When the opportunity to join the University of Mississippi faculty presented itself, Alexander Lopez, assistant professor of chemical engineering, enthusiastically embraced it.
“During my on-site visit, I was pleased by the vibrancy of Oxford, the university and the chemical engineering department in which I was applying,” said Lopez, who began teaching courses last September. “I decided to accept the position due to the potential to help direct and grow a department that has recently undergone significant faculty turnover as well as impact an area of the country that has great need of greater academic resources.”
The Claremore, Oklahoma, native teaches fluid mechanics and heat transfer as well as Plant Design II. He is in the process of developing a membrane science course with colleagues in the department. Lopez’s main research projects are the development of ionic liquid/polymer-based epoxy resin materials for selective membrane separations.
“My short-term career goal is to develop a research laboratory focused on developing novel materials applicable for separations and beyond,” he said. “My long-term goals are to improve the graduate education offered in our department while maintaining the excellent undergraduate education we currently provide.
“By improving our graduate program, the department’s prestige and influence will grow, improving the university’s renown as a prominent research university.”
John O’Haver, chair and professor of chemical engineering, said Lopez is a welcome addition to the department.
“Dr. Lopez brings knowledge, experience and innovation to our department,” O’Haver said. “His presence has already proven most beneficial to our faculty, staff and students.”
A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Lopez earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees there in 2011 and 2015, respectively. He was also a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Colorado at Boulder under the direction of Richard Noble and Douglas Gin.
His time as a student yielded two of his most personally rewarding achievements to date.
“Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I was surprised with an Outstanding Senior award,” Lopez said. “My second most gratifying award was an Outstanding Teacher award that I received in graduate school. These experiences solidified my desire to enter academia in order to impact students’ education and continue my service to the university.”
Lopez and his wife, Brittany, have two dogs: Peanut and Wolfe. The couple’s favorite leisure activities include taking walks, shopping and exploring town, reading, playing guitar, watching movies and woodworking.
For more about UM’s Department of Chemical Engineering, go to https://engineering.olemiss.edu/chemical/ or call 662-915-7023.