Michael Barankin

Teaching Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Michael BarankinI see teaching as a mutually beneficial process between the professor, with significant knowledge and/or experience in the subject and the student, inspired to obtain it. I believe this reciprocal relationship allows the professor to learn as much as the student—continually becoming an even better teacher—if the lines of communication are open and students are actively learning. As a result, I spend a lot of time focusing on communication techniques, both in and out of the classroom (including digital methods). While this focus on communication was crucial in my first years as a lecturer/researcher at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen—as I taught most courses in Dutch, which I only learned to speak later in life—I have since expanded this focus to include numerous “blended learning” techniques such as animated videos, flash lectures, and anonymous online quizzes (formative assessments). I have had significant success establishing a “partial flip” (the “flipped classroom”) for individual lectures at the Hanze which I plan to bring to Mines, and I am excited to explore the possibility of publishing some of these results.

While at the Hanze I taught many different courses, ranging from an interdisciplinary honors course (teaching students from different majors how to conduct a chemical experiment in a lab) to a master’s course on bio-fuels for mobility applications, but my favorite courses to teach include catalysis (reaction kinetics), fluid mechanics (including transport phenomena), and design using Aspen Plus. I also very much enjoyed integrating research into the undergraduate curriculum: supervising group research projects of both senior chemical engineering students and honors masterclass students.

While my lab research experience has been diverse, it has been generally focused on Renewable Energy or Sustainable Energy Systems. At UCLA I worked with atmospheric pressure plasmas to deposit both transparent conducting oxides and self-cleaning (hydrophobic) coatings for photovoltaic cells. At Delft I studied the production of atomic clusters of gallium in a spark discharge, in the hopes they will one day demonstrate superconducting properties. Finally, while at the Hanze I worked on several projects focused on Power-to-Gas technologies, including biological/biochemical solutions. These provided me with experience in thin film & semiconductor analysis techniques (SEM, AFM, ellipsometry, etc.), aerosol & nanoparticle instruments, life-cycle assessment methods, and more. I have also supervised several internship projects using Comsol (formerly FEMLab).


229 Alderson Hall
1613 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 273-3296



  • BS – University of California, Los Angeles
  • MS – Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands)
  • PhD – University of California, Los Angeles
  • Post-Doctoral Study – Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands)


  • G. Botta, M. Barankin, S. Walspburger, “Synthetic Methane for Power Storage,” Energy Delta Gas Research (EDGaR)
  • C. Adrian Jimenez, M. D. Barankin “Comparative Life Cycle Assessments of CH4 Production with Renewable Energy and CO2 Sources” Next Energy PPRE Symposium Oldenburg, Germany Jan 2013.
  • M. D. Barankin, A. Schmidt-Ott, “A flexible method for production of stable atomic clusters with variable size for chemical and catalytic activity studies,” Delft Univ of Technology, AFRL-AFOSR-UK-TR-2012-0031, December 2011.
  • M. D. Barankin, T. S. Williams, E. Gonzalez II, R. F. Hicks, “Properties of fluorinated silica glass deposited at low temperature by atmospheric plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition,” Thin Solid Films, 519(4) 1307-1313 (2010).
  • E. Gonzalez II, M. D. Barankin, P. C. Guschl, R. F. Hicks, “Surface activation of poly (methyl methacrylate) via remote atmospheric pressure plasma,” Plasma Processes & Polymers, 7(6) 482-493 (2010).
  • M. D. Barankin, E. Gonzalez II, S. B. Habib, L. Gao, P. C. Guschl, R. F. Hicks, “Hydrophobic films by atmospheric plasma curing of spun-on liquid precursors,” Langmuir, 25(4) 2495-2500 (2009).
  • E. Gonzalez II, M. D. Barankin, P. C. Guschl, R. F. Hicks, “Remote atmospheric-pressure plasma activation of the surfaces of polyethylene terephthalate and polyethylene naphthalate,” Langmuir, 24(21) 12636-12643 (2008).