clay kacica

WEBSITE(S)| Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering



Ph.D./M.S. – Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

My Ph.D. research focused on utilizing aerosol techniques for the synthesis of structured materials at the nano-and micro-scales.

B.S. – Case Western Reserve University, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering


As a Rice Academy Fellow, Dr. Kacica will work on advancing the production of high-quality carbon nanotubes for large-scale production. Carbon nanotubes possess exceptional mechanical and electrical properties enabling their use in applications ranging from high-strength composites to electrically active fibers or clothing. Specifically, he will work towards improving the efficiency of the floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition technique for carbon nanotube synthesis. This process utilizes catalyst nanoparticles suspended in a gas flow to catalytically break carbon sources, such as methane or ethanol, freeing carbon atoms for carbon nanotube growth. While this technique has existed for several years, the reactor has been treated largely as a black box with most research focusing on the material properties and application testing. By focusing on the processes occurring within the reactor, we can begin optimizing the reactor design to maximize carbon nanotube production rate and quality.

At the Rice Academy, I hope to gain a broad respect for the various real-world problems that researchers from a diverse range of fields are working to address.

Outside of research, I enjoy reading, running (always stopping to pet all the dogs), and cooking. I especially enjoy trying new foods from other cultures and am excited to explore Houston’s restaurant scene.