Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Top 20 Doctoral Program — National Research Council


Dr. Jeffrey Rimer
Dr. Jeffrey Rimer

Ernest J. and Barbara M. Henley Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Location: S227, Engineering Building 1
Phone: 713-743-4131   |   Fax: 713-743-4323
Email: jrimer [at] central [dot] uh [dot] edu
Rimer's research


B.S., Chemistry, Allegheny College (2001)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis (2001)
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware (2007)
Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University, Molecular Design Institute (2007 - 2009)


CHEE 2332 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016)

CHEE 6397/CHEE 6322 Topics in Colloid and Interface Science (Fall 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)

CHEE 4367 Chemical Reaction Engineering (Fall 2010, 2016)

CHEE 3462 Unit Operations (Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014)

CHEE 1131 Chemical Engineering Challenges: Nanomaterials (Fall 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

CHEE 6327 Experimental Methods (Spring 2014, 2015, 2016)

Short Course, Applications of Heterogeneous Catalysis (Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2016)

Research Interests: 

Microporous Materials Synthesis and Testing for Catalytic Applications; Pathological Biomineralization; Crystal Engineering Through Molecular Design; Characterization of Nanomaterials Self-Assembly with X-Ray and Light Scattering and Scanning Probe Microscopy

Current Research:
(See the Rimer Group Webpage for more details)
My research program focuses on crystal engineering, nanomaterials self-assembly, and pathological biomineralization at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels to address challenges of materials synthesis and design. Our research examines the formation of a broad range of materials that span applications in catalysis, separations, drug discovery, and bio-inspired design. Research projects involve collaborative partnerships with both industry and medical centers to investigate fundamental problems in three general areas:

Microporous Nanomaterials

We investigate the mechanisms of materials formation to develop growth models capable of tuning crystallization with predictable structural outcomes. Initiatives in our group collectively aim to design zeolites with optimal crystal habit through novel synthetic approaches using colloidal and interfacial techniques to probe anisotropic growth. This work is part of a synergistic thrust at the University of Houston to design and test zeolite catalysts for the selective catalytic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in lean burn and diesel vehicles.


We are interested in examining biomineral self-assembly that occurs in both physiological and pathological processes, including vascular calcification and kidney stone disease. Research projects are part of a collaborative effort aimed to study disease pathogenesis and design therapies with improved efficacy. Biomineral formation is not well understood, but often involves four critical pathways: crystal nucleation, crystal growth, intercrystalline aggregation, and crystal and/or aggregate retention on cellular surfaces. Our research thrusts are directed toward the characterization of nucleation and growth using experimental techniques to quantify the kinetics of crystallization. Moreover, we are interested in understanding the role of biomolecules, such as proteins and lipids, in the formation of single crystals and polycrystalline aggregates. A molecular-level understanding of what distinguishes the role of proteins in stone pathogenesis is lacking, yet it is widely believed that such knowledge can be critical for the design of therapeutic treatments and novel drugs.

Crystal Engineering Through Molecular Design

We are working on several projects involving the rational synthesis of inorganic materials, wherein we are interested in studying fundamental interactions at crystal interfaces. Biomineralization, for example, is facilitated by the association of proteins and other constituents with the mineral interface. Molecule-substrate interactions are dominant factors that control crystal habit (i.e. orientation, shape, and size). As such, initiatives in our group seek to examine molecular adsorption at crystal surfaces, which can significantly influence structural properties of crystalline materials; thus, by developing an improved understanding of molecular recognition at crystalline interfaces we can use this information to selectively tailor materials for diverse applications.

Awards & Honors: 

AIChE Materials Engineering and Science Division (MESD) Director, 2017 – 2019
Gordon Research Conference on Crystal Growth & Assembly, Vice Chair, 2017
Joe W. Hightower Award, American Chemical Society GHS, 2016
Owens Corning Early Career Award, AICHE 2016
Mellichamp Emerging Leader Lecture, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2016
Teaching Excellence Award, Cullen College of Engineering, 2015
Ernest J. and Barbara M. Henley Chemical Engineering College Professorship, 2012 – Present
Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston, 2015
Provost Certificate of Excellence, University of Houston, 2014
Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship, University of Houston, 2014
Early Faculty Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research, University of Houston, 2014
The Catalyst Review, recognized in “Movers & Shakers”, 2014
Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award, Cullen College of Engineering, 2013
Southwest Catalysis Society, Director (2012 - 2014); Secretary (2014 – 2015); Chair-Elect (2016); Chair (2017)
NSF CAREER Award, 2012
ERDT Visiting Professor, University of the Philippines, 2012
ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, 2012
NSF BRIGE Award, 2010
Philadelphia Catalysis Club Poster Award, Wilmington, DE 2006
Robert L. Pigford Teaching Assistant Award, University of Delaware 2005
Dual Degree Chemical Engineering Award, Washington University in St. Louis 2001
Harold P. Brown Fellowship, Washington University in St. Louis (1999 – 2001)
Presidential Honor Scholarship, Allegheny College (1996 – 1999)
Sandra Doane Turk Award, Allegheny College 1999
Most Outstanding Junior Chemist Award, Allegheny College 1998
ACS Polymer Division Award for Outstanding Performance in Organic Chemistry, 1998
ACS Most Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Student, 1997

