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tennessee technological university

Chemical Engineering

University Distinguished Faculty Fellow-Professor & Chair
Highest Degree University: Purdue University
Department: Chemical Engineering
Prescott Hall (PRSC) 214
PO Box: 5013

(931) 372-3297


Electrokinetics (Electrophoresis, Environmental Proteomics and Health Care Informatics, EK-Soil Cleaning) • Advanced Oxidation Processes (Non-thermal Plasma, Photocatalysis, UV Processes) • Nano-structured (soft) Materials (Morphological Effects, Optimization of Separation Efficiency) • Engineering Education (High Performance Learning Environments, Hi-PeLE; Critical Thinking, Innovation and Creativity).

More Information


  • 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.

Honors and Awards (Selected)

  • ASERT-NIH Program, University of New Mexico, Key-Note Presentation, 2012
  • University Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Tennessee Technological University, TTU, 2010
  • Chemical Engineering Association, Argentina, Opening Plenary Lecture, Biannual Meeting, Mar del Plata, 2010
  • Journal of Chemical Engineering Education, Publication Board Member, 2010
  • Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Publication Board Member, 2010
  • National Science Foundation-Engineering Research Centers, Annual Meeting Plenary Lecture, 2009
  • International Leadership Award, Chair Academy, 2009
  • Chemical Engineering of the Future Symposium, Invited Panelist, Purdue University, 2009
  • University QEP Award for Hi-PeLETM Development, TTU, 2009
  • Brown-Henderson Award, College of Engineering, TTU, 2008
  • Thomas C. Evans Award, ASEE-SE (1994, 2001; 2008)
  • Leslie E. Sissom Award for Innovation in Engineering Education, College of Engineering, TTU, 2005; Development of the MoLE-SITM Platform, 2012
  • Mid-Career Outstanding Teaching Award, ASEE-SE, 2005
  • Elected Board Member of the American Electrophoresis Society (AES), 2000-2005
  • Invited Visiting Professor, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima Perú, 2000
  • Developing Scholar Award, Florida State University for Excellence in Research, 1996-1997
  • Visiting Scientist, Herschel Smith Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, 1995
  • University Teaching Incentive Program Award (TIP), University of Florida BOR, for Excellence in College Teaching, 1994
  • National Research Council of Argentina, Researcher Career Member, 1983-1990

Research Statement

Scholarly efforts for both technological-based and educational-pedagogical aspects are conducted in addition to transformational and team-based approaches for academic administration. Below, a brief overview of the current efforts is presented.

Technological-based Scholar Efforts: Motivated by the Grand Challenges of the USA- National Academy of Engineering and his own scientific and engineering background, Dr. Arce’s core efforts are guided by the needs within the so-called “Applied Field Sensitive Technologies” that (uniquely) requires of an external field as a primary driving force of transport; this field could be an electrical, gravitational, magnetic, acoustic, and photon-based field. His recent efforts have been largely focused on electrical (both low and high) fields and in the use of UV-Photon-based processes. Within this emphasis, Dr. Arce is interested in Biotechnology (biogel, bioseparations, clinical diagnostics, and drug delivery); Environmental areas (cold-plasma advanced oxidation, UV-photocatalytic processes for water and air decontamination, and electrokinetic-based soil cleaning); and Energy-related areas (high performance battery and cell fuel materials). Two concepts that permeate across the effort are the Rate of Transport (of a solute/analyte) and the Rate of Degradation (of a contaminant) and the efforts are driven by the Body of Knowledge centered on Electrokinetics-Hydrodynamics (EKHD) that uses scientific and engineering principles associated with the physics of transport, colloidal sciences, and kinetics of both chemical and biological reactions. Multidimensional and multi-scale systems are typical within the domain of these areas. One key focus is on "Process Scaling" and how this affect the prediction of the technology behaviors. A blend of analytical, computational-based approaches and selected experiments drive the research. Dr. Arce’s group benefits greatly from the continuous collaboration with Dr. Holly Stretz, Dr. C-Y Liu and Dr. Motoya Machida (Mathematics-TTU); Dr. Andrew Callender (Chemistry-TTU); Dr. Robby Sanders; and Dr. Dennis George (Center for the Management, Utilization, and Protection of Water Resources-TTU).

b. Applied and Computational Mathematics: Dr. Arce has a long commitment to efforts in this area and currently he focuses on Spatial Averaging, Asymptotic-based Approaches, Integral-Spectral Methods (in transport and reaction) guided by Operator-theoretic Methods and Algorithmic-based Approaches for systems with non-linear sources. A recent added interest is on optimization by Differential Evolution for systems with an applied electrical field.

