Katherine Mizrahi Rodriguez (email | web) is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and spent the later years of her childhood growing up in Weston, Florida. As an undergraduate in Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, Katherine became interested in the intersection of polymer physics and chemistry and pursued research in block-copolymer self-assembly with Prof. Alexander-Katz. As a Ph.D. student in the Program in Polymers and Soft Matter (PPSM), Katherine explores how functionalization of polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) influences their solid-state physical packing and, subsequently, their transport performance. Katherine also works on developing high-performing hybrid materials with functionalized metal-organic frameworks. During her Ph.D., Katherine has been recognized as an Ida. M. Green MIT Fellow, a GEM Fellow, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and a Ford Pre-doctoral fellow. Outside of lab, Katherine is actively involved in diversity recruitment initiatives as a Graduate Community Fellow in the Office of Graduate Education. She has co-founded the MIT LatinX Graduate Student Association and worked with the MIT undergraduate community as a Graduate Resident Advisor. As hobbies, Katherine enjoys oil painting, running, and cooking all kinds of hybrid cuisines.

Talk details: Functionalized Microporous Polymers for Energy-Efficient Gas Separations
This talk will highlight a family of six chemically functionalized microporous polymers with identical backbone structures based on PIM-1. By tuning solely the side group functionality, distinct physical packing structures may be accessed and result in a wide variety of gas transport properties relevant for key gas separation applications.