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Kent Wiles, Ph.D.

Marine Sciences


Ph.D. Macromolecular Synthetic Chemistry and Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute


Michael Piehler, Ph.D.


I was raised on a small farm in Noblesville, Indiana along with two older brothers. I received my Bachelors degree in Chemistry from Indiana University in Bloomington and accepted an industrial position as a synthetic polymer bench chemist at Riley Industries in Indianapolis. I quickly determined that a graduate degree was required for my career endeavors. I was accepted to the Chemistry Department at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg where I received my Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in polymer chemistry and engineering.

Under the guidance of Professor Jim McGrath, my dissertation studies concentrated on producing ion-containing materials using synthetic techniques of disulfonated monomers and disulfonated poly(arylene) copolymers, and subsequently testing these materials within the context of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In addition, further applications of these ion-containing materials in drug delivery and water purification were evaluated, and their effectiveness in biologically compatible actuator/sensor based phenomena was analyzed as well.

After graduation from Virginia Tech, I accepted the postdoctoral fellowship from the SPIRE program and joined Professor Michael Piehler’s research group in the Marine Sciences Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. The bulk of the research is performed at the Coastal Studies Institute ( in Manteo and Nags Head, North Carolina. Current research interests include estuarine ecology and human health corresponding to pathogen loading in both oceans and estuary waters. Further geochemical engineering emphasis is performed using state-of-the-art analyses of water born sediments, nutrients and pathogens in the land-water interfaces of coastal North Carolina to allow mitigation strategies of the stormwater outfalls.


  • Spring 2008
    • General Chemistry II: Winston Salem State University
  • Fall 2007
    • General Chemistry: Winston Salem State University


  • Wiles, K.B., Wiles, N.S., Herlihy, K.P., Maynor, B.W., Rolland, J.P., DeSimone, J.M. (2006). Soft lithography using perfluorinate polyether molds and PRINT technology for fabrication of 3-D arrays on glass substrates. International Society for Optical Engineering. 6151-119.