Selected Publications

  1. Chung, J., Granja, I., Taylor, M.G., Mpourmpakis, G., Asplin, J.R., and Rimer, J.D.,

    “Molecular Modifiers Reveal a Mechanism of Pathological Crystal Growth Inhibition”, Nature 536, 446-450

    , 2016
  2. Ghorbanpour, A., Rimer, J.D., Grabow, L.C.,

    "Computational assessment of the dominant factors governing the mechanism of methanol dehydration over H-ZSM-5 with heterogeneous Al distribution", ACS Catalysis 6, 2287-2298

    , 2016
  3. Ketchum, M.A., Lee, A.M., Vekilov, P.G., Rimer, J.D.,

    “Biomimetic Assay for Hematin Crystallization Inhibitors: A New Platform to Screen Antimalarial Drugs“, Cryst. Growth Des., In Press

    , 2016
  4. Kumar, M., Li, R., Rimer, J.D.,

    "Assembly and Evolution of Amorphous Precursors in Zeolite L Crystallization", Chemistry of Materials 28, 1714-1727

    , 2016
  5. Lupulescu, A.I., Qin, W., Rimer, J.D.,

    "Tuning Zeolite Precursor Interactions by Switching the Valence of Polyamine Modifiers“, Langmuir 32, 11888-11898

    , 2016
  6. Olafson, K.N., Alamani, B.G., Li, R., Rimer, J.D.,

    “Engineering Crystal Modifiers: Bridging Classical and Nonclassical Crystallization“, Chem. Mater., In Press, (*Cover Artwork)

    , 2016
  7. Oleksiak, M.D., Ghorbanpour, A., Conato, M.T., McGrail, B.P., Grabow, L.C., Motkuri, R.K., Rimer, J.D.,

    “Novel Synthesis Strategies for Ultrastable Zeolite GIS Polymorphs as Sorbents for Selective Separations“, Chem. Eur. J. 22, 16078-16088, (*Cover Artwork)

    , 2016
  8. Oleksiak, M.D., Soltis, J.A., Conato, M.T., Penn, R.L., Rimer, J.D.,

    "Nucleation of FAU and LTA Zeolites from Heterogeneous Aluminosilicate Precursors“, Chem. Mater. 28, 4906-4916

    , 2016
  9. Ramamoorthy, S., Kwak, J.H., Karande, P., Farmanesh, S., Rimer, J.D.,

    “A High-throughput Assay for Screening Modifiers of Calcium Oxalate Crystallization“, AIChE J. 62, 3538-3546

    , 2016
  10. Rimer, J.D. and Tsapatsis, M.,

    "Nucleation of Open Framework Materials: Navigating the Voids", Materials Research Society Bulletin 41, 393-398

    , 2016
  11. Rimer, J.D., Kolbach-Mandel, A.M., Ward, M.D., Wesson, J.A., Bhan, A.,

    “The Role of Macromolecules in the Formation of Kidney Stones“, Urolithiasis, In Press

    , 2016
  12. Shete, M.H., Kumar, M., Kim, D., Rangnekar, N., Xu, D., Topuz, B., Agrawal, K.V., Karapetrova, E., Stottrup, B., Al-Thabaiti, S., Basahel, S. Narasimharao, K., Rimer, J.D., Tsapatsis, M.,

    “Nanoscale Control of Homoepitaxial Growth on a 2-Dimensional Zeolite“, Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., In Press

    , 2016
  13. Conato, M.T., Oleksiak, M.D., McGrail, B.P., Motkuri, R.K., Rimer, J.D.,

    “Framework Stabilization of Si-Rich LTA Zeolite Prepared in Organic-Free Media”, Chem. Commun. 51, 269-272

