BBPL Research Team

Rebecca Garlock Ong - PI

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering and Materials Science,
Michigan State University, 2011

Curiculum Vitae

Dr. Ong is an Assistant Professor at Michigan Technological University. Her current research interests include sustainability of lignocellulosic biofuels, biomass characteristics that influence digestibility, and production of co-products from lignocellulosic biomass. In addition to research, she enjoys developing scientific graphics and outreach resources and activities that clearly communicate the more complicated concepts of biofuel production and chemical engineering.

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Chem Sci 202I
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931

Phone: +1-906-487-2662
Email: rgong1 [at] mtu [dot] edu

Meenaa Chandrasekar

PhD Candidate,
Chemical Engineering

Meenaa joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in Spring 2017. She completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Anna University, India in 2011. She has worked on system design of water utilities for steel and power plants. Her current research focus is on real-time imaging of pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass.

Sarvada Chipkar

PhD Candidate,
Chemical Engineering

Sarvada joined Dr. Ong's research group as a PhD student in Fall 2017. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Mumbai in 2017. In her undergrad, she worked on the extraction of biodiesel from used cooking oil in microreactors. Currently, her research is focused on extracting value-added components from switchgrass for bioenergy production. In her leisure, she likes to do gardening and painting.

Raisa Carmen Andeme Ela

PhD Candidate,
Chemical Engineering

Raisa joined the Ong Lab in Fall 2018. She received her B.S.(2017) and M.S.(2018) in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and is also pursuing a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering through Distance Education from New Mexico Tech. Her research experience is in electrochemical engineering, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, biomolecular and biomedical engineering. Her Ph.D research is centered around conversion of lignin to value-added products. Her extracurricular activities include writing, reading, photography, sports and music.

Marissa Gallmeyer

MS Student,
Chemical Engineering

Marissa joined Dr. Ong's research group in Fall 2018 as an undergraduate researcher. She graduated with her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 2016 and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Chemical Engineering. Her research is focused on using green solvents to extract value-added waxes from sorghum used in biofuels production. In her spare time she likes to read, hike, mountain bike, and downhill ski.

Aiden Truettner

MS Student,
Chemical Engineering

Aiden joined the Ong Lab in Fall 2020. He received his Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 2020. His research is focusing on open source design of equipment for microbial cell separations.

Karleigh Krieg

MS Student,
Environmental Engineering

Leela Joshi

Assistant Research Scientist/Engineer

Leela joined the Ong Lab in April of 2019. She previously obtained her MS in Analytical Chemistry (2005) and PhD in Materials Science & Technology (2013) from B.H.U. Varanasi, India. Leela's work is focused on processing and analyzing lignocellulosic biomass for fuel production as part of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.

Emily Burke

Chemical Engineering

Emily joined the lab in Spring 2018 and is working on setting up AFEX pretreatment, high solids enzymatic hydrolysis, and small scale composition analysis methods. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking, and baking bread.

Lauren Spahn

Chemical Engineering

Jazz Cassidy

Chemical Engineering

Jailynn Johnson


Larkin Hooker-Moericke

Chemical Engineering

Katlyn Jeffries
BS Chemical Engineering
Briana Cronk
BS Medical Lab Science
Hazen Keinath
BS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jacob Aguado
BS Chemical Engineering
Adam Schmidt
BS Chemical Engineering
William Otto
BS Chemical Engineering
Meredith Grusnick
BS Chemical Engineering
Jacob LeBarre
BS Chemical Engineering
Drew Applegath
BS Electrical Engineering
Sam Lakenen
BS Mechanical Engineering and
Electrical Engineering