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Development Through Collaboration


Dr. Joshua Sangoro, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has spent his term in the Collaborative Cohort working with polymerized ionic liquids. Part of a new class of polymer electrolytes, these liquids have the potential to serve as replacements for the less stable electrolytes currently in use in a variety of technologies, such as lithium ion batteries.

Through his affiliation with the Collaborative Cohort, Sangoro was connected with several ORNL scientists, including Kunlun Hong of the chemical sciences division, who have synthesized some of the liquids for Sangoro’s research. Additionally, Hong has supervised graduate student Thomas Kinsey at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences in his work on the project, allowing Kinsey to split his time between UT and ORNL labs.

A first time faculty member, Sangoro believes the Collaborative Cohort provided a solid framework for professional development, allowing him to focus his work.

“When I began I had goals that were not very realistic and would have required a much larger team, but it got me to think in the right direction,” Sangoro said. “The goal has now become to get preliminary results and secure funding to create a project that can sustain itself.”

The project has, in fact, yielded some preliminary results since Sangoro began his term as a member of the Cohort, which led to a proposal submitted to the Army Research Office. Additionally, he secured a National Science Foundation grant and published several articles as a result of his work during this time.