    , 2015
  14. De Yoreo, J.J., Gilbert, P.U.P.A., Sommerdijk, N.A.J.M., Penn, R.L., Whitelam, S., Joester, D., Zhang, H.Z., Rimer, J.D., Navrotsky, A., Banfield, J.F., Wallace, A.F., Michel, F.M., Meldrum, F.C., Cölfen, H. Dove, P.M.,

    "Crystallization by Particle Attachment in Synthetic, Biogenic, and Geologic Environments", Science 349, aaa6760-1/9

    , 2015
  15. Farmanesh, S., Alamani, B.G., and Rimer, J.D.,

    "Identifying Alkali Metal Inhibitors of Crystal Growth: A Selection Criterion based on Ion Pair Hydration Energy", Chemical Communications 51, 13964-13967

    , 2015
  16. Ghorbanpour, A., Gumidyala, A., Grabow, L.C., Crossley, S.P., Rimer, J.D.,

    "Epitaxial Growth of ZSM@Silicalite-1: A Core-Shell Zeolite Designed with Passivated Surface Acidity", ACS Nano 9, 4006-4016

    , 2015
  17. Kumar, M., Luo, H., Román-Leshkov, Y., Rimer, J.D.,

    "SSZ-13 Crystallization by Particle Attachment and Deterministic Pathways to Crystal Size Control", Journal of the American Chemical Society 137, 13007-13017

    , 2015
  18. Olafson, K.N., Ketchum, M.A., Rimer, J.D., Vekilov, P.G.,

    "Molecular Mechanisms of Hematin Crystallization from Organic Solvent", Crystal Growth & Design 15, 5535-5542

    , 2015
  19. Olafson, K.N., Ketchum, M.A., Rimer, J.D., Vekilov, P.G.,

    "Mechanisms of Hematin Crystallization and Inhibition by the Antimalarial Drug Chloroquine", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112, 4946-4951

    , 2015
  20. Vekilov, P.G., Rimer, J.D., Olafson, K.N., Ketchum, M.A.,

    "Lipid or Aqueous Medium for Hematin Crystallization?", Crystal Engineering Communications 17, 7790-7800

    , 2015
  21. Farmanesh, S., Chung, J., Kwak, J.H., Sosa, R.D., Karande, P., Rimer, J.D.,

    “Natural Promoters of Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate Crystallization”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136, 12648-12657

    , 2014
  22. Farmanesh, S., Ramamoorthy, S., Chung, J., Asplin, J.R., Karande, P., Rimer, J.D.,

    "Specificity of Growth Inhibitors and their Cooperative Effects in Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate Crystallization", J. Am. Chem. Soc.136, 367-376

    , 2014
  23. Ghorbanpour, A., Rimer, J.D., Grabow, L.C.,

    "Periodic, vdW-Corrected Density Functional Theory Investigation of the Effect of Al Siting in H-ZSM-5 on Chemisorption Properties and Site Specific Acidity", Catal. Commun., 52, 98-102

    , 2014
  24. Lupulescu, A.I. and Rimer, J.D.,

    "In Situ Imaging of Silicalite-1 Surface Growth Reveals the Mechanism of Crystallization," Science, 344, 729-732

    , 2014
  25. Olafson, K.N., Rimer, J.D., Vekilov, P.G.,

    “Growth of Large Hematin Crystals in Biomimetic Solutions”, Cryst. Growth Des.,14, 2123-2127

    , 2014
  26. Oleksiak, M.D. and Rimer, J.D.,

    "Synthesis of Zeolites in the Absence of Organic Structure-Directing Agents: Factors Governing Crystal Selection and Polymorphism",  Rev. Chem. Eng., 30, 1-49

    , 2014
  27. Rimer, J.D., Kumar, M., Li, R., Lupulescu, A.I., Oleksiak, M.D.,

    “Tailoring the Physicochemical Properties of Zeolite Catalysts”, Catal. Sci. Technol., 4, 3762-3771

    , 2014
  28. Farmanesh, S., Chung, J., Chandra, D., Sosa, R.D., Karande, P., Rimer, J.D.,

    "High-Throughput Platform for Design and Screening of Peptides as Inhibitors of Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate Crystallization," J. Cryst. Growth373, 13-19

    , 2013
  29. Ketchum, M.A., Olafson, K.N., Rimer, J.D., Vekilov, P.G.,

    "Hematin Crystallization from Aqueous and Organic Solvents,"  J. Chem. Phys., 139, 121911(1-9)

