Campus Community Health • HEERF I, II & III

Pedro Arce, Ph.D.

Pedro Arce, Ph.D.


Pedro  Arce, Ph.D.




Chemical Engineering

Email Address:


(931) 372-3267


PRSC 207

NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS-With Functional Performance (Health Care Engineering Applications: Hydrogels for clinical diagnostics, wound healing, tissue scaffolds and assisted drug delivery)- MATEMATICS-ASSISTED-MEDICINE APPROACHES (MAMA)- Applications to Biophysical Systems (Microcirculatory and renal system pathologies, arterial stenosis, kidney failure, cancer treatment by hyperthermia and chemotherapies.)-ENVIRONMENTAL CATALYSIS (Advanced oxidation in water, soil and air; photocatalytic clean energy production, electrokinetics-based remediation; cold plasma discharges in gas and water; battery and fuel cell materials)- ENGINEERING EDUCATION: (Collaborative-, Creative- and Innovation-Driven Learning; Constructionistic Approaches).

Education & Certificates

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1990
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1987
  • Postgraduate Studies, National Council of Research, Argentina, CONICET-UNL, 1978-1983
  • Chemical Engineering Degree, Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL), Santa Fe, Argentina, 1977, Minor in Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Certificate of English Studies, Anglo-Continental School of English, Bournemouth, England, 1981
  • Academic Leadership Certificate (Regent Academic Leadership Institute, RALI, and Chair Academy), 2007
  • Advanced Leadership Certificate (Chair Academy), 2010.
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2018. Provost Office, University Award for the Most Encouraging Faculty.
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2017. Provost Award for Excellence in Advising Students.
  • American Society for Engineering Education, 2015, Zone II Best Paper Award, “The Renaissance Foundry: A Powerful Learning and Thinking System to Develop 21ST Century Da Vinci Engineers”
  • American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE-SE, 2014, Thomas C. Evans Award, Best Paper for Instruction, 4th Time Winner, “Renaissance Foundry Model for Innovation-Driven and Holistic-Center Learning”, (Previous Year’s Recipient: 1994, 2001, 2008)
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2015, University Donald Caplenor Award for Excellence in Research. Most Prestigious Award in Research Accomplishments.
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Faculty Exchange Leadership Fellow, 2014-15
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2014, University Faculty Award for Professional Service. Most Prestigious Award for Service Accomplishments.
  • Chair Academy, 2009, 2014, I. Karre Award for on Campus Leadership.
  • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2012, (NIH Faculty Development Program) Keynote Speaker. Program supported by the National Institute of Health.
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2010, University Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Most Prestigious University Award for Advancing the University Mission
  • Chemical Engineering Association, Argentina, 2010, Opening Plenary Lecture, Biannual Meeting, Mar del Plata.
  • National Science Foundation-Engineering Research Centers, Annual Meeting Plenary Lecture, Washington, DC, 2009.
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2009, Chemical Engineering of the Future Symposium, Invited Panelist.
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2009, University QEP Award for Hi-PeLETM Development and Personalized Class Binder, PCB, Model.
  • College of Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2008, Brown-Henderson Award.
  • College of Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. 2012, Leslie E. Sissom Award for Innovation in Engineering Education, Development of the MoLE-SE Platform, 2
  • American Society for Engineering Education, SE, 2005, Mid-Career Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Universidad Nacional de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, 2000, Invited Visiting Professor.
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1996-1997, Developing Scholar Award, Most Prestigious Award for an Associate Professor for Excellence in Research.
  • University of Cambridge, 1995, Visiting Scientist, Herschel Smith Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry
  • University of Florida Board of Regents, 1994, University Teaching Incentive Program Award (TIPA), Most Prestigious Award for Excellence in College Teaching across the university System.
  • National Research Council of Argentina,1983-1990, Member of the Scientific and Technological Research Career.

