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Carly McKown

Bioenergy and Biofuels


Supervising Faculty: Nick Lavrik

During her undergrad at RPI, Carly spent three years researching in the biotechnology field. The first project she worked on involved a multidisciplinary project which analyzed the protein matrix in bones and their contribution to osteoporosis. Her next two projects focused more on biomaterials, specifically involving collagen and sodium alginate. The first focused on biomaterial screening, which analyzed how different cell types reacted to collagen and alginate biomaterials. During the biomaterial screening process, she also worked on engineering human skin via 3-D bio-printing project; this project was aimed at demonstrating the potential of 3-D bio-printing and generated a multi-layered human skin tissue model. While working on these projects, she gained skills in cryosectioning, cell culture, nanoprinting, and basic laboratory techniques. After joining the program, she worked with biofuels and bioenergy for 3 months, creating microbial arrays for symbiotic studies using soft lithography. Currently, she works in nanofabrication of energy materials. Her current project involves synthesizing biomimetic asymmetric pillar arrays using wafer technology. These pillar array textures are used to direct anisotropic behaviors, such as uni-directed wetting or particle transport through ratcheted or flow mechanisms.


Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Awards and Recognitions

  • Ricketts Prize for Academic and Laboratory Achievements - RPI

Contact Information

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