018.  He is a member of the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) and an associate editor for Science Advances.

Awards

  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow (FRSC), 2018
  • American Physical Society (APS) Fellow, 2017
  • Texas A&M University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Lindsay Lectureship, 2017
  • John H. Dillon Medal, American Physical Society (APS), 2016
  • Owens Corning Young Investigator Award, AIChE, 2015
  • Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2014
  • Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2014
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor Award (MIT), 2012
  • DuPont Young Professor Award, 2010
  • PECASE Award – Department of Defense (AFOSR), 2009

Research Interests

  1. Biobased materials from waste feedstocks to create performance-advantaged polymers
  2. Ion-conducting battery membranes
  3. Nanostructured polymers – linking structure/property/processing relationships in thin film and coatings fabrication
  4. Polymer/MOF mixed-matrix composites and nanoscale templating
  5. Stimuli-responsive polymers systems for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy applications

Representative Publications

1. Peterson, G. W.; Au, K.; Tovar, T. M.; Epps, T. H., III Chemistry of Materials 2019 “A Multivariate CuBTC Metal-Organic Framework with Enhanced Selectivity, Stability, Compatibility, and Processability” DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b02756

2. Peterson, G.; Browe, M.; Durke, E.; Epps, T. H., III Applied Materials and Interfaces 2018 10(49) 43080-43087. “Flexible SIS/HKUST-1 Mixed Matrix Composites as Protective Barriers against Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants”

3. Wang, S.; Shuai, L.; Saha, B.; Vlachos, D. G.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Central Science 2018 4(6), 701-708. “From Tree to Tape: Direct Synthesis of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives from Depolymerized Raw Lignocellulosic Biomass”

4. Morris, M. A.; An, H.; Lutkenhaus, J. L.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Energy Letters 2017 2(8), 1919-1936. “Harnessing the Power of Plastics: Nanostructured Polymer Systems in Lithium-ion Batteries” 

5. Greco, C. T.; Akins, R. E.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Biosystems 2017 1, 1700099 “Attenuation of Maladaptive Responses in Aortic Adventitial Fibroblasts through Stimuli-Triggered siRNA Release from Lipid-Polymer Nanocomplexes” (co-corresponding author)

6. Holmberg, A. L.; Nguyen, N. A.; Karavolias, M. G.; Reno, K. H.; Wool, R.P.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Macro Letters 2016 5(5), 574-578. “Syringyl Methacrylate, a Hardwood Lignin-Based Monomer for High-Tg Polymeric Materials.” (corresponding author)

7. Holmberg, A. L.; Reno, K. H.; Nguyen, N. A.; Wool, R. P.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016 49(4), 1286-1295. “Softwood Lignin-Based Methacrylate Polymers with Tunable Thermal and Viscoelastic Properties.” (corresponding author)

8. Kuan, W. F.; Remy, R.; Mackay, M. E.; Epps, T. H., III RSC Advances 2015, 5, 12597-12604. [invited special issue on electrochemical storage] “Controlled Ionic Conductivity via Tapered Block Polymer Electrolytes” (corresponding author)

9. Foster, A. A.; Greco, C. T.; Green, M. D.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015 “Light-Mediated Activation of siRNA Binding and Release in Diblock Copolymer Assemblies for Controlled Gene Silencing” (co-corresponding author) 

10. Kelley, E. G.; Murphy, R. P.; Seppala, J. E.; Smart, T. P.; Hann, S. D.; Sullivan, M. O.; Epps, T. H., III, Nature Communications 2014 “Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway.”

Patents

1. Angela L. Holmberg, Kaleigh H. Reno, and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Functionalized Dimethoxyphenol Monomers and Methods for Preparing Such Monomers” U.S. Pat. #10,253,131 – Issued 04/09/2019

2. G. Peterson, T. H. Epps, III, “Multivariate HKUST-1 Based Metal Organic Frameworks with Reactive Amine Group” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/781938, 12/19/2018.

3. M. Morris, T. H. Epps, III, “Bio-based copolymer electrolytes and binders for batteries” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/713571, 08/02/2018.

4. Wei-Fan Kuan and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Tapered Block Copolymer Electrolytes.” U.S. Pat. #9,935,332 – Issued 04/03/2018

5. S. Wang, L. Shuai, B. Saha, D. G. Vlachos, T. H. Epps, III, “Lignin-Based Pressure Sensitive Adhesives” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/615040, 01/09/2018.

6. M. B. Gordon, G. E. Knappe, S. Wang, N. J. Wagner, T. H. Epps, III, C. J. Kloxin, “Stress-Responsive Compositions and Uses Thereof” Internat’l. Pat. Appl. PCT/US2017/47375, 08/29/2017.

7. G. W. Peterson, A. X. Lu, J. S. Epps, T. H. Epps, III, “Layered Mixed Matrix Membranes from Metal-Organic Frameworks and Metal Oxides” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/545559, 08/15/2017.

8. C. T. Greco, M. O. Sullivan, T. H. Epps, III, “Hybrid Formulation of Responsive Polymeric Nanocarriers for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Delivery.” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/362085, 07/14/2016. Patent application, 07/14/2017.

9. C. M. Shelton and T. H. Epps, III, “One-Step, Continuous Device and Approach to Solvent Cast and Shear-Align Block Copolymer Nanostructures” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/264986, 12/09/2015. Patent application, 12/08/2016.

10. Angela L. Holmberg, Joseph F. Stanzione, III, Richard P. Wool, and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Bio-Based Block Polymers Derived from Lignin and Fatty Acids.” U.S. Pat. #9,512,249 – Issued 12/06/2016