Professional Service (Selected)

  • Elected Board Member of the American Electrophoresis Society (AES), 2000-2005
  • Gonzalez, J. and P. E. Arce, Editors, Technical Proceedings of the “IX Latin American Heat and Mass Transfer Congress,” San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 20-22, 2002 (ISBN 0-9726071-0-2; one hundred and two technical contributions in 736 pages document).
  • Arce, P. E. and A. Gaertner, Guest Editors "19th American Electrophoresis Society Conference 2002: Focus on Interdisciplinary Science," Electrophoresis, 24 No. 19-20, (2003).
  • "New Patents in Nanotechnology”, Bentham Science Publishers, Editorial Board, Invited, 2008-
  • Journal of Chemical Engineering Education, American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE- Division of Chemical Engineering, Editorial Board, Invited (2010- 2016). Served two consecutive terms.
  • Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Brazilian Society of Chemical Engineering – ABEQ, Editorial Board Member, Invited, (2011-).
  • Critical Conversations, Interdisciplinary Journal, Tennessee Board of Regents, Editorial Board (2015-)
  • Environments (MDPI), Editorial Board Member, Invited, 2018-

Research Focus and Philosophy

The twenty-first century has accentuated the new realty: Demand for long-lasting solutions to Grand Challenges (USA-NA, 2017) and professional adaptability to the globalization of the economy across countries with highly dissimilar levels of resources (Florida, R., 2012). This requires a completely different strategy for the development of a new type of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professional at the postsecondary level: one that is holistically skillful, adaptable, impactful to society’s challenges, and entrepreneurial (Grasso et al., 2008; National Academy of Science [NAE], 2004; Sochacka et al., 2016). To respond to this challenge, Dr. Arce (with students and collaborators) have focused on building a constructionistic-centric approach, i.e., the Renaissance Foundry Model, RFM, (Arce et al., 2015) that provides a tool for facilitating the formation of such new STEM professional. Guided by the RFM, Dr. Arce strives to create learning and research environments that can efficiently foster the development of such holistic STEM professional.

Activities in Dr. Arce’s group focus on two main pathways: a- Educational efforts both for classroom and team-centric education and b-Technical areas related to environmental mitigation of contaminants (mainly in water and soil) and health care related applications. For the first pathway, Dr. Arce leverages constructivist- and constructionistic-based theories in conjunction with best practices (i.e. praxis). For the second pathway, he uses a blend of mathematical-computational approaches complemented with both analytical and experimentation tools. Typical recent efforts include a- Collaborative and innovation-centric approaches to learning, b-Environmental catalysis (with applications to photo- and electro-catalysis), and c-Mathematics-Assisted Medicine Approaches (MAMA), including functional-based nanostructured gels, integral spectral methods in cancer treatment predictions, and understanding cholesterol deposition in arteries, . Dr. Arce is an advocate of “Group’s Genius”-style approaches (Sawyer, 2007) and he is privileged to collaborate with the “Renaissance Foundry Research Group” (RFRG, Note 1) and other distinct colleagues.



i)     Technical and Educational Archival Publications (selected out 150)

  1. Sharma, A., B.R. Locke, P.E. Arce, and W. Finney, “Preliminary Study of Pulsed Corona Discharge for the Degradation of Organic Waste in Aqueous Solutions,’’ Hazardous Waste/Hazardous Materials, 10, 209 (1993).
  2. Joshi, A., B.R. Locke, P.E. Arce, and W. Finney, “Formation of Hydroxyl Radicals, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Aqueous Electrons by Pulsed Streamer Corona Discharge in Aqueous Solution,” J. of Hazardous Materials, 47 (1), 3, (1995).
  3. M. Oyanader and P. Arce, "A New and Simpler Approach for the Solution of Electrostatic Potential Differential Equation," Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 284, 315-322 (2005).
  4. Wang, CS, U. Kasavajjuka, and P.E. Arce, “A Discharge Model for Phase Transformation Electrodes: Formulation, Experimental Validation, and Analysis,” J. Phys. Chem. C; 111(44); 16656 – 16663 (2007).
  5. Kasavajjula, U.S., C. Wang and P. E. Arce, “A Discharge Model for LiFePO4 Accounting the Effect of Solid Solution Range and Particle Size,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 1159 (11), A866-A874, (2008).
  6. Simhadri, J., H. Stretz, P. E. Arce, and M. Oyanader, "Morphology of Nanocomposite and Template Gels and its Role in the Separation of Biomolecules: A Review,” I&EC Research, 49(23), 12104-12110, (2010).
  7. Camp, J., D. George, M. Wells, and P. E. Arce, “Monitoring Advanced Oxidation of Suwannes River Fulvic Acid”, Environmental Chemistry, 7, 225-231, (2010).
  8. Thompson, J., H. A. Stretz, and P. E. Arce, "Preliminary Observations of the Role of Material Morphology on Protein-Electrophoretic Transport in Gold Nanocomposite Hydrogels” I&EC Research, 49(23), 11866-11877, (2010).
  9. Thompson, J., H.A. Stretz, P. E. Arce, H. Gao, H. J. Plohen, J. He, “Effect of Magnetization on the Gel Structure and Protein in Polyacrylamide Hydrogel,” J. of Applied Polymer Science, 126, 1600-1612, (2012).
  10. Oyanader, M., Pedro E. Arce, and James D. Bolden, "Role of Joule Heating in Electro-Assisted Processes: A Boundary Layer Approach for Rectangular Electrodes,” International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Vol 11 (2), 815-823 (2013); Published on line on 08/06/2013. Invited, Dr. A. E. Cassano Honoring Issue.
  11. Oyander, M. and P.E. Arce, “Role of Aspect Ratio and Joule Heating within the Fluid Region Near a Cylindrical Electrode in Electrokinetic Remediation: A Numerical Solution based on the Boundary Layer Model”, International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Vol. 11 (2), 687-699, 2013; Published online on 08/25 /2013. Invited, Dr. A. E. Cassano Honoring Issue.