    , 2013
  30. Lupulescu, A.I., Kumar, M., Rimer, J.D.,

    "A Facile Strategy to Design Zeolite L Crystals with Tunable Morphology and Surface Architecture", J. Am. Chem. Soc.135, 6608-6617

    , 2013
  31. Maldonado, M., Oleksiak, M.D., Chinta, S., Rimer, J.D.,

    "Controlling Crystal Polymorphism in Organic-Free Synthesis of Na-Zeolites", J. Am. Chem. Soc.135, 2641-2652 (*Cover artwork. *Selected as a JACS Spotlight.)

    , 2013
  32. Tanneru, C.T., Rimer, J.D., Chellam, S.,

    "Sweep Flocculation and Adsorption of Viruses on Aluminum Flocs During Electrochemical Treatment Prior to Surface Water Microfiltration",Environ. Sci. Technol., 47, 4612-4618

    , 2013
  33. Gamage, N.P., Rimer, J.D., Chellam, S.,

    “Fouling Reductions by Aluminum Electroflotation Pretreatment of Surface Water Microfiltration,” J. Membrane Sci., 411-412, 45-53

    , 2012
  34. Lupulescu, A.I. and Rimer, J.D.,

    “Tailoring Silicalite-1 Crystal Morphology with Molecular Modifiers,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.51, 3345-3349 (*Cover Artwork.)

    , 2012
  35. Pragasam, V., Rimer, J.D., Kolbach, A.M., Ward, M.D., Kleinman, J.G., Wesson, J.A.,

    “Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate Aggregation Induced by Aggregation of Desialylated Tamm-Horsfall Protein,” Urol. Res.39, 269-282

    , 2011
  36. Rimer, J.D., An, Z., Zhu, Z., Lee, M.H., Wesson, J.A., Goldfarb, D.S., Ward, M.D.,

    “Crystal Growth Inhibitors for the Prevention of L-Cystine Kidney Stones Through Molecular Design,” Science 330, 337-341 (*Cover Artwork. *Selected for a Science Perspectives article. *Highlighted in C&E News, October 2010)

    , 2010
  37. Rimer, J.D., Trofymluk, O., Lobo, R.F., Navrotsky, A., Vlachos, D.G.,

    “Thermodynamics of Silica Nanoparticle Self-Assembly in Basic Solutions of Monovalent Cations,” J. Phys. Chem. C112, 14754-14761

    , 2008
  38. Rimer, J.D., Roth, D.D., Lobo, R.F., Vlachos, D.G.,

    “Self-Assembly and Phase Behavior of Germanium Oxide Nanoparticles in Basic Aqueous Solutions,” Langmuir23, 2784-2791

    , 2007
  39. Rimer, J.D., Trofymluk, O., Navrotsky, A., Lobo, R.F., Vlachos, D.G.,

    “Kinetic and Thermodynamic Studies of Silica Nanoparticle Dissolution,” Chem. Mater.19, 4189-4197

    , 2007
  40. Rimer, J.D., Fedeyko, J.M., Vlachos, D.G., Lobo, R.F.,

    “Silica Self-Assembly and the Synthesis of Microporous and Mesoporous Silicates,” Chem. Eur. J.12, 2926-2934

    , 2006
  41. Rimer, J.D., Lobo, R.F., Vlachos, D.G.,

    “Physical Basis for the Formation and Stability of Silica Nanoparticles in Basic Solutions of Monovalent Cations,” Langmuir21, 8960-8971

    , 2005
  42. Rimer, J.D., Vlachos, D.G., Lobo, R.F.,

    “Evolution of Self-Assembled Silica Tetrapropylammonium Nanoparticles at Elevated Temperatures,” J. Phys. Chem. B109, 12762-12771

    , 2005
  43. Fedeyko, J.M., Rimer, J.D., Lobo, R.F., Vlachos, D.G.,

    “Spontaneous Formation of Silica Nanoparticles in Basic Solutions of Small Tetraalkylammonium Cations,” J. Phys. Chem. B,108, 12271-12275

    , 2004
  44. Kragten, D.D., Fedeyko, J.M., Sawant, K.R., Rimer, J.D., Vlachos, D.G., Lobo, R.F.,

    “Structure of the Silica Phase Extracted from Silica/(TPA)OH Solutions Containing Nanoparticles,” J. Phys. Chem. B107, 10006-10016

    , 2003