c. Educational-Based Scholar Efforts: Having a life commitment to improve student learning and facilitating such learning, Dr. Arce has focused his effort on developing environments that enhance creativity and innovation in engineering education such the Innovation-based Learning System known as the High Performance Learning Environments (Hi-PeLETM). In addition, his curricula reform centers on Progressive Scaling Approaches, and on the use of his successful course and curricula integrator, Principles Objects of Knowledge (POKs). These “tools” are excellent practices to develop engineers based on the Engineering 2020 Model of the USA-National Academy of Engineering and the recently developed Renaissance Engineering Model at the Tennessee Technological University College of Engineering.

d. Academic Administration: For the last five years, Dr. Arce has focused on the development and implementation of Transformational and Cabinet-Style Models for academic administration. These “Camelot-Style” models bring the much needed faculty autonomy and empower them to make decisions and contributions within a highly collaborative environment.

e-Studies in Low Reynolds Hydrodynamics and collaboration with colleagues at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, GFDI (Florida State University) have led to the discovery of a novel internal microflow (i.e., “puddle” formation flow) in large drops moving in high viscous fluids. Further experimental and simulations aspects are currently being studied. Micromixing of fluids and Earth Mantle Dynamics are two key applications of this novel flow.

Acknowledgements: Dr. Arce acknowledges collaboration with and partial support from the Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources, the Center for Manufacturing Research, the Office of Research, Provost Office and the School of Art and Sciences at Tennessee Technological University as well as International Government Organizations and collaboration with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute (GFDI) at Florida State University, as well as with the Universidad Catolica del Norte and the University of Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile.


Most Recent:

  • Thompson, J, H.A. Stretz, P. E. Arce, H. Gao, H.J. Ploehn, and J. He, "Effect of Magnetization on the Gel Structure and Protein Electrophoresis in Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Nanocomposites," Journal of Applied Polymer Sciences,126 (5), 1600-1612 (2012)
  • Pascal, J, M.O. Oyanader, P.E. Arce, "Effect of Capillary Geometry on Predicting Electroomotic Volumetric Flowrates in Porous or Fibrous Media, Journal of Colloid and Interfacial Science, 378 (1), 241-50, (2012).
  • Arce, P. E. "Namomaterials", Invited Chapter in Enclycopedia of Nanoscience and Society, David Guston, PhD, Arizona State University, General Editor, Golson Books, Ltd, Publisher, New York, NY, 2010.
  • 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), 12104-12110, 2010.
  • 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), 11866-11877, 2010.
  • Camp, J., D. George, M. Wells, and P. E. Arce, “Monitoring Advanced Oxidation of Suwannes River Fulvic Acid, Environmental Chemistry , 7, 225-231, (2010).
  • Pascal, J.A., M.A. Oyanader, and P.E. Arce, “Effect of Wall Velocities on the Determination of Optimal Separation Times in Electrical Field Flow Fractionation,” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 88(3), 384-391, (2010).
  • 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).
  • Oyanader, M., P.E. Arce, and A. Dzurik, "Design Criteria for Soil Cleaning Operations in Electrokinetic Remediation: Comparative Hydrodynamic Aspects in a Rectangular, Cylindrical and Annular Geometry," Journal of Porous Media (JPM), 11(8), 733-750, (2008).
  • Pascal, J. A, R. O’Hara, M.A. Oyanader, and P.E. Arce, “Optimal Separation Times for Electrical Field Flow Fractionation with Couette Flows,” Electrophoresis, 29, 1-9, (2008).

Engineering Education:

  • Pascal, J., C. 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).
  • Pascal, J., P. E. Arce, M. Oyanader, and S. Sauer, "Electrokinetic-Hydrodynamics: A Much needed Framework for Applied Electrical Field Sensitive Technologies," American Electrophoresis Society, Newsletter, 14, (3), 3, August 2009.
  • CEngineering at Tennessee Technological University, Invited Profile in Journal of Chemical Engineering Education, 42(3), 118-124, Summer Issue (2008).
  • Arce, P. E., Oyanader, M., and Whitaker, S. “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.


  • Thompson, J.W., H.A. Stretz, and P.E. Arce. “Thermoresponsive microparticle composite hydrogels for electrophoresis”. 12/275,253

  • Thompson, J.W., H.A. Stretz, P.E. Arce, J. Simhadri, and M. Oyanader. “Nano-templated hydrogels (NTH) for electrophoresis and methods of preparation” Submitted 10/10

  • Thompson, J.W., H. A. Stretz, and P.E. Arce. “Magnetizable nanocomposite hydrogels for electrophoresis and methods of preparation” Submitted 7/12

Recent Courses Taught


  • ChE 3121: Transfer Science II (Fluid Mechanics: Experimental Prototype, Spring 2011; 2013); Full Course (Spring 2012).
  • ChE 3990 Introduction to Undergraduate Research (Spring 2012, Summer 2012; Spring 2013)
  • ChE 4990 Undergraduate Research (Spring 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012; Spring 2013)


  • ChE 6210: Advanced Kinetics (Fall 2011).
  • ChE 6810: Physics of Transport -I (Fall 2012)
  • ChE 7970: Physics of Transport-II (Spring 2013)