top of page

Kelvin Smith, PhD



Goal-oriented professional with analytical and problem-solving skills as demonstrated by a strong scientific background. Strong ability to make the hard chemical engineering concepts easy to grasp and understand as evidenced by my teaching. Possess extensive experience in statistical and data analysis, MATLAB modeling, and simulation, and Microsoft Office tools. Excellent written and communication skills as demonstrated by presentations and teaching lectures.


Bachelor of Science | May 2015 | Auburn University

Major: Chemical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude, GPA 3.7/4.0)



Completed Certificate Program: Level 1 (Foundations of Teaching and Learning) and Level 2 (Teaching Capstone)


Doctorate | Georgia Tech

Major: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (GPA 3.8/4.0)

Minor: Spectroscopic Characterization

Ph.D  December 2022



  • Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Reaction Engineering

  • Statistical/Error Analysis

  • MATLAB modeling and simulation

  • Convert real chemical process into a mathematical form 

  • Interpret FTIR, IR, NMR, and mass spectroscopy data

  • Highly Organized and Meticulous with Details

  • Microsoft Office Tools    

  • Give high-quality lectures with active learning exercises to make hard material easier to understand 

  • Optimization and Prediction of Parameters and their errors



•    Fall 2019- (MATH 1113: Precalculus) – Volunteer Lecturer for underserved students; Instructor: Stephanie Reikes)
•    Spring 2019 (CETL 8719: Teach Immersion – Higher Ed, a Capstone teaching course; Class: ChBE 2100 – Chemical
      Process Principles; Instructor: Dr. Julie Champion)
•    Fall 2018 (CETL 8713: Teach & Learn – Higher Ed; Instructor: Dr. Kate Williams; CETL 8717: Course Design;
      Instructor:  Dr. Tammy McCoy)
•    Fall 2018 (Class: ChBE 6500 - Mathematical Modeling, Instructor: Dr. Anant Paravastu)
•    Fall 2017 (Class: ChBE 6500 - Mathematical Modeling, Instructor: Dr. Martha Grover)
•    Summer 2017 (Class: ChBE 3130-Thermodynamics II; Instructor: Dr. Carson Meredith) 
•    Fall 2016 (OMED (Office of Minority Education Development) tutor for outreach in the STEM community)



Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program Facilitator| Sept 2012- May 2015
Auburn University

•    Mentored incoming college freshmen in calculus, chemistry, and trigonometry
•    Taught incoming freshmen how to study effectively in college


Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM Member | Sept 2011- May 2015  

Auburn University

•    Guided incoming students at Opelika High School about preparing for college
•    Tutored college peers in STEM



•    Next ProfNexus Fellow (2020)
•    Teaching Assistant of the Year (2018-2019)
•    “Sloan Scholar,” Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Minority Ph.D. (MPHD) Program (2018-2019)
•    2x Shell ChBE Outstanding TA award (2017-2018, 2018-2019)
•    Jeopardy! Contestant (2017)
•    Tau Beta Pi Membership (2015)
•    Member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society(2014-Present)
•    Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society Member (2011-Present)
•    National Society of Collegiate Scholars Member (2011-Present) 

Research Experience

Center for Chemical Evolution | January 2017-Present (Atlanta, Georgia) Advisors: Dr. Martha Grover; Dr. Charles Liotta

•    Modeling depsipeptide oligomer polymerization/degradation based on temperature and pH to determine the 
      mechanism behind these two processes

•    Reading literature about the chemistry of experimental observations of oligomer production and interpreting
      data with modified mathematical models

•    Performing optimizations and predicting polymerization/degradation rate constants and their confidence intervals

•    Developing Kinetic Monte Carlo code to predict glycolic acid-valine polymerization and hydrolysis behavior



Human-Computer Interface Software | September 2015-December 2015 (Auburn, Alabama)

•    Performed a literature review of educational software



University of Alabama REU Program | May 2015-July 2015 (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

•    Assisted Dr. Heath Turner in predicting and modeling gold nanoparticle morphology

•    Learned how to operate the Makerbot Replicator 2x, a 3D printer

•    Studied the basics of a computational method called the Kinetic Monte Carlo method



MIT MSRP Program | June 2014-August 2014(Cambridge, Massachusetts)

•    Studied with Dr. Enoch Dames and Dr. William H. Green on combustion kinetic mechanisms and reconciled
      differences amongst them

•    Determined significant discrepancies in the scientific literature (e.g. International Journal of Chemical Kinetics and
      the American Chemical Society) in calculating rate constants of important combustion reactions

•    Presented a research poster documenting my findings



Wisconsin REU Program | May 2013-August 2013 (Madison, Wisconsin)

•    Optimized sensitivity of liquid crystals as sensors of VOCs

•    Determined what geometry of liquid crystal microwell yielded the highest sensitivity according to experiments

•    Gave a 20 minute talk to my research group documenting my findings



SEED Fellow | May 2012-August 2012 (Auburn University)

•    Characterized Biomass and researched about crystallinity index and statistical differences between 14 families of
      loblolly pine

•    Measured approximately 170 samples of loblolly pine 

•    Traveled to Denver, Colorado to tour Rentech, Inc. and learned how the company functions

•    Shared research findings in a poster at the end of the summer


Professional Memberships/Affiliations

•    American Institute for Chemical Engineers (2009-present)
•    American Chemical Society (2011-present)
•    National Society for Black Engineers (2009-present)

Kelvin and Larita Speaks
bottom of page