Lea Winter

Lea Winter's picture

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2020

M.Phil. Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2019

M.S. Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2017

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Yale University, 2015

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Lea joined the Elimelech Research Group in Sep. 2020 to pursue research on the development of sustainable reactive electrochemical membranes for water decontamination. Her research focuses on novel electrochemical methods to reduce nitrate from wastewaters and to convert nitrate to valuable products. Lea is financially supported by the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) as a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow.

Lea received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University under Professor Jingguang G. Chen. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, she researched the conversion of CO2 and N2 to chemicals and fuels using non-precious metal heterogeneous catalysts and non-thermal plasma activation. Lea obtained her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Yale. During her undergraduate studies, she researched osmotic back-flushing for biofilm removal on desalination membranes in the Elimelech Research Group. She also completed research fellowships abroad, in combustion of nitrogen-based fuels at the Technion Institute, in plasma modification of polymer surfaces at the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris, and in immunogenomics at the Weizmann Institute. 

At Columbia, Lea founded SciRISE, a high school internship program for students who recently immigrated to the US to pursue independent research projects. As an undergraduate, she was a co-founder of the Yale Summer Science Research Institute. In addition to STEM education and outreach, Lea enjoys teaching, choreographing, and performing classical and contemporary ballet; training animals; and hiking.



pdfs and supporting information for group papers available on the main publications page.

  1. Sun, M., Wang, X., Winter, L.R., Zhao, Y., Ma, W., Hedtke, T., Kim, J.-H., Elimelech, M. “Electrified membranes for water treatment applications,” In revision.
  2. Jang, J.-S., Winter, L.R., Kim, C., Fortner, J.D., Elimelech, M. “High precision separation membranes for selective environmental gas sensors,” Under review.
  3. Zhang, Y.-J., Huang, G.-X., Winter, L.R., Chen, J.-J., Tian, L., Mei, S.-C., Zhang, Z., Chen, F., Guo, Z.-Y., Ji, R., You, Y.-Z., Li, W.-W., Yu, H-Q., Elimelech, M. “Direct oxidative transfer process on a catalytic surface for sustainable water purification,” Submitted.
  4. Winter, L.R., Chen, J.G. “N2 fixation by plasma-activated processes,” Joule. 2021, In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.11.009. 
  5. Xie, Z., Winter, L.R., Chen, J.G. “Bimetallic-derived catalysts and their application in simultaneous upgrading of COand ethane,” Matter. 2021, 4, 408–440. 
  6. Wang, Y., Winter, L.R., Chen, J.G., Yan, B. “CO2 hydrogenation over heterogeneous catalysts at atmospheric pressure: from electronic properties to product selectivity,” Green Chemistry. 2020, 23, 249–267.
  7. Winter, L.R., Ashford, B., Hong, J., Murphy, A.B., Chen, J.G. “Identifying surface reaction intermediates in plasma catalytic ammonia synthesis,” ACS Catalysis. 2020, 10, 14763–14774.
  8. Liu, S., Winter, L.R., Chen, J.G. “Review of plasma-assisted catalysis for selective generation of oxygenates from CO2 and CH4,” ACS Catalysis. 2020, 10, 2855–2871.
  9. Winter, L.R., Chen, R., Chen, X., Chang, K., Liu, Z., Senanayake, S.D., Ebrahim, A., Chen, J.G. “Elucidating the roles of metallic Ni and oxygen vacancies in CO2 hydrogenation over Ni/CeO2 using isotope exchange and in situ measurements,” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. 2019, 245, 360–366. 
  10. Winter, L.R., Gomez, E., Yan, B., Yao, S., Chen, J.G. “Tuning Ni-catalyzed CO2 hydrogenation selectivity via Ni-ceria support interactions and Ni-Fe bimetallic formation,” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. 2018, 224, 442–450. 
  11. Da Silva, B., Zhang, M., Schelcher, G., Winter, L., Guyon, C., Tabeling, P., Bonn, D., Tatoulian, M. “Study of the stability and hydrophilicity of plasma-modified microfluidic materials,” Plasma Processes and Polymers. 2017, 14 (3), 1600034. 
  12. Fickel, D.W., Sabnis, K.D., Li, L., Kulkarni, N., Winter, L.R., Yan, B., Chen, J.G. “Chloromethane to olefins over H-SAPO-34: Probing the hydrocarbon pool mechanism,” Applied Catalysis A: General. 2016, 527, 146–151. 
  13. Dana, A.G., Tvil, G., Winter, L.R., Shter, G.E., Grader, G.S. “Pressure effect on combustion of aqueous urea ammonium nitrate alternative fuel,” Fuel. 2015, 159, 500–507.
  14. Winter, L., “Fueling Oil Scarcity: Produced Scarcity and the Sociopolitical Fate of Renewable Energy,” Journal of International Affairs. 2015, 69 (1), 195–206.