Raj Kantikumar Thakur


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.



  • 2015-2016 Manager, Technical Assistant to Site President, Reliance Industries Limited, India
  • 2012-2015 Manager, Shift Incharge, Reliance Industries Limited, India
  • 2011 (March –May) In Plant Training, Indian Oil Refinery, Gujarat, India

Awards, Memberships & Service:

  • Rated as Best Employee for the year 2013 In Reliance Industries Limited, PMD site.
  • Received Reliance PMD Site Safety Award in 2014
  • Travel award for Operando Conference, Malaga, Spain


Oral & Poster Presentations:

  • Thermo Chemical Conversion Symposium. Auburn “Effects of alkalies on biomass upgrading” October 2018.
  • South Eastern Catalysis Society (SECS) Atlanta. “ Insights on thermal stability of potential 2D V2CTx MXenes under different environments”, September 2018
  • Operando Conference, Spain Malaga. “operando studies on methane dehydroaromatization (MDA) using Mo-ZSM-5” April 2018
  • Auburn Global Change and FEW Symposium, “ In situ operando studies on methane dehydroaromatization (MDA)”, February 2018
  • Council of Engineering Graduates (CEGS), “Methane dehydroaromatisation”, October 2017.
  • Chemical engineering open house, “Zeolites for biomass upgrading” May 2017


  • Cooking
  • Listening to music
  • Hiking and trekking



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