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Chemical Engineering

Michael D. Wales | Instructor

Photo of Michael WalesPh.D. – 2016, Kansas State University
Chemical Engineering
B.A. – 2011, University of California, Santa Cruz

Contact Information
2022 Durland Hall

Professional Experience
Michael Wales received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2011. Prior to graduate school, Wales worked in the biotechnology industry and as an environmental chemist. As an intern at Protein Design Labs Inc., he purified monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, QC’d antibodies and researched various purification resins. At Curtis & Tompkins Environmental Laboratories, Wales analyzed soil and water samples for a variety of chemicals and pollutants, gained invaluable wet chemistry experience, and became skilled at troubleshooting and repairing a host of chromatographic instrumentations. From 2012-2016 Wales was a doctorate student in Mary Rezac’s group at K-State. His Ph.D. projects involved membrane contact reactors for three-phase heterogeneous catalysis, thermodynamic studies determining ternary phase diagrams for green solvents and cross-linking polymeric membranes and films.

Wales’ previous work and educational experiences provided him with a a strong background in chromatography, separations and mass transport. With several years of industrial analytical chemistry experience, Wales is an expert in various chromatographic techniques: gas, liquid and ion chromatography.  This experience has also given Wales a degree of expertise in several analytic detection methods: ICP, Mass-Spec, FID, TCD, Mass-Spec, adsorption, UV-VIS and RID. His knowledge of separation techniques and mass transport was greatly expanded during his graduate studies. During graduate school, he studied membrane science/technology and was exposed to gas separations, water filtration and electrodialysis membranes. Wales’s interest in separations will continue with future research involving carbon nanotube purification/separation.

Academic Highlights
As a graduate student, Wales was a four-year National Science Foundation, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (NSF-IGERT) awardee.  Additionally, Wales was the recipient of several poster and conference awards, including, but not limited to:

  • 2015 People’s Choice Award (poster competition), Energy Symposium, Kansas State University, Center for Sustainable Energy
  • 2014 New York Academy of Science and PepsiCo, Journey through Science Day invitee
  • 2014 Gordon Research Conference, Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowships
  • 2013 North American Membrane Society, Elias Klein Founders' Travel Awards