For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Richard A. Cairncross

Dr. Richard Cairncross
Office: CAT 381-B
Phone: 215-895-2230
Fax: 215-895-5837
Website: Research Group Website
Google Scholar Citations
Curriculum Vitae: PDF


PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1994; BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Rochester, 1989

Selected Awards

Fulbright Lectureship on Renewable Energy - University of El Salvador, March-June 2010
L.E. Scriven Young Investigator Award at the 13th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, 2006
Carl Dahlquist Award for Best Paper at the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council Tech XXV Meeting, 2002
3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, 1996, 1998, & 1999
Sandia National Laboratories Award for Excellence, 1998
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) 1996
U.S. Department of Energy Defense Programs Young Scientist and Engineer Award, 1996
U.S. Department of Energy Basic Engineering Sciences Award for Sustained Outstanding Research in Metallurgy and Ceramics, 1995
Marcel Dekker, Inc. Best Paper Award (Drying Technology: An International Journal), 1994
Dissertation Fellowship (University of Minnesota), Fall 1993 to Spring 1994
OSSP summer research program at Sandia National Laboratories, Summer 1993
American Chemical Society Chemistry Achievement Award, 1989
Shelby A. Miller Prize in Design (Best Design Project), AIChE, Rochester Section, 1989
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, initiated 1988

Research Interests

Biodiesel Production
Waste to Energy Systems
Biodegradable Polymers and Composites

Selected Publications

Stacy, C.J.; Melick, C.A.; Mohammed, M.; Cairncross, R.A. Esterification of Free-Fatty-Acids to Biodiesel in a Bubble Column Reactor. 2012, in preparation.

Mohammed, M.; Cairncross, R.A.; Two Phase Model of a Bubble Column Reactor for the Esterification of Free Fatty Acids into Biodiesel. 2012, in preparation.

Dever, D.; Cairncross, R.A.; Elabd, Y.A. Nanofiber Cathode Catalyst Layer Model for a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. Submitted to Journal of Power Sources 2012.

Koo,D.; Du, A.; Palmese, G.R.; Cairncross, R.A. Synthesis and Water Sorption of Standard and End-capped Polylactides: the Effect of Morphology. Polym. Chem. 2012, 3(3), 718-726.

Koo, D.; Du, A.; Palmese, G.R.; Cairncross, R.A. Moisture Management in Polylactides: The Effect of Heat Treatment. Polymer 2012, 53(5), 1115-1123.

Du, A.; Koo, D.; Theryo, F.; Hillmyer, M.A.; Cairncross, R.A. Water Transport and Clustering Behavior in Homopolymer and Graft Copolymer Polylactide. J. Membr. Sci. 2012, 396, 50-56.

Wong, W.K; Cheng, S.; Li, C.Y.; Ahmad, I.; Cairncross, R.A.; Hsuan, Y.G. Depletion Mechanism of Antioxidants in MDPE-Clay Nanocomposites under Thermal Aging. Polym. Degrad. Stab. 2012, 97(2), 192-199.

Davis, E.M.; Theryo, G>; Hillmyer, M.A.; Cairncross, R.A.; Elabd, Y.A. Liquid Water Transport in Polylactide Homo and Graft Copolymers. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2011, 3(10), 3997-4006.

Du, A.; Koo, D.; Ziegler, M; Cairncross, R.A. The Effect of Heat Treatment on Water Sorption in Polylactide and Polylactide Composite via the Change in Their Glass Transition State and Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2011, 49(12), 873-881.

Singh, V.M.; Koo, D.; Palmese, G.R.; Cairncross, R.A. Synthesis of Polylactide with Varying Molecular Weight and Aliphatic Content: Effect on Moisture Sorption. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2011, 120(5), 2543-2549.