Lucas D. Ellis

2007 - B.S. Chemical Engineering Focus (Engineering), California Polytechnic State University - SLO

2008 - Research Technician III, University of Maine

2011 - M.S. Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College

2011-2013 - Research Associate II, Mascoma Corporation

2018 - Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado - Boulder

2019 - 2021 - Director's Fellow, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Google Scholar: Link

ORCID: 0000-0001-6026-1825 

Hello!  I’m Lucas Ellis.  I was born and raised in Bangor, Maine, graduating from Bangor High School a long time ago.  I have always been motivated to improve our society’s environmental sustainability.  Early in my education I was motivated to make biodiesel from waste vegetable oil and helped launch a new student club intending to do just that at my college campus.  Later in my career, I went on to become one of the four co-founding members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, an educational organization sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board.  This excitement around biofuels led me to work at a cellulosic ethanol start-up company researching pretreatment technologies at both the bench and pilot-scale between 2011-2013.  It was a wonderful experience in industry, sparking excitement for a career in research and development.  These experiences helped ground my R&D interests in practical real-world impact, but with research questions that focus on fundamentals.  Research in the Ellis group continues this theme with R&D projects that seek to make real-world impact through fundamental discoveries.


If you’re interested in learning more, please email:

Current Members

As of Spring 2023

Dimitri Gatzios

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Iowa

Ph.D. Student, Target Defense Date: Spring 2026

Hey everybody! I’m Dimitri, born and raised in Bellevue, Iowa, a peaceful town near the Mississippi River. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of Iowa, majoring in chemical engineering with a focus on sustainability. In my free time, I like to hike and experience nature, stay in shape, practice playing my piano, and trying new things to cook.


My research focuses on understanding the structure-property relationship of promoters that improve heterogeneous olefin metathesis catalysts. This type of reaction can be used to address certain chemical shortages and to chemically break down plastics to useful products.

Selena Moore

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Minor in Physics, University of Colorado

M.S. Student, GEM Fellow, Target Defense Date: Winter 2024

Hi! I’m Selena Moore, I was born in Boulder, Colorado and grew up about 20 miles away in Golden, Colorado. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a minor in physics at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. I enjoy spending my free time outdoors, whether it’s hiking, camping, or just relaxing and admiring nature, and some of my hobbies include dancing, reading, and roller skating.


My project focus is on tandem dehydrogenation and olefin metathesis and its role in waste plastics recycling and upcycling. Chemical recycling has the potential to create a circular pathway for the lifecycle of plastics and help mitigate pollution caused by single-use plastics. My work seeks to discover strategies for synthesizing valuable products from waste plastics rather than transforming them into simple alkane fuels.

Andreas Palmateer

Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Major

Target Graduation Date: June 2025

I was born in upstate New York and grew up in Salem, Oregon. I am in my second year of a BS in chemical engineering from Oregon State University's Honors College, and I'm involved in several on-campus organizations such as the Honors College Student Association and the College of Engineering Ambassadors.  I enjoy hiking, surfing, and camping. When the weather isn't nice enough to do these activities, I also love spending time with my dogs, weightlifting, or reading a good sci-fi novel. 


I'm working on understanding the kinetics of tandem catalysis in the recycling of used plastics, reducing the flow of waste plastics into landfills and into our environment.

Andrew Tran

Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Major

Target Graduation Date: June 2026

Hi guys! I’m Andrew Tran, I was born and raised in Hillsboro, Oregon. I’m currently in my first year aiming towards a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. When I’m not in school I like to play tennis, go bowling, try out new food places or cook something new myself, and explore nature and new locations. I hope to travel outside the country to some Asian or European countries.


In the lab, my research is focused on the characterization of the additives in real-world plastics and its impacts on tandem chemistry of dehydrogenation and olefin metathesis. This research will expand availability of the plastics we can chemically recycle and give us a better understanding of the inhibitors in some chemical recycling processes.

Jose Naranjo Mendez

Undergraduate Chemical Engineering & BioResource Research Major

Target Graduation Date: June 2025

Buenas!, I’m Jose Naranjo Mendez and I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m a sophomore Chemical Engineering student studying Bioresource research. I’m involved in promoting campus diversity and inclusion as an Event Coordinator for the Griggs Center and an Academic Learning Assistant working with the Nia/Munk-Skukum LLC. On my off time, I enjoy listening to music and understanding different artistic expressions found in different genres, as well as going on walks or listening to educational podcasts.  

I’m currently working on understanding the impacts that additives have on the application of tandem chemistry of dehydrogenation and Olefin metathesis to chemical recycling of plastics and the different performance of varying types of plastics with this chemistry.

Hannah Frankovic

Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Major

Target Graduation Date: June 2024

Hello! I’m Hannah Frankovic, I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I am a junior in Chemical Engineering and am an officer in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Next year I will be the Vice President of the SWE for Oregon State! In my free time I like to cross-stitch, bake and go camping. 

My work involves determining the best procedure for synthesizing SBA-15 for olefin metathesis by using different techniques and changing metal identity.

Emeritus Members

As of Spring 2023

Isaac Bridgeman

B.S. Chemical Engineering, June 2023

Current: Nuclear Engineer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Department of the Navy, Bremerton, WA

Isaac was instrumental in the design and fabrication of Flexo and Nibbler (see Equipment in the Lab)!