Priyanka Sharma

Photo of Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Sharma
Assistant Professor
(269) 276-3506
A-220 Floyd Half, Mail Stop 5462
Mailing address: 
Floyd Hall
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • Post-doctoral associate, Stony Brook University, 2015-2017
  • Ph.D, Polymer Chemistry, CSIR–National Chemical Laboratory, India, 2014
Teaching interests: 
  • CHEG 3550: Bioprocess Engineering
  • CHEG 4100: Chemical Reaction Engineering
Research interests: 
  • Functional biomaterials (nanocellulose)
  • Environmental remediation (water purification, GHG sequestration)
  • Green energy materials

Dr. Priyanka Sharma is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Western Michigan University. Previously, she was a research scientist, research assistant professor and active adjunct faculty member  in the material science and chemical engineering department at Stony Brook University. She also served as a guest scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 2016 to 2019. In addition, from 2015 to 2018, Sharma completed postdoctoral training in Stony Brook’s Department of Chemistry. 

An author of more than 35 research papers in renowned journals, Sharma also wrote six book chapters, and holds two U.S. patents and seven patent applications. Her significant research includes understanding cellulose polymers' structural complexity to develop sustainable processing conditions and tuning their functional properties for environmental and energy-related applications. Her achievements in cellulose chemistry include the innovation of novel spherical shape cellulose nanoparticles from cotton linter, the development of nitro-oxidation process to generate the cellulose nanofibers with negative surface charge, and developing the metal-cellulose hybrids to tackle the toxic impurities from water.

Sharma has received several renowned recognitions from national and international scientific communities. She is the recipient of the Prince Sultan bin-Abdulaziz International Prize for Water 2020 (The Creativity Prize) co-shared with Dr. Benjamin Hsiao, professor at Stony Brook University. She also received the Blavatnik Young Scientist Award 2018 from the New York Academy of Sciences and the National Academic Inventor’s Award (SBU Chapter) 2020. Sharma was also the finalist in the Women in Science Incentive Prize 2020 and Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) faculty award 2018 from the Department of Science and Technology, India.

Sharma is a laureate of Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society, Association of Carbohydrate Chemists and Technologies of India and the Biotech Research Society of India. She also served on the NSF reviewer panel; and the editorial boards of Polymers and Journal of Renewable Materials; and the reviewer panels for many journals, including Biomacromolecules, ChemSusChem, Carbohydrate Polymers, Cellulose, Membranes, Catalysis and Polymers.

Sustainable Bionanomaterials Research Lab