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Steve Lustig

321 ISEC
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 2016.

Our work seeks to design and manipulate molecular/materials chemistry and structure for new property discovery, new functionality and technology development by combining theory, high performance computing and experimental methods. Our theoretical methods frequently involve quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, polymer physics, materials and biomolecular engineering. Our experimental methods frequently involve chemical synthesis, processing and characterizations: such as: microlithography, electrospinning, atomic force microscopy, spectroscopy, rheology and electroanalysis. We develop and implement powerful, multi-disciplinary tools to solve relevant problems with industry and national laboratories.

Our group research is described as three programs, each aimed at important societal problems addressed by new theory, computer simulation and experiments.

  1. COSMOdesign is an original paradigm to design new molecules, mixtures, materials and processes. Research further develops and applies this methodology in the design of (i) bioactive molecules with targeted physiological and environmental fate and (ii) environmentally safe refrigerants. Continued research is focused on improving the accuracy and broadening the applicability of direct design methods to (i) three dimensional docking, (ii) multi-scale mesoscopic dynamics and (iii) crystallization.
  2. Research on enzyme based air cathodes illustrates an important scientific opportunity to understand how to design practical nano-structured materials that deliver efficiently electrons and molecular reactants to the active centers of immobilized enzymes. Among many applications, this research will solve the remaining challenges toward enabling practical microbial fuel cells.
  3. Continued collaborations address why our antiballistic fibers break well below theoretical strength and what must be done to offer better protection. New materials are designed based on: understanding the molecular structure of liquid crystal polymer solutions in extensional flows, understanding the morphological defects that initiate failure and new synthesis paradigms for greater morphological perfection.


  • PhD, Purdue University, 1989
  • MS, Purdue University, 1985
  • BSChE with Distinction, University of Virginia, 1983

Research & Scholarship Interests

design and manipulation of molecular/materials chemistry and structure for new property discovery, new functionality and technology development by combining theoretical and experimental methods; high performance computing, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, polymer physics, materials and biomolecular engineering
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers Industrial Research & Development Institute Award
  • DuPont Central Research Accomplishment Award (9 awards)
  • DuPont TechCon Award
  • DuPont Materials Science and Engineering Accomplishment Award (3 awards)
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon
  • Sigma Xi
  • Plastics Institute of America National Fellowship
  • Purdue University Fellowship

Selected Publications

  • M.B. Shiflett, B.A. Elliott, S.R. Lustig, S. Sabesan, M.S. Kelkar, A. Yokozeki,Phase Behavior of CO2 in Room-temperature Ionic Liquid1-Ethyl-3-Ethylimidazolium Acetate, Chem Phys Chem, 13, 1806-1817 (2012)
  • L.M. Grieco, G.A. Halliday, C.P. Junk, S.R. Lustig, W.J. Marshall, V.A. Petrov, Reactions of 1,1,2,2-Tetrafluoroethyl-N,N-Dimethylamine with Linear and Cyclic 1,3-Diketones, Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 132, 1198-1206 (2011)
  • R.H. French, V.A. Parsegian, R. Podgornik, R.F. Rajter, A. Jagota, J. Luo, D. Asthagiri, M.K. Chaudhury, Y.M. Chiang, S. Granick, S. Kalinin, M. Kardar, R. Kjellander, D.C. Langreth, J. Lewis, S. Lustig, D. Wesolowski, J.S. Wettlaufer, W.Y. Ching, M. Finnis, F. Houlihan, O.A. von Lilienfeld, C.J. van Oss, T. Zemb, Long Range Interactions in Nanoscale Science, Reviews of Modern Physics, 82(2), (2010)
  • J.S. Meth, S.R. Lustig, “Polymer interphase structure near nanoscale inclusions: Comparison between random walk theory and experiment” Polymer, 51, 4259-4266 (2010)
  • C. Gu, S. Lustig, C. Jackson, B.L. Trout, “Design of Surface Active Soluble Peptide Molecules at the Air/Water Interface” J. Phys. Chem. B, 112, 2970-2980 (2008)
  • F. Zhou, G. Grigoryan, S.R. Lustig, A.E. Keating, G. Ceder, D. Morgan, “Coarse-Graining Protein Energetics in Sequence Variables.” Phys. Rev. Lett., 95, 148103/1-148103/4 (2005)
  • S.R. Lustig, A. Jagota, C. Khripin, M. Zheng, “Theory of structure-based carbon nanotube separations by ion-exchange chromatography of DNA/CNT hybrids.” J. Phys. Chem. B, 109, 2559-2566. (2005)
  • R.A. Segalman, A. Jacobson, E.J. Kramer, S.R. Lustig, “Polymer diffusion in semicrystalline polymers using secondary ion mass spectroscopy.” Macromolecules, 37, 2613-2617 (2004).
  • M. Zheng, A. Jagota, E.D. Semke, B.A. Diner, R.S. McLean, S.R. Lustig, R.E. Richardson, N.G. Tassi, “DNA-assisted dispersion and separation of carbon nanotubes.” Nature Materials, 2, 338-342 (2003).
  • S.R. Lustig, E.D. Boyes, R.H. French, T.D. Gierke, M.A. Harmer, P.B. Hietpas, A. Jagota, R.S. McLean, G.P. Mitchell, G.B. Onoa, “Lithographically Cut Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Controlling Length Distribution and Introducing End-Group Functionality.” Nano Letters, 3, 1007-1012 (2003).
  • S. Wang, E.S. Humphreys, S.Y. Chung, D.F. Delduco, S.R. Lustig, H. Wang, K.N. Parker, N.W. Rizzo, S. Subramoney, Y.M. Chiang, “Peptides with selective affinity for carbon nanotubes.” Nature Materials, 2, 196-200 (2003)
  • S.R. Lustig, G.J. Everlof and G.D. Jaycox, "Stimuli-Responsive Polymers. 5. Azobenzene modified polyaramides containing chiral binaphthyl linkages: tuning chiroptical behavior with light and heat." Macromolecules, 34, 2364-2372 (2001).

Related News

June 12, 2018

Instead of writing on a board, ChE Associate Professor Steve Lustig projects equations he writes on his iPad Pro, allowing him to interact better with his students. Source: News @ Northeastern Steve...

December 20, 2017

ChE student Rebecca Lustig, E'22, explains what it is like to have her father, Associate Professor Steve Lustig, as part of the faculty. Source: News @ Northeastern It’s common knowledge...

November 8, 2017

Chemical Engineering PhD student and member of the Lustig Lab, Michael Ploch has begun a six-month research internship at the Army Research Lab (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. As part of...

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