  12. Koutahzadeh, N., M. R. Esfahani, H. Stretz and P. E. Arce, “Investigation of UV/H2O2 Pretreatment Effects On Humic Acid Fouling On Polysulfone/Titanium Dioxide—And Polysulfone/Multiwall Carbon Nanotube—Nanocomposite Ultrafiltration Membranes,” Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, 36,27-37, (2017).
  13. Allred, N.; Liu, W.Y. and P. E. Arce, “Convective-Diffusive Heat Transfer in Tubes: Role of the Hydrodynamics of Flow on the Feasibility Domain of the Asymptotic Temperature Profiles, Brazilian J. of Chem. Eng., 35, 615-622, (2018).
  14. Torrres, C., P. E. Arce, Romero, F. Justel, L. Romero, and Y. Ghorbani, “Joule Heating Effects in Electrokinetic Remediation. Role of Non-Uniform Soil Environments: Temperature Profile Behavior and Hydrodynamics,” Environments (MDPI), 5 (8), 92 (24 pages, on line journal), (2018).
  15. Pascal, J.; K. R. Medidhi; M. Oyanader; H. Stretz, and P. E. Arce, “Understanding the Collaborative Effects between Polymer Gel Structure and the Applied Electrical Field in Gel Electrophoresis Separation,” International Journal of Polymer Science, Hindawi, (15 pages, online journal, Volume 2019, Article ID 6194674,, March 2019).

ii)     Other Significant Publications

  1. Arce, P. E. and D. Ramkrishna, “Pattern Formation in Catalytic Reactors: The Role of Fluid Mixing,” AIChE Journal, 37 (1), 98 (1991)
  2. Locke, B.R. and P. E. Arce, “Applications of Self-Adjoint Operators to Electrophoretic Transport, Enzyme Reactions, and Microwave Heating Problems in Composite Media-I. General Formulation,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 48 (9) 1675 (1993).
  3. Locke, B.R. and P. E. Arce, “Modeling Electrophoretic Transport of Polyelectrolytes in Beds of Non-Porous Particles,” Separations Technology, 3, 1-10 (1993).
  4. Trinh, S., P. E. Arce, and B.R. Locke, “Effective Diffusivity of Point-Like Molecules in Isotropic Porous Media by Monte Carlo Simulations,” Transport in Porous Media, 38 (3), 241 (2000).
  5. Trinh, S., B. R. Locke, and P. E. Arce “Effective Diffusion Tensors of Point-Like Molecules in Anisotropic Media by Monte Carlo Simulation,” Transport in Porous Media, 47, 279 (2002).

iii).     Engineering Education and Leadership (selected contributions at Tennessee Technological University)

