Polymer Scientist

Ran Li, MSE Ph.D.
San Jose, CA 95120


Laboratory Skills: HPLC/UPLC, UV-Vis, NMR, SEM/TEM/AFM, Optical/Fluorescence Microscopy, GC-MS/GC-FID, GPC, FTIR/Raman, DSC, DMA, TGA/TMA, Rheometer, XRD, Peel Test, Lap-Shear Test, Adhesion Test, Chemical Resistance Test, Contact Angle/Surface Energy, Tensile Test, Hardness Test, Bending Test, Impact Test, Failure Analysis, Mechanical Tests, Microbial Cell Culture.
Instrumentation: Electrospinning, Hot Compression, Parr Reactor, Fixed Bed Reactor, Extrusion, Injection Molding, 3D Printer.
General Software: Origin, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Drive.
Language: English and Mandarin.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington State University, 10/2018 – present

• Developing an economical catalytic conversion process for renewable propylene using sugar-derived 1,2-propanediol and glycerol as feedstocks.
• Developing a bio-binder to improve the performance of the recycled asphalt pavement.
• Maintaining laboratory equipment, troubleshooting analytical problems, establishing SOPs and training new users.

Research Assistant, Washington State University, 1/2015 – 12/2018

• Designed 7 new structures and optimized those processes to prepare sustainable biopolymers.
• Developed the bio-epoxy for application in coating, adhesive and pavement.
• Developed the polymer composites for manufacturing of sporting goods.
• Evaluated the curing behavior, thermal, mechanical, morphological and rheological properties of novel bio-based polymers and composites.
• Worked cooperatively in a multidisciplinary environment on materials development, testing, characterization and scale-up.
• Documented, interpreted and communicated results to team members, sponsors and collaborators.
• Solved technical problems in materials characterization, building expertise in characterization techniques and providing technical and analytical support for different projects in the lab.
• Maintained analytical lab, managed laboratory safety, trained new group members and mentored undergraduates.

Visiting Scholar, Washington State University, 8/2014 – 1/2015

• Developed a composite of biodegradable poly(lactic acid) and sunflower head residue via melt-extrusion compounding.
• Developed a lignin-based superabsorbent hydrogel for applications in agriculture.
• Developed a method for recycling post-consumer cotton waste to produce value-added regenerated fibers.

Visiting Scientist, Eastern Regional Research Center, USDA, 5/2012 – 8/2014

• Developed medical devices for the encapsulation and controlled release of bio actives for applications in health-care and environmental protection.
• Used electrospinning to produce edible fibers for food applications.
• Developed conductive polymers for electrical applications using 3D printing.
• Managed 3 projects simultaneously, involving material design, troubleshooting of technical problems, data interpretation and application of new concepts to move projects forward.


Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA, 1/2015 – 12/2018
B.E., M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin, China, 9/2006 – 9/2013


1. Ran Li, Pei Zhang, Tuan Liu, Balasingam Muhunthan, Junna Xin, Jinwen Zhang. Use of Hempseed-Oil-Derived Polyacid and Rosin-Derived Anhydride Acid as Cocuring Agents for Epoxy Materials. The 24rd annual meeting of the Bio-Environmental Polymer Society (BEPS), September 20-22, 2017, Albany, CA.
2. Ran Li, Junna Xin. Green Epoxy Resin System Based on Lignin and Tung Oil and Its Application in Epoxy Asphalt. 2017 CESTiCC Summer Workshop, August 10, 2017, Pullman, WA.
3. Ran Li. Novel Vegetable Oil-based Epoxy Resin Systems: Synthesis, Properties and Potential Applications. Materials Science and Engineering Program Colloquia, September 21, 2018, Pullman, WA.
4. Ran Li, Pei Zhang, Tuan Liu, Balasingam Muhunthan, Junna Xin*, Jinwen Zhang*. Use of Hempseed-Oil-Derived Polyacid and Rosin-Derived Anhydride Acid as Cocuring Agents for Epoxy Materials. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2018:6(3):4016-4025.
5. Junna Xin, Mei Li, Ran Li, Michael P. Wolcott, Jinwen Zhang*. Green epoxy resin system based on lignin and tung oil and its application in epoxy asphalt. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2016:4(5):2754-2761.
6. Cheng Hao, Tuan Liu*, Shuai Zhang, Lucas Brown, Ran Li, Junna Xin, Tuhua Zhong, Long Jiang, Jinwen Zhang*. A High‐Lignin‐Content, Removable, and Glycol‐Assisted Repairable Coating Based on Dynamic Covalent Bonds. ChemSusChem, 2019, 12(5): 1049-1058.
7. Ran Li, Yufeng Zhang, D. Brent Polk, Peggy M. Tomasula, Fang Yan*, LinShu Liu*. Preserving viability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in vitro and in vivo by a new encapsulation system. Journal of Controlled Release, 2016, 230: 79-87.
8. Ran Li, Tony Z. Jin, Zengshe Liu, Linshu Liu*. Antimicrobial Double-Layer Coating Prepared from Pure or Doped-Titanium Dioxide and Binders. Coatings, 2018, 8(1): 41.
9. Shih-Chuan Liu, Ran Li, Peggy M. Tomasula, Ana Margarida Moreira de Sousa, Linshu Liu*. Electrospun Food-Grade Ultrafine Fibers from Pectin and Pullulan Blends. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2016, 7(07): 636.
10. Ran Li, Peggy M. Tomasula, Ana Margarida Moreira de Sousa, Shih-Chuan Liu*, Michael Tunick, Kevin Liu, Linshu Liu*. Electrospinning pullulan fibers from salt solutions. Polymers, 2017, 9(1): 32.
11. Peggy M. Tomasula*, Ana Margarida Moreira de Sousa, Shih-Chuan Liu, Ran Li, Laetitia Mary Bonnaillie, Linshu Liu. Short communication: Electrospinning of casein/pullulan blends for food-grade applications. Journal of Dairy Science, 2016:99(3):1837-1845.
12. Xiaofei Zhai, Jianqiang Meng*, Ran Li, Lei Ni, Yufeng Zhang. Hypochlorite treatment on thin film composite RO membrane to improve boron removal performance. Desalination, 2011, 274(1): 136-143.

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