Research Groups

The research within the ICB focuses on a range of topics of contemporary and scientific importance in the broad area of chemical engineering. These include: chemical aspects of energy, heterogeneous catalysis, polymer reactions, colloid engineering, safety and environmental technology, as well as biotechnology, bioengineering and microfluidics.

Biochemical Engineering

Prof. Dr. Andrew deMello

Our research group is engaged in a broad range of activities in the general area of microfluidics and nanoscale science. Our primary specializations include the development of microfluidic devices for analytical and bio-analytical applications, ultra-sensitive optical detection techniques, nanofluidic reaction systems for chemical synthesis, segmented flow microfluidics for high-throughput biology, novel methods for nanoparticle synthesis and the exploitation of semiconducting materials in diagnostic applications.


Safety and Environmental Technology

Prof. Dr. Konrad Hungerbühler

The Safety and Environmental Technology Group is focused on developing systematic methods for the evaluation and design of inherent safe and ecoefficient chemical process and product systems. This task requires the consideration of multi-dimensional objectives. We use computational models to analyze and optimize chemical reactions and processes and assess environmental and human exposure to chemical products on scales ranging from local to global.


Chemical Reaction and Separation Engineering

Prof. Dr. Massimo Morbidelli

The main focus of the group is the broad area of reaction engineering and separation technologies. The general goal of our research is to develop marketable products and processes – based on the theories and concepts of the natural sciences – that will impact society. Our innovative approach to achieving this end includes a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of the phenomena under investigation and includes experimental research and the development of relevant mathematical models in the frame of the chemical engineering methodologies. Our ongoing projects are in the areas of chemical engineering, chemistry, and biotechnology. The websites of our Ph.D. candidates provide in-depth information about all our projects.

Advanced Catalysis Engineering

Prof. Dr. Javier Pérez-Ramírez

Our team is highly sensitive about the major concerns facing today’s society and future generations, such as the energy crisis and the need for environment protection. Consequently, in our role as scientists and technologists, we are engaged in the development and understanding of new heterogeneous catalysts, multifunctional materials, and reactor engineering concepts devoted to sustainable technologies. The word ‘sustainable’ connotes intensified processes with an improved exploitation of raw materials, wider use of renewable feedstocks, reduction of energy consumption, and minimized environmental impact. We design catalytic processes under the umbrella of ‘Catalysis Engineering’, integrating the microlevel (catalyst), the mesolevel (reactor), and the macrolevel (process). Very few academic groups in the world attempt to bridge the broad interfaces between molecular and process engineering, and this approach has proven to be our main strength.


Heterogeneous Catalysis

Prof. Dr. Jeroen van Bokhoven

The van Bokhoven Group is part of the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering at the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at the ETH Zurich. The group investigates the structure and performance of heterogeneous catalysts. The purpose is the design and construction of more selective catalysts. This is achieved through the determination of structure – performance relationships. The group is linked to the Paul Scherrer Institute. Prof. van Bokhoven is Head of the Laboratory for Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry (LSK).


Functional Materials Lab

Prof. Dr. Wendelin Jan Stark

Our research combines materials with specific functions for medical or industrial use. We are developing methods to improve concepts, laboratory processes and materials for environmental applications e.g. to increase energy efficiency in water and solvent purification, to enable large scale remediation or for more environment-friendly catalytic processes. Check our homepage for more information about our current research projects!


Chemical Aspects of Energy

Prof. Dr. Alexander Wokaun

Research at PSI comprises all aspects of human energy use, with the ultimate goal of promoting development towards a sustainable energy supply system. Technologies are being advanced for the utilization of renewable energy sources, low-loss energy storage, efficient conversion, and low emission energy use. Experimental and model-based assessment of these emissions forms the basis of a comprehensive assessment of economic, ecological and environmental consequences, for both present and future energy supply systems.


Chemical and Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory

Prof. Dr. Rudiyanto Gunawan

Research in the Gunawan group lies at the interface between biology and systems engineering. Our mission is to create enabling systems theories and methods for generating insights, understanding and knowledge for chemical, biological and medical applications. To this end, we are interested in the development of algorithms and computational tools to build models of biological and chemical systems from data, and to analyze their systems properties, such as robustness and fragility. There are three major areas that our group is involved: (1) development of model building and identification methodologies, including model identifiability analysis and parameter estimation, (2) development of systems analyses, in particular sensitivity analysis, for understanding systems dynamics, and (3) modeling and analysis of mitochondria physiology, specifically in cell death and ageing.

Lab for Interface and Surface Engineering of Nanomaterials (LISE)

Prof. Dr. Chih-Jen Shih

The Lab for Interface and Surface Engineering of Nanomaterials is led by Prof. Chih-Jen Shih, studying physics and chemistry at nanomaterials interfaces for advancing nanomaterials-based technologies.