Kevin Topolski

Kevin is a fourth year Ph’D candidate in Dr. El-Halwagi’s research group. His research focuses on developing novel process integration methodologies for the formation of Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) through Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen Symbiosis Networks (CHOSYNs). EIPs are a group of manufacturing plants to cooperate by exchanging byproduct and waste process streams amongst themselves to enhance their respective profits and promote sustainability. CHOSYNs are EIPs where the participating manufacturing plants exchange process streams containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The objective of this research is to develop methods that facilitate the design of sustainable manufacturing complexes while meeting the growing demand of chemical products driven by world population growth. These methods are established using fundamental chemical processing information to determine preliminary performance targets prior to developing the subsequent detailed process designs via process synthesis techniques. Additionally, Kevin has been involved in multiple collaborative cross-department research projects that pertaining to Water Energy Food Nexus. One such project is assessing the potential for waste reuse in the Greater San Antonio Metropolitan Area. It is recognized that the energy, food and water supply chains are intimately connected as one system and that changes in one supply chain will affect the other two. The objective of this research is to elucidate opportunities to alleviate resource stress in the Greater San Antonio Area where major water shortages are predicted in the future.

Kevin is from South Orange, NJ and has received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 2014. During his undergraduate degree, he conducted research on the materials characterization of thin films under Dr. Theresa Carvajal in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department. The objective of this research is to develop an understanding of the mechanical and surface properties of thin films which are to be utilized in a dissolvable and programmable pharmaceutical tablet composed of multiple thin film layers. Also in this time, he studied Process Optimization under Dr. Carl Laird which initiated his interest in optimization research and graduate school. As a student of Dr. El-Halwagi, Kevin has had the opportunity to present his research at multiple conferences such as the AIChE National Meeting in Minneapolis, MN and the SCPPE 2016 in Nanjing. Kevin has been very active in the TAMU Chemical Engineering department by volunteering in CHEGSA events and serving as a technical director for the Energy Research Society where he has contributed in the organization of the 1st and 2nd Texas A&M University Conference of Energy. He looks to support others within his group and in the department as they progress through their studies and research projects. During his free time, Kevin enjoys reading, listening to music, watching movies, spending time with friends and dancing salsa.