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Washington State University
Biological Systems Engineering Engineering for Life

Food Engineering

Department of Biological Systems Engineering
Washington State University
Fall 2023 / Spring 2024


The Department of Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) at the Washington State University (WSU) of Pullman is seeking Graduate Research Assistants to perform research while working toward a Ph.D. degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE). The successful candidates will be offered a stipend, tuition, and student health insurance at the University standard. The students will be co-advised by Dr. Shyam Sablani and Dr. Hang Liu in the following area of research:

Research Project:  Developing biobased and biodegradable composite film for packaging and other applications: Films made from petroleum-based polymers have broad applications in various industries. Pollution caused by the vast number of nonbiodegradable films has caused growing environmental concerns and driven the need to develop biobased and biodegradable alternatives. Currently available biopolymers (e.g., polylactic acid) have great recyclability and/or compostability, excellent processability, high transparency, and low toxicity. Drawbacks of these biopolymers include their inadequate barrier properties for many applications. This project seeks innovative processing technique of biopolymers to produce films with improved barrier properties.


Preferred background: B.S. or M.S. in material science and engineering, polymer science, chemical engineering, or related areas with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or above, is preferred. Experience in nanocomposite film production is desirable.

Please refer to for application. The positions are available immediately and will remain open until filled. If interested or have questions, please contact Dr. Shyam Sablani ( or Dr. Hang Liu (




Questions regarding the application procedure can be directed to:


Joanna Dreger, BSE Graduate Academic Coordinator, Biological Systems Engineering Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6120, USA


Questions regarding the research interest can be directed to one of the following:


Dr. Shyam Sablani, WSU-BSE

Dr. Hang LiuMaterials Science and Engineering