Principal Investigator

Headshot of Ozan Ciftci.
 

Ozan N. Ciftci

Associate Professor and Kenneth E. Morrison Distinguished Professor of Food Engineering
Departments of Food Science and Technology & Biological Systems Engineering 
264 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: ciftci@unl.edu
Phone: (402) 472-1693

LinkedIn

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Tahmasb Hatami.
 

Tahmasb Hatami

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: hatami.tahmas@gmail.com

LinkedIn

Shima Momen.

Shima Momen

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205

Joining us from Laval University, Canada, soon

Graduate Students

Headshot of Lingyi Liu.
 

Lingyi Liu

Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: lingyi.liu@huskers.unl.edu

LinkedIn

I received an MS degree in Agricultural Products Processing and Preservative Engineering from China Agricultural University in 2010 and a Ph.D. degree in Food Science from Zhejiang University in 2015. After working at Wuhan Polytechnic University as an assistant professor for three years, I joined UNL in the 2018 fall semester for further studies. My previous research interest was the modification of natural phenolic compounds and investigated the inhibitory mechanism of lipid phenolic compounds on the production of endogenous chemical pollutants in frying oil and foods. My current research is about the customization of lipid-based food ink for 3D food printing and improving the printing and post-printing performance via particle engineering technology. Outside of the laboratory, I enjoy reading with my daughter, cooking, and jogging.
Headshot of Farhad Alavi.
 

Farhad Alavi

Ph.D. Student
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: falavi2@huskers.unl.edu

LinkedIn

Farhad is a graduate Ph.D. student researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the guidance of Dr. Ozan Ciftci. Farhad held a BS in Food Science at Shiraz University, Iran, and an MSc in Food processing from the University of Tehran, Iran. Before coming to Dr. Cifti’s lab, he worked as a research assistant in Dr. Lingyun Chen’s lab at the University of Alberta, where Farhad conducted several research projects on the modification and valorization of food proteins and designing novel food structures by protein aggregates and protein nanofibrils. The results of his research have been published as several research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is currently working on developing highly porous bio-based aerogels through supercritical CO2 drying technology to develop novel scaffolds for nutraceutical delivery, oil structuring, and scaffolding for cell culture. He recently got awarded the Victor W. Henningsen, Sr. Graduate Student Fellowship Award for advancing research in egg white protein, and the Skala Fellowship for advanced research in new uses of agricultural products. Farhad enjoys biking, working out at the gym, sometimes running, and watching sci-fi and historical movies. 
 Headshot of Purlen Sezer Okur.
 

Purlen Sezer Okur

Ph.D. Student
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: psezerokur2@huskers.unl.edu

LinkedIn

I received my B.S. and M.S., both in Food Engineering, from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The title of my master’s study was “Improving the gelation properties of fish gelatin by using novel technologies such as high hydrostatic pressure and ultrasonication.”. I participated in Ciftci’s lab in 2021 as a Ph.D. student. Currently, my research focuses on the green processing of lipids to form natural food ingredients to be used as bioactive carriers, fat replacers, and natural food antimicrobials. The title of my Ph.D. project is “Development of an innovative green platform technology to manufacture novel multifunctional hollow solid lipid micro- and nanoparticles.”. My project is supported by USDA NIFA Novel Foods and Manufacturing Technologies program. In the 2021-2022 academic year, I have been selected to receive a Milton E. Mohr Fellowship.

 Headshot of Steven Kaiser.
 

Steven Kaiser

Ph.D. Student
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: stevenkaiser3@gmail.com

LinkedIn

I completed my B.S. and M.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My research has been focused on development of novel flavor delivery systems using clean process. Specifically, my master’s focus was creation and characterization of nanoporous corn starch aerogel for flavor delivery. Now, I am testing the aforementioned flavor impregnated nanoporous corn starch aerogel in food applications. Additionally, I have over a decade of food industry experience and currently work at Conagra Brands as a Senior Food Scientist where I am the Technical Lead for Flavors, Spices, and Seasonings.

 Headshot of Yue Wang.
 

