Faculty Profile

Thomas H. Epps, III

Allan & Myra Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Director, Center for Research in Soft matter & Polymers (CRiSP), and Center for Hybrid, Active, & Responsive Materials (CHARM)

Joint Professor, Materials Science & Engineering,

Affiliated Professor, Biomedical Engineering


  • Post-Doctorate – 2006 NRC Postdoctoral Fellow – NIST
  • Doctorate – 2004 University of Minnesota
  • Masters – 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Bachelors – 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas is the Allan & Myra Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD) with a joint appointment in Materials Science & Engineering. He is Director of the Center for Research in Soft matter & Polymers (CRiSP), Director of the NSF MRSEC at UD called CHARM (Center for Hybrid, Active, and Responsive Materials) and Deputy Director of the DOE EFRC at UD called CPI (Center for Plastics Innovation). His research interests include nanostructured assemblies for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy, polymeric materials for bio-separation and ion-conduction membranes, nanostructured soft materials from biobased and plastics waste feedstocks, and polymer films for nanotemplating. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2017, Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2018, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2021, POLY Division of the American Chemical Society in 2021, American Chemical Society in 2021, and the National Academy of Inventors in 2022, PMSE Division of the American Chemical Society in 2023, and AIChE in 2023. Thomas is also co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Lignolix, Inc. – a start-up focused on valorization of biomass waste. He has received several honors and awards including: the NSF Distinguished Lectureship (2024); the Eminent Chemical Engineering Award (AIChE, 2023); the William W. Grimes Award (AIChE, 2021), Percy L. Julian Award (NOBCChE, 2020); John H. Dillon Medal (APS, 2016); Owens-Corning Early Career Award (AIChE, 2015), among others. Thomas is a member of the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, NSF Math & Physical Sciences Advisory Committee, and a member of advisory boards/committees in the private and financial sector.

Select Publications 

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.

  1. Peterson, G. W.; Au, K.; Tovar, T. M.; Epps, T. H., III Chemistry of Materials 2019 “A Multivariate CuBTC Metal-Organic Framework with Enhanced Selectivity, Stability, Compatibility, and Processability” DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b02756
  2. Peterson, G.; Browe, M.; Durke, E.; Epps, T. H., III Applied Materials and Interfaces 2018 10(49) 43080-43087. “Flexible SIS/HKUST-1 Mixed Matrix Composites as Protective Barriers against Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants”
  3. Wang, S.; Shuai, L.; Saha, B.; Vlachos, D. G.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Central Science 2018 4(6), 701-708. “From Tree to Tape: Direct Synthesis of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives from Depolymerized Raw Lignocellulosic Biomass”
  4. Morris, M. A.; An, H.; Lutkenhaus, J. L.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Energy Letters 2017 2(8), 1919-1936. “Harnessing the Power of Plastics: Nanostructured Polymer Systems in Lithium-ion Batteries”
  5. Greco, C. T.; Akins, R. E.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Biosystems 2017 1, 1700099 “Attenuation of Maladaptive Responses in Aortic Adventitial Fibroblasts through Stimuli-Triggered siRNA Release from Lipid-Polymer Nanocomplexes” (co-corresponding author)
  6. Holmberg, A. L.; Nguyen, N. A.; Karavolias, M. G.; Reno, K. H.; Wool, R.P.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Macro Letters 2016 5(5), 574-578. “Syringyl Methacrylate, a Hardwood Lignin-Based Monomer for High-Tg Polymeric Materials.” (corresponding author)
  7. Holmberg, A. L.; Reno, K. H.; Nguyen, N. A.; Wool, R. P.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016 49(4), 1286-1295. “Softwood Lignin-Based Methacrylate Polymers with Tunable Thermal and Viscoelastic Properties.” (corresponding author)
  8. Kuan, W. F.; Remy, R.; Mackay, M. E.; Epps, T. H., III RSC Advances 2015, 5, 12597-12604. [invited special issue on electrochemical storage] “Controlled Ionic Conductivity via Tapered Block Polymer Electrolytes” (corresponding author)
  9. Foster, A. A.; Greco, C. T.; Green, M. D.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015 “Light-Mediated Activation of siRNA Binding and Release in Diblock Copolymer Assemblies for Controlled Gene Silencing” (co-corresponding author)
  10. Kelley, E. G.; Murphy, R. P.; Seppala, J. E.; Smart, T. P.; Hann, S. D.; Sullivan, M. O.; Epps, T. H., III, Nature Communications 2014 “Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway.”


  1. Angela L. Holmberg, Kaleigh H. Reno, and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Functionalized Dimethoxyphenol Monomers and Methods for Preparing Such Monomers” U.S. Pat. #10,253,131 – Issued 04/09/2019.
  2. G. Peterson, T. H. Epps, III, “Multivariate HKUST-1 Based Metal Organic Frameworks with Reactive Amine Group” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/781938, 12/19/2018.
  3. M. Morris, T. H. Epps, III, “Bio-based copolymer electrolytes and binders for batteries” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/713571, 08/02/2018.
  4. Wei-Fan Kuan and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Tapered Block Copolymer Electrolytes.” U.S. Pat. #9,935,332 – Issued 04/03/2018.
  5. S. Wang, L. Shuai, B. Saha, D. G. Vlachos, T. H. Epps, III, “Lignin-Based Pressure Sensitive Adhesives” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/615040, 01/09/2018.
  6. M. B. Gordon, G. E. Knappe, S. Wang, N. J. Wagner, T. H. Epps, III, C. J. Kloxin, “Stress-Responsive Compositions and Uses Thereof” Internat’l. Pat. Appl. PCT/US2017/47375, 08/29/2017.
  7. G. W. Peterson, A. X. Lu, J. S. Epps, T. H. Epps, III, “Layered Mixed Matrix Membranes from Metal-Organic Frameworks and Metal Oxides” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/545559, 08/15/2017.
  8. C. T. Greco, M. O. Sullivan, T. H. Epps, III, “Hybrid Formulation of Responsive Polymeric Nanocarriers for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Delivery.” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/362085, 07/14/2016. Patent application, 07/14/2017.
  9. C. M. Shelton and T. H. Epps, III, “One-Step, Continuous Device and Approach to Solvent Cast and Shear-Align Block Copolymer Nanostructures” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/264986, 12/09/2015. Patent application, 12/08/2016.
  10. Angela L. Holmberg, Joseph F. Stanzione, III, Richard P. Wool, and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Bio-Based Block Polymers Derived from Lignin and Fatty Acids.” U.S. Pat. #9,512,249 – Issued 12/06/2016.


For a complete listing of awards, please view the Full CV.

  1. Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow (FRSC), 2018
  2. American Physical Society (APS) Fellow, 2017
  3. Texas A&M University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Lindsay Lectureship, 2017
  4. John H. Dillon Medal, American Physical Society (APS), 2016
  5. Owens Corning Young Investigator Award, AIChE, 2015
  6. Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2014
  7. Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2014
  8. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor Award (MIT), 2012
  9. DuPont Young Professor Award, 2010
  10. PECASE Award – Department of Defense (AFOSR), 2009

Research Areas 

Five main areas of interest include: (see Research Group website for more information.)

  1. Biobased materials from waste feedstocks to create performance-advantaged polymers
  2. Ion-conducting battery membranes
  3. Nanostructured polymers – linking structure/property/processing relationships in thin film and coatings fabrication
  4. Polymer/MOF mixed-matrix composites and nanoscale templating
  5. Stimuli-responsive polymers systems for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy applications

Office: 232 CLB
Phone: 302-831-0215

PeopleFacultyThomas H. Epps, III