Raj Kantikumar Thakur

Biography

I remember being amazed by the statement ‘God must be a Chemical Engineer!! ’, after completing my undergraduate studies. I realised that the statement was not just a motivational quote. As a student and then as a professional, I am highly impressed by the sheer versatility of chemical engineering. After getting both theoretical and industrial exposure from the best organizations related to the field, I can now say that, I stand at an important milestone in my career.

I moved to Auburn, Alabama in the year 2016 and currently I am pursuing my doctoral studies under the supervision on Dr. Carlos A Carrero. The main goal of my research is to study the relationship between the physicochemical/structural properties of zeolites and the catalytic activity in the upgrading of biomass, crude oil and natural gas. Initially, I will characterize and measure the activity of conventional and pristine zeolites to then focus on the modification of the acid character of such zeolites by incorporating different cations in both the internal and external zeolite’s framework. Zeolites are aluminium silicate made from interlinked tetrahedra of alumina (AlO4)and silica (SiO4), forming many different crystalline structures with catalytic attractive properties such as, large cavities, strong Lewis and Bronsted acidity, high surface area, remarkable thermal and mechanical stability, negligible solubility in water, among others.

Furthermore I am also the safety incharge of the lab.

Experience:

  • 2016-Present Graduate Teaching Assistant, Engineering Lab I lab instructor, Auburn University,
  • 2015-2016 Manager, Technical Assistant to Site President, Reliance Industries Limited, India
  • 2014-2015 Manager, Day Engineer, Reliance Industries Limited, India
  • 2013-2014 Manager, Shift Incharge, Reliance Industries Limited, India
  • 2012-2013 Manager, Shift Engineer, Reliance Industries Limited, India
  • 2011 (March –May) In Plant Training, Indian Oil Refinery, Gujarat, India

National Awards:

  • Richard’s J Kokes Award June 2019, NAM 26 Chicago, sponsored by North American Catalysis Society (NACS).
  • ACS National travel award 2019. American Chemical Society. 257th ACS National meeting, Spring-Orlando April 2019.
  • USRDECOM Ph.D. US students travel award 2018 (1 of 3 US students) ‘6th International Congress on Operando Spectroscopy’, Spain April 2018.

Regional Awards:

  • SECCUS travel award for American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Orlando, 2019.
  • Regional ACS travel award. American Chemical Society (ACS).257th ACS National meeting, Spring-Orlando April 2019.
  • Regional ACS travel award, South Eastern Catalysis Society Conference (SECS), Knoxville, October 2019
  • Graduates Dean Fellowship award for Thermochemical Conversion Symposium (TCS), Auburn, October 2018.
  • Regional ACS travel award for South Eastern Catalysis Society Conference (SECS), Atlanta September 2018
  • Regional ACS travel award for 255th ACS Spring-New Orleans March 2017

Other Awards:

  • Reliance PMD Site Safety Award in 2014
  • Rated as Best Employee for the year 2013 in Reliance Industries Limited, PMD site.
  • RTMNU University third topper in Chemical Engineering department,2012, India
  • Seconds prize in Industrial defined problem (IDP) at Institute of Chemical Technology, 2011, Mumbai, India

Membership:

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)  – National and Local Auburn University Students Chapter. 2017 – Present
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2018-Present
  • Vice President Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Region 5, Auburn chapter. 2018-Present
  • Member, Indian Students Association (ISA). 2016-Present
  • President of Rotary Club (Social service organization) at High school level, 2006 India.

Publications:

Oral Presentations:

  • Insights on the thermal stability of V2CTx under different environments, AIChE, Orlando, November 2019.
  • Dry reforming of methane using two-dimensional metal carbide, AIChE, Orlando, November 2019.
  • Methane dehydroaromatization using two-dimensional metal carbides, AIChE, Orlando, November 2019.
  • Recent Updates on Dry Reforming of Methane using two- and three-dimensional vanadium carbides. SECCUS, Auburn, November 2019.
  • Dry Reforming of Methane using two- and three-dimensional vanadium carbides. SECS, South Eastern Catalysis Society, Knoxville October 2019.
  • Dry Reforming of Methane using two- and three-dimensional vanadium carbides. NAM 26, North American Catalysis Society, Chicago June 2019.
  • Dry Reforming of Methane using two- and three-dimensional metal carbides. 257th ACS National Meeting. Catalysis Division Orlando, April 2019.
  • Insights into dry reforming using 2D vanadium carbides catalysts. SECCUS 2019. Auburn, April 2019.
  • Insights into Thermal and Chemical Stability of V2CTx MXenes under different Environments. 257th ACS National Meeting. Catalysis Division Orlando, April 2019.
  • Insights on the thermal stability of potential 2D V2CTx MXenes under different environments South Eastern Catalysis Society (SECS) Atlanta, September 2018.
  • Insights into dry reforming using metal carbides catalysts. SECCUS 2018. Auburn, September 2018.
  • Operando studies on methane dehydroaromatization (MDA) using Mo-ZSM-5, 6th International Congress on Operando Spectroscopy, Spain Malaga. April 2018.
  • In situ/operando studies on methane dehydroaromatization (MDA), Auburn Global Change and FEW Symposium, February 2018.

Poster Presentations:

  • Metal containing zeolites for dry reforming of methane, exploring synergistic effects, AIChE, Orlando, November 2019.
  • Council of Engineering Graduates (CEGS), Auburn, “Dry reforming using metal carbides”, November 2018.
  • Upgrading natural gas using carbides Chemical Engineering Department open house event, Auburn,” November 2018.
  • Effects of alkali’s on biomass upgrading, Thermo Chemical Conversion Symposium. Auburn, October 2018.
  • Operando studies on methane dehydroaromatization (MDA) using Mo-ZSM-5, 6th International Congress on Operando Spectroscopy, Spain Malaga. April 2018.
  • In situoperando studies on methane dehydroaromatization (MDA), Auburn Global Change and FEW Symposium, February 2018.
  • Methane dehydroaromatization using Mo/ZSM-5 catalyst. ACS National Meeting, Catalysis Division. New Orleans. March 2018.
  • Methane dehydroaromatization using Mo/ZSM-5 catalyst. ACS National Meeting, Sci-Mix Division. New Orleans. March 2018.
  • Council of Engineering Graduates (CEGS), “Methane dehydroaromatization”, October 2017.
  • Chemical engineering open house, “Zeolites for biomass upgrading” May 2017.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Vice president of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHEP), 2018 – 2020.
  • Member of Indian Students Association (ISA) since 2016.
  • Safety Manager at Carrero lab, 2016 – 2020.
  • Mentored 8 undergraduate students (Kaitlyn Lawrence, Natalie Stephens Reid Adams, Justin Smith, Megan Hoffman, Nico Rivero, Whitney Stidham, Mitchel Vines)
  • The webmaster (ccarrerogroup.com)

Hobbies:

  • Cooking
  • Listening music
  • Hiking and trekking
  • Camping

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