Yue Wang

Ph.D. Student
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: ywang169@huskers.unl.edu

I received my B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in 2019, and my M.S. in Food Engineering from University College Dublin in 2021. During my Master Program, my research was focused on UV-vis spectroscopy for adulteration detection of gin and process analytical technology (PAT) in dairy processing. Currently I am under direct supervision by Dr. Ozan Ciftci in the Ciftci Laboratory while I am actively pursuing research in enzymatic interesterification reactions in supercritical carbon dioxide fluid. I enjoy cooking new foods, practicing yoga and meeting new people in my spare time.

 Muhammad Ehtasham Akram.
 

Muhammad Ehtasham Akram

Ph.D. Student
Department of Biological Systems Engineering
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: makram2@huskers.unl.edu

LinkedIn

I have completed my Master’s in Food Engineering in 2018 and bachelor’s in the same discipline in 2015 from the Department of Food Engineering, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) - Pakistan. Minimizing post-harvest losses caught my attention during my Master's, and as my master's research and thesis, I chose to design and develop a mango pulp extractor to meet the needs of the cottage industry. This work has been published in an international Journal. I worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Food Engineering at the UAF from July 2016 to June 2022. My major duties were research, teaching, and lab work for both undergraduate and graduate students. I have taught several food engineering-related courses at the UAF during the course of my career. As a PhD candidate in the department of Biological Systems Engineering, I started attending the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2022. I am being supported by a National Science Foundation project “BioWRAP - Bioplastics with Regenerative Agricultural Properties” Graduate Research Assistantship. My research area is Biopolymer Engineering, and I am conducting research to create a set of bio-based polymers that can be used as sprayable mulch in agricultural production.

Undergraduate Students

David Jose Hernandez Menco.
 

David Jose Hernandez Menco

Senior year
Department of Food Science and Technology
216 Food Innovation Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205
E-mail: dhernandezmenco2@huskers.unl.edu

LinkedIn

I am a last-semester student of Bioproduction Engineering & Agro-industrial Production Engineering at the University of La Sabana in Colombia, and I completed coterminal studies in the Master on Process Design and Management at the same university focusing on Food processes. I am currently Visiting Research Assistant at UNL. I worked in the Bioprospecting and Functional Foods research groups at the University of La Sabana doing projects in the non-food sector with microalgae, specifically in the production and extraction of antioxidant pigments as bioactive compounds, but also in the food sector focusing on the encapsulation of these bioactive to give them improved stability and protection in several applications. As extracurricular activities, I knit in my free time, I walk with friends and family getting to know new places and, I am passionate about cultural exchange through cooking and food. 

Ciftci Lab Alumni

Graduate Students
  • Junsi (Jessica) Yang, Ph.D. 2021
  • Joshua Gudeman, M.S. 2019
  • Liyang Xie, M.S. 2019
  • Steven Kaiser, M.S. 2018
  • Ali Ubeyitogullari, Ph.D. 2018
  • Lisbeth Vallecilla Yepez, M.S. 2017
  • Henok D. Belayneh, Ph.D. 2017
  • Junsi (Jessica) Yang, M.S. 2016
Postdoctoral Research Associates
  • Dr. Junsi (Jessica) Yang, 6/2021 - 6/2022
  • Dr. Adina Santana, 9/2019 - 3/2021
  • Dr. Ali Ubeyitogullari, 9/2018 - 10/2019
  • Dr. Felipe Sperotto, 1/2018 - 6/2019
Visiting Students
  • Shane Rice, Undergraduate Student, Summer 2022 (Food Science and Technology, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, United States)
  • Ivon Stephanie Acosta Ramirez, Undergraduate Student, Fall 2018 (Food Science and Technology, Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia)
  • Arthur Luiz Baião Dias, Ph. D. Candidate, Fall 2018 (School of Food Engineering, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Tahmasb Hatami, Ph. D. Student, Spring 2017 (School of Food Engineering, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Saima Naz, Ph. D. Student, Spring 2017 (Food Science and Technology, National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan)