Graduate Researchers & Staff

Jacob Boswell

Associate Professor, Knowlton School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture Section

Jacob Boswell’s professional webpage

Jacob Boswell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and both a Master in City and Regional Planning and a Master in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University. Before entering his current role as an associate professor of landscape architecture at The Ohio State University, Jacob gained professional skills by working as an Associate at Amidon Design Communication and as a Planner/Designer at Lincoln Street Studio Architects and Planners. Additionally, he is a 2018 recipient of the renowned Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.


Justin Diles

Associate Professor, Knowlton School of Architecture, Architecture Section

Justin Dile’s professional webpage

Justine Diles is an associate professor in the Architecture Section of Ohio State’s prestigious Knowlton School of Architecture. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His professional background includes working in a studio at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an expert at designing architectural assemblies through strategically drawing on digital design, fabrication techniques and advanced composite materials.


Sam Storts

Research Associate, Dept. of Food Science and Technology

Sam Storts’ professional webpage

Sam Storts holds a B.S. degree in food, agricultural, biological and ecological engineering from The Ohio State University. After graduation, he immediately began work in Dr. Yael Vodovotz’s food science and technology lab as a research engineer focusing primarily on the development of the biobased/biodegradable films project where he incorporated PHBV, PLA, and natural rubber into a blend that featured a balance of qualities desired in the food packaging industry. Once this project was off the ground, Sam transitioned into the development of a biobased/biodegradable adhesive made primarily through the use of altered natural rubber.


Xiaoying Zhao, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate, Dept. of Food Science and Technology

Xiaoying Zhao is a Senior Research Associate in The Ohio State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in food science from Ohio State. Her research focuses on developing biobased biodegradable plastic materials for food packaging applications. She works closely with industry to develop sustainable food packaging products to meet different end-use requirement. She plays an integral part in the success of the Alternative Matters collaborative due to her duties of administering the CAPS team award, interfacing with team faculty and their research projects, facilitating team research, and mentoring students.


Kathryn Williamson, MS

Graduate researcher. Dept. of Food Science and Technology

Kathryn is a PhD student at The Ohio State University in the Department of Food Science and Technology, working in the Hatzakis lab. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Ohio State. During her M.S., she published the first epoxidation reaction of spent coffee ground oil. Epoxidation is the first step in turning coffee oil into bioplastics. In her PhD, she is exploring the polymerization process of spent coffee ground oil epoxides and evaluating the polymer’s physical and mechanical properties for potential applications in industry.