Benjamin Pedretti

Ben was born in Wisconsin and grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. While an undergrad at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying chemical engineering, Ben joined the lab of Prof. Steven Zimmerman in the Department of Chemistry. While in the lab, Ben worked on both polymer and small molecule synthesis and discovered a passion for silica gel chromatography and making new materials. After graduating, he began his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin under the advisement of Prof. Nathaniel Lynd. While at UT, he focused on synthesizing novel polymers for applications involving electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries and membranes for water purification as a member of the Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems (M-WET). As a postdoc in the Smith Lab, Ben will synthesize polymers and fabricate membranes for both liquid and gas separations. Outside of the lab, Ben enjoys traveling to national parks, visiting local breweries, and drinking coffee.