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Washington State University
The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

Steven R. Saunders

2023 Steve Saunders Headshot

Steven R. Saunders, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Associate Director for Administration and Undergraduate Research

Nanotechnology for novel catalytic systems, sustainable solvent technologies

Dr. Saunders’ Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Saunders’ group website

Office: 213 Wegner Hall 📞509-335-6578

Steve’s Tips for Distance Education

The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering 1505 Stadium Way, Room 105 P.O. Box 646515 Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-6515

Graduate Students

Zengran Sun

Former Graduate Students

Christina Louie
Ellis Hammond-Pereira
Kristin Bryant
Shane Reynolds
Trent Graham

Research Interests

Tunable and switchable solvent technology (e.g., near-critical, supercritical, gas-expanded, and ionic liquids); nanoparticle synthesis, processing, and applications; fundamental thermodynamic and computational modeling; nanomaterial catalysis and reaction kinetics.

Biographical Information

Dr. Saunders received his B.S. in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and his Ph.D. from Auburn University in 2011. He was post-doctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2011-2013. He then joined the faculty of Washington State University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, May 2011.
  • B.S., Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, May 2006.

Awards/Honors Received

  • 2017 NSF CAREER Award
  • 2016–2017 Reid Miller Excellence in Teaching
  • 2016–2017 and 2014-2015 Outstanding Instructor in Chemical Engineering

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Fellow – Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2011-2013.
  • Instructor – Auburn University, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2011.

Refereed Papers

  1. Medina-Meza, I.G., Aluwi, N.A., Saunders, S.R., Ganjyal, G.M. “Profiling Triterpenoid Saponins from 28 Varieties of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Grown in Washington by GC-MS.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
  2. Reynolds, S. R., Markland, K., Rood, J., Leonard, E., Saunders, S. R. “Manipulating Ligand-Nanoparticle Interactions and Catalytic Activity through Organic-Aqueous Tunable Solvents.RSC Advances, 2016, 6, 78496-78504.
  3. Graham, T.R., Renslow, R., Govind, N., Saunders, S.R. “Precursor Ion-Ion Aggregation in the Brust-Schiffrin Synthesis of Alkanethiol Nanoparticles.Journal of Physical Chemistry – C.
  4. Taznil, A.H., Sultana, S.T., Saunders, S.R., Shi, L., Marsili, E., Beyenal, H. “Biological Synthesis of Nanoparticles in Biofilms“, Enzyme and Microbial Technology.
  5. Tanzil, A.H, Sultana, S.T., Saunders, S.R., Dohnalkova, A., Davenport, E., Ha, P., Beyenal, H. “Production of gold nanoparticles by electrode-respiring Geobacter Sulfurrendense Biofilms”, Enzyme and Microbial Technology.