Vibha Kalra

George B. Francis Chair Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Vibha Kalra

George B. Francis Chair Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering


Dr. Vibha Kalra is George B. Francis Chair Professor and the Director of the PhD Program in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Additionally, she serves as the associate editor of Chemical Engineering Science journal, since 2013. Kalra received her BS from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India in 2004 and PhD from Cornell University in 2009, both in Chemical Engineering. Prior to joining Drexel in the Fall of 2010, Kalra worked in the electronic packaging research division at Intel Corporation. Her research group combines material assembly & characterization, study of fundamental electrochemical behavior, in-situ spectroelectrochemistry, and device assembly and testing to develop next-generation batteries and supercapacitors. She has published close to 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and has 10 pending/issued patents in the field of energy storage.

Kalra is a recipient of several awards including the NSF CAREER award (2012), ONR summer faculty fellowship (2013), AIChE DVS Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award (2015), Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Outstanding Service Award (2018) and the College of Engineering Outstanding Research Award, both at assistant professor level (2015) and at mid-career level (2020) ) and the Provost Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Research Achievement (2020).

Degrees / Education

  • PhD, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, 2009
  • BS, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, 2004

Research Interests

Electrodes for Energy Storage. Supercapacitors. Lithium-Sulfur Batteries. In-situ Spectroelectrochemistry. Electrospinning of Nanofibers. Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

Academic Distinctions

  • College of Engineering Outstanding Innovation Award, 2021
  • Provost Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Research Achievement, Drexel University, 2020
  • Outstanding Mid-Career Research Achievement Award, COE, Drexel University, 2020
  • Outstanding Service Award, CBE, Drexel University, 2018
  • AICHE DVS Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award, 2015
  • Outstanding Research Award for Assistant Professor, COE, Drexel University, 2015
  • Outstanding Research Award, CBE, Drexel University, 2014
  • Early Career Travel Grant, The Electrochemical Society, 2014
  • ONR Summer Faculty Fellowship Award, 2013
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2012
  • Faculty Career Development Award, Drexel University, 2011
  • Austin Hooey Research Excellence Award, Cornell University, 2009

Select Publications

Singh, A.; Kalra, V. Electrospun Nanostructures for Conversion Type Cathode (S, Se) Based Lithium and Sodium batteries. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2019, 7, 11613 (Invited Review).

Dillard, C.; Singh, A.; Kalra, V. Polysulfide Speciation and Electrolyte Interactions in Lithium–Sulfur Batteries with in Situ Infrared Spectroelectrochemistry. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2018, 122, 18195.

Simotwo, S.; Chinnam, PR.; Wunder, S. L.; Kalra, V. Self-Standing Supercapacitor Based on Ionic Liquid-Rich Ionogel and Activated Carbon Nanofiber Electrodes. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2017, 9, 33749

Lawrence, D.; Tran, C.; Mallajoysula, A.T.; Doorn, S.K.; Mohite, A.; Gupta, G.; Kalra, V. High-energy Density Nanofiber-based Solid-state Supercapacitors. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2016, 4, 160. Featured as a JMCA HOT Paper.

Chung, S-H.; Singhal, R.; Kalra, V.; Manthiram, A. Electrochemically Stable Rechargeable Lithium–Sulfur Batteries with a Microporous Carbon Nanofiber Filter for Polysulfide. Advanced Energy Materials 2015, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201500738.

Singhal, R.; Chung, S-H.; Manthiram, A.; Kalra, V. Free-standing Carbon Nanofiber Interlayer for High Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2015, 3, 4530.

Singhal, R.; Kalra, V. Using Common Salt to Impart Pseudocapacitive Functionalities to Carbon Nanofibers. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2015, 3, 377.

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