The Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department would like to congratulate Professor Cato Laurencin on being named the 2020 Recipient of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Mike Hogg award. More information on Dr. Laurencin's work and this award can be found here.
Congratulations to Professor Yu Lei and Professor Ranjan Srivastava for their induction into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. More details may be found via the following link.
a School of Engineering electronic publication.
Anson Ma, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Institute of Materials Science, has been awarded the prestigious Arthur B. Metzner Early Career Award.
The award, which comes with a plaque and a $7,500 honorarium, goes to a young person who has made significant accomplishments in rheology, which is the study of the flow of matter.
Ma was nominated by Malcolm Mackley, Emeritus Professor at Cambridge University, who worked with Ma from 2005 to 2009 on the rheology of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) suspended in epoxy and acrylic resins. In his nomination, Mackley wrote:
Anson, with his meticulous approach to science and rheology made sense of difficult experiments. Working together with Prof Paco Chinesta, who is now at Ecole Centrale des Nantes, Anson was the glue that made the link between experiment and some high level suspension rheological modeling.
At UConn, Ma and his team apply experimental and theoretical rheology to a broad range of important application areas. Since 2011, Ma has supervised three postdoctoral fellows, four PhD students, and three visiting students from France. He has also hosted 21 undergraduate students, three high school teachers, and eight
minority high school students to provide them with early research experience related to rheology. To engage younger students and the local community, Ma has chosen food science and, more specifically, rheology of culinary foams and emulsions as the theme for his outreach plan.
By Sydney Souder
Dr. George Bollas, Assistant Professor of the CBE Department, is the first recipient of the Office of Undergraduate Research’s (OUR) Faculty Mentorship Excellence Award. He received the award at the 18th Annual Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition on Friday, April 10, 2015.
With this award, OUR recognizes the critically significant role that mentors play in supporting their undergraduates’ research and creative activity. A committee of OUR Peer Research Ambassadors selected one faculty recipient and one graduate student for the Mentorship Excellence Award recognizing their dedication to their students.
Ari Fischer, one of his mentees who contributed to his nomination, presented the plaque to Dr. Bollas. Fischer commended Dr. Bollas’ extraordinary commitment to challenging and supporting his students. He attributes Dr. Bollas’ influence to helping his mentees achieve their research, personal, and professional goals. Dr. Bollas has helped his students formulate their own research projects, apply for fellowships and publish their own work.
Bollas’ current research group consists of seven Ph.D. students, one Masters student, and 10 undergraduates. Fischer asserts that Dr. Bollas’s dedication is not limited to just those in his lab, but to all of his students; he pushes them to get the most out of their education.
Although honored by his new plaque, Dr. Bollas explained what he considers his real prize. “At the end of the day we’re given the opportunity to spend time with these amazing, fresh minds hungry for knowledge and work, and that is what is most rewarding.”
By Sydney Souder
Dr. Radenka Maric, Connecticut Clean Energy Professor in Sustainable Energy in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, was honored with the Research Innovation & Leadership Award at the Women of Innovation awards ceremony on April 1, 2015.
Fifty-six finalists were honored for their innovation and leadership at the Connecticut Technology Council’s eleventh annual celebration. The Women of Innovation awards gala recognizes women accomplished in science, technology, engineering, math, and also involved in their community. The event allows like-minded, successful women to celebrate their accomplishments together.
Ten of the finalists were announced as award winners during the event. Winners were chosen in eight categories. The Research Innovation & Leadership Award won by Dr. Maric is presented to a woman who has developed new knowledge or products, or improvements to products in a corporate or academic setting through original approaches to research. The Research Innovation and Leadership recipient also exhibits leadership ability by leading research teams, motivating staff and securing funding or resources to enable her research program.
Dr. Maric’s research innovation and leadership is remarkable. She is internationally recognized for her contributions in sustainable energy technologies supporting the development of efficient, fuel cell-powered vehicles; nanomaterials; and manufacturability. Dr. Maric’s research interests include: synthesis of nanomaterials, unique new materials and associated processes, catalysis, kinetics, electrochemical cell design and architecture, new analytical and diagnostic techniques, fuel cell and battery systems, alternative electrochemical fuels and reactant modification, hydrogen production and storage, and sensor technology.
“I look forward to continuing my work in research, teaching, and outreach here at the University of Connecticut,” says Dr. Maric.
a School of Engineering electronic publication.
Soon after graduating with a Chemical Engineering degree, Chin started working at Bayer MaterialScience in Sheffield, MA. A native of Stratford, CT, Chin entered the BRIDGE program when she came to UConn, which prepares underrepresented students for the engineering curriculum with an intensive five weeks of studying mathematics, chemistry, physics and computer programming.
“I loved BRIDGE,” she said. “It was important because it did so much for me. It introduced me to topics I had never known before.” Not having had classes in computer science and physics in high school, she said, the extra programