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LeonardLeonard

Research
  /  
Areas of Research
Complex Systems and Data Science

As we end the first fifth of the 21st Century, human societies face global challenges of unimaginable scale. Global pandemics pose the risk of killing millions of people and paralyzing economies. Climate change threatens coastal cities, imperils food supply chains, and contributes to the extinction of numerous species around the globe. Unlike many problems facing engineers in the past, the solution to these challenges involves not only the development of new technologies but also an accounting for human decisions and behaviors. For example, while the consequences of climate change pose particular large costs for coastal cities such as Houston, TX, the economic implications for the area of a decline in the importance of fossil fuels would be staggering.

These complex challenges require not reductionist approaches, or optimal technical strategies, but the understanding of the numerous interlocked components and sub-systems that are part of or interact with human societies. Complexity science has for the last 40 year developed a set of approaches and techniques that allows for the exchange of knowledge among the disciplinary silos and for the manipulation of objects without predefined roles or interactions. These include nonlinear dynamics, fractal geometry, statistical physics, network science, and recently, data science.

Faculty

Luis Amaral

Erastus Otis Haven Professor
Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Network science, Data science methodologies. Applications to systems biology (development, aging, and stress response), adoption of innovations (medical innovations, error mitigation), science of science (quantifying performance, gender, resource allocation), and computational social sciences (personality traits, data transparency).

Linda Broadbelt

Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor
Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Associate Dean for Research

Complex kinetics modeling, biological reaction networks, in silico molecule discovery, novel pathway discovery

Michael Jewett

Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Engineering biology, systems engineering of molecular translation, metabolic biosensors, deep learning to advance bio-discovery and bio-design

Joshua Leonard

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence

We investigate emergent behavior in complex biological systems, including natural and therapeutically engineered immune functions. We also build synthetic biology technologies enabling the composition of complex biological circuits, networks, and systems.

Jeffrey Lopez

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering (beginning September 1, 2021)

Automated and high throughput experimentation for accelerated materials discovery and development, energy storage, electrochemical interfaces

Julius Lucks

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Associate Chair of Chemical & Biological Engineering

The Lucks Lab develops and applies computational algorithms and approaches to study molecular folding dynamics of nucleic acids, the dynamics and design of genetic circuits and large scale next-generation sequencing datasets.

Richard Lueptow

Professor of Mechanical Engineering (and by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering
Senior Associate Dean for Research

William Miller

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Director, Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience

Chad Mirkin

George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Mirkin engineers functional and dynamic colloidal systems of immense complexity by cleverly tuning particle surface chemistry

Milan Mrksich

Vice President for Research
Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology

Monica Olvera de la Cruz

Lawyer Taylor Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physics and Astronomy

Julio Ottino

Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering
Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor
Dean

Aaron Packman

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Biological Engineering

Randall Snurr

Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering
John G. Searle Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Machine learning, cheminformatics, high-throughput computational screening of materials

Danielle Tullman-Ercek

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Director, Master of Science in Biotechnology Program

Keith Tyo

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Predicting enzyme behavior using cheminformatics and kinetic models to enable sustainable biosynthesis (in collab. with Broadbelt)