Eric First

Sixth-year graduate student

Eric came to the Computer-Aided Systems Laboratory from Cornell University, where he graduated in May 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science. His thesis project is focused on developing algorithms to elucidate physical properties of microporous materials, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).

Eric created a computational pore characterization method utilizing geometry, graph, and optimization techniques to reveal the three-dimensional topologies of microporous networks. Information about the geometry of the underlying crystal structures is used for calculations of shape selectivity for separations and catalysis. The pore characterizations are made freely available to the scientific community through the web tools ZEOMICS and MOFomics.

He has also developed a cost-effective carbon capture technology by utilizing a combined material selection and process optimization approach. The adsorption-based system is able to capture 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants with a cost savings of 25% compared to the best alternative. The technology placed second at Princeton University's Innovation Forum and was a finalist in Ultra Light Startup's Future Energy.

Eric holds a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship and is a recipient of the Gordon Wu Prize for Excellence.

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