  1. Arce, P. E. and L. Schreiber, "High Performance Learning Environments, Hi-PeLE," Journal of Chemical Engineering Education, 286-291, Fall Issue, (2004).
  2. Arce, P. E., M. Oyanader and S. Whitaker, “The Catalytic Pellet: A Rich Learning Environment for Up-Scaling, “Journal of Chemical Engineering Education, 41(3), 187-194, Summer Issue, (2007). 2008 Thomas C. Evans Award for the most outstanding paper in Engineering Education - ASEE, Southeastern Section.
  3. Pascal, J., C. M. Torres, and P. E. Arce, “The Soccer Ball Model: A Useful Visualization Protocol for Scaling Concepts in Continua,” Journal of Chemical Engineering Education, 44(2), Spring Issue, (2010).
  4. Arce, P. E. with a team of colleagues and students (L. Loggins, A. Arce-Trigatti, J. R. Sanders, J. Pascal, J. Biernacki, M. Geist, and K. Wiant), “The Renaissance Foundry: A Powerful Learning and Thinking System to Develop the 21st Century Da Vinci Engineer,” Winner of the 2014 Thomas C. Evans Award, ASEE-SE.
  5. Arce, P. E., J. R. Sanders, A. Arce-Trigatti, L. Loggins, J. Biernacki, M. Geist, J. Pascal and K. Wiant, “The Renaissance Foundry”, Critical Conversation Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol II, 176, 2015. Winner of the 2015 Zone II Best Paper, ASEE.(Note 2).
  6. Tijaro-Rojas, R., A. Arce-Trigatti, J. Cupp, J. Pascal and P. E. Arce, “A Systematic and Integrative Sequence Approach (SISA) for Mastering Learning: Anchoring Bloom’s Taxonomy to Student Learning,” Education for Chemical Engineers, 17, 31-43, (2016)
  7. Allred, N.; Blanton, S.; Sanders, J R. and P. E. Arce, “Role of Electrokinetics in the Cleaning Efficiency of a Dializer: Toward and Artificial Kidney,” Proceeding of the “Electrokinetics Remediation, EREM-2017, International Symposium, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, August 6-8, 2017.
  8. Allred, N., Blanton, S., Sanders., Liu, Y., and P. E. Arce, “Electrokinetics-Hydrodynamics: Bridging the Gap,” American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Proceeding of the Annual Meeting of the South East Section, Raleigh, NC, March 2018
  9. Allred, N., Sanders, R., Liu, Y., and P. Arce, “Integral Spectral Methods Applied to Health Care Engineering: A Student-Focused Pedagogical Approach,” American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the South East Section, Raleigh, NC, March 2018.
  10. Sanders, J. R., A. Arce-Trigatti, and P. E. Arce. “Promoting Student Problem Identification Skills via a Jeopardy-Inspired Course within the Renaissance Foundry”. Education for Chemical Engineers. 30: 49-59. Available on-line November 9, 2019 at:

Patents and Other Intellectual Properties

  1. “Methods of Oxidizing Organic Contaminants in Aqueous Mediums Using Corona Induced Reactions.” US Patent Application, Serial no. 08/148,785 November 5, 1993; Patent Issued on December 10, 2002: USPTO# 6,491,797 (with A. Sharma, B.R. Locke, and W. Finney). Filing via Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
  2. “Thermo-responsive Microparticle Composite Hydrogels for Electrophoresis,” Full Patent applied for 11/12/2008; Notice of Allowance 2/2012; Issued on 05/2012: USPTO# 8,177,950 (With J. Thompson and H. Stretz). Preliminary licensing agreement with Promethia Lab, TTU Start-Up Company, 2013. Filing via Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN.
  3. “High Performance Learning Environment, Hi-PeLETM, Trademark filing, 2008. Filing via Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN.
  4. Mobile Learning Environment System Infra-Structure, MoLE-SITM, Trademark filing, 2010. Filing via Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN.
  5. “Modifying Hydrogels by Applied Electrical Field”, Utility Patent Application via Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN, 2020 (With J. R. Sanders and Anfal Haris).

Recent Doctoral Graduates, Selected, (Major Professor)

  1. Jennifer Pascal, PhD in Engineering Program, TTU, 2011 – Associate Professor in Residence and Associate Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut, USA
  2. Jyothi Simhadri, PhD in Engineering Program, TTU, 2012,-Associate in Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, Howard University, Washington, DC
  3. Cynthia Torres, PhD, Env. -Sciences Program, Concentration: Chemistry, TTU, 2012- Faculty at the Department of Metallurgy, Universiidad Catolica del Norte; Directora Fundadora y Directora Ejecutiva del “Centro de Investigación Científico Tecnológico para la Minería”, CICITEM, Antofagasta, Chile
  4. Parvin Golbayani, PhD in Engineering Program, TTU, 2014- (Co-advised)-Global Quality Assurance Manager Minerals Technologies Inc., MA-USA.
  5. Helen Okoye, PhD in Engineering Program, 2016- General Motors, Warren, MI-USA.
  6. Rocio Tijaro-Rojas, PhD in Engineering Program, 2016- Asóciate Profesor, Director of the División of International Relations, Universidad Nacional Arturo Pratt, Iquique, Chile.
  7. Negin Koutahzadeh, PhD in Engineering Program, TTU, 2017- Director of Environmental/Safety Program, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL-USA.
  8. Ashley Nastasia Allred, PhD in Engineering Program, TTU, 2020

Recent Courses (Selected)


  • ChE 3121: Transfer Science II (Fluid Mechanics: Experimental Prototype/Lab Sections, Spring 2019; 2020)
  • ChE 4990 Undergraduate Research Research (Spring 2019, Summer 2019; Fall 2019, Spring 2020)
  • ChE 4379 Professional Opportunities for Chemical Engineers (Summer 2019, in collaboration with ORNL, Y-12 and Kimberly Clark, Knoxville, TN)


  • ChE 7970 Electrokinetics Hydrodynamics (Fall 2016)
  • ChE 7970 The Art and Science of Modelling (Spring 2018)
  • ChE 7970 Introduction to Heterogeneous Catalysis (Fall 2018)
  • ChE 6240, Physics of Transport: Fundamentals and Selected Applications to Chemical, Environmental, and Health Care Engineering Problems, Fall 2019.
  • ChE 6210 Advanced Kinetics (Spring 2020)
  • ChE 6990 Thesis Research (Master Level Students)-Continued
  • ChE 7990 Dissertation Research (Doctoral Level Students)-Continued
    References & Notes:

Grand Challenges Report, USA-NA (Engineering, Medicine and Sciences), 2017; Association of American Universities. (2017). Progress toward achieving systemic change: A five-year status report on the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative. Washington, DC.;

Grasso, D., Burkins, M. B., Helble, J., & Martinello, D. (2008). Dispelling the myths of holistic engineering. The Magazine for Professional Engineers, 1, 26-29.

National Academy of Engineers [NAE]. (2004). The engineer of 2020: Visions of engineering in the new century. National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved from:

Sochacka, N. W., Guyotte, K. W., & Walter, J. (2016). Learning together: A collaborative autoethnographic exploration of STEAM (STEM + the Arts education. The Journal of Engineering Education, 105(1) 15-42.;

Arce, P. E., Sanders, J. R., Arce-Trigatti, A., Loggins, L., Biernacki, J., Geist, M., Pascal, J., & Wiant, K. (2015). The renaissance foundry: A powerful learning and thinking system to develop the 21st century engineer. Critical Conversations in Higher Education, 1(2), 176-202;

Sawyer, K,. (2007), “Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration”, Basic Books, New York, NY.;

Richard Florida (2012) “The Rise of the Creative Class”, 2nd Edition, Basic Books, New York, NY.

Note 1: The RFRG at Tennessee Technological University:

Note 2: The American Society of Engineering Education, Southeast Section, ASEE-SE established this award to honor Professor Thomas C, Evans, The Citadel, Charleston, SC, for his outstanding contribution to education, “The Thomas C. Evans Instructional Paper Award is given to the author or authors of the most outstanding paper pertaining to engineering education.” Dr. Arce is the only candidate to have received the award four times (1994, 2001, 2008, and 2014).


Dr. Arce is grateful for the support received from both state and private foundations including the National Science Foundation (USA), the Schlumberger Foundation, the Shell and Cummins Foundations, the National Council of Research from Chile, Fulbright, the government of Brazil, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq and the States of Florida and Tennessee, among other sources. The support received from the State of Tennessee supported Centers of Excellence at Tennessee Technological University and its Office of Research is gratefully acknowledged.