PhD students developing surface coatings that may neutralize COVID-19 virus

Reed Heintzkill and Filip Zemajtis discuss their research in a video, titled “Antimicrobial Surface Coatings to Reduce Spread of Pathogens.”
Originally appeared May 15, 2020 on the CEAS website.

Two doctoral students from UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science are part of the university’s research team that, backed by funding from the National Science Foundation, is developing coatings that could be applied to surfaces to repel and deactivate droplets laden with the COVID-19 virus.

Reed Heintzkill

Filip Zemajtis and Reed Heintzkill are each earning a PhD in engineering with a concentration in materials science and engineering. (Zemajtis holds a MS in corrosion engineering and a BS in chemical engineering; Heintzkill holds a MS in engineering and a BS in chemistry.)

Recently, they produced this 2-minute video that explains the role an antimicrobial surface coating could play in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The research team is supported by a $198,326 NSF COVID-19 RAPID grant, which funds research that has the potential to quickly address the spread of COVID-19.

Filip Zemajtis

Heintzkill and Zemajtis have been conducting their research under the direction of their faculty doctoral advisor, Konstantin Sobolev, who is the principal investigator of the project. Sobelev is a professor of civil and environmental engineering in UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science.

For their research on antimicrobial surface coatings, the students recently were awarded third place in the college’s Student Research Poster Competition. View their presentation video.