Take Action


Contact Us


Chemical & Materials Engineering
Phone: (208) 885-7572
Toll-free: 88-88-UIDAHO
Fax: (208) 885-7462
Email: che@uidaho.edu

Buchanan Engineering (BEL)
Room 306

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1021
Moscow, ID 83844-1021


Contact Denise Engebrecht
Phone: (208) 364-6123 
Fax: (208) 364-3160 
Email: denisee@uidaho.edu

Idaho Water Center 
322 E. Front Street 
Boise, ID 83702

Idaho Falls

Contact Debbie Caudle
Phone: (208) 282-7983 
Fax: (208) 282-7929 
Email: debrac@uidaho.edu

1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 306
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402

Distance Education

Engineering Outreach
Phone: (208) 885-6373 
Toll-free: (800) 824-2889 
Fax: (208) 885-9249 
E-mail: outreach@uidaho.edu


Dr. Aaron Thomas traveled to the White House to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Aaron Thomas, Ph.D.

Office: Buchanan Engineering Lab 310
Phone: (208) 885-7652
Email: amthomas@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: c/o Department of Chemical Engineering
PO Box 441021
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1021

College of Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering
Assistant Professor

Campus Locations: Moscow
With UI Since 2001

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Microfluidics
    • Membrane Technology
    • Novel Gas Separation Processes
  • Biography

    Dr. Thomas is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and an affiliate faculty member of the American Indian Studies program at the University of Idaho. He received his Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Florida.

    He has received several prestigious awards including the National Science Foundation — Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers in 2008.

    Dr. Thomas's primary research topics include microfluidics, membrane technology, and novel gas separation processes. He is also very active in a number of K-12 and undergraduate programs including Helping Orient Indian Students and Teachers (HOIST), the Native American Student Association (NASA), and serves as a faculty mentor for the American Indian Science and Engineering program (AISES).

    Most recently, Dr. Thomas was selected as the Director of the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium.

    Research Interests

    • Study of the effects of pulsed electro-osmostic flow in microchannels.
    • Biological separation on the microscale using pulsed electro-osmotic flow.

    Membrane Technology

    • Study of the effects of pulsed flows on the transport across membranes in gas separation processes.

    Novel Gas Separation Processes

    • Using pulsed flows to separate airborne contaminants and trace particles from the air.  A mechanical separation process important to the space program.
    • Analytical studies of the effect of periodic recesses on the mass transfer and separation of species.

    Honors and Awards

    • American Indian Science and Engineering Society Professional Award — 2004
    • Invited Commencement Speech at Northwest Indian College, Bellingham WA — 2005
    • National Science Foundation Fellowship for Minorities, 1998-2001
    • NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship, 1997
    • National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2008


    Administrative Responsibilities

    • Admission Committee, 2002-2004, 2006
    • NASA Idaho Space Grant Director, 2009
  • Selected Publications

    Thomas, A.M. and R. Narayanan, Periodic flow and its effects on the mass transfer of a system and separation of species, Physics of Fluids, 13, p 859, 2001.

    Aaron M. Thomas, Unusual effects of oscillating flows in an annulus on mass transfer and separation, Adv. Space Res., 2/32, p. 279, 2003

    Thomas, A.M. and R. Narayanan, A comparison between the enhanced mass transfer in boundary and pressure driven pulsatile flow. Intl J of Heat and Mass Transfer, 45/19, p 4057, 2002.

    Thomas, A.M. and R. Narayanan, Effect of eccentricity on the mass transfer and separation of species in periodic annular flow. N.Y. Acad. Sciences, 974, p 42, 2002.

    A. Thomas, G. Thich, R. Narayanan, Low Reynolds number flow in a channel with oscillating wavy-walls: An analytical study. Chem. Eng. Sci., 61, p. 6047, 2006.

“Many people have helped me throughout my career, both as a student and as a faculty member, to reach my current position at the University of Idaho.

I feel that it is my responsibility to do the same for other students, specifically Native students in the community. I believe my background and my position provides me unique opportunity to positively impact the Native community.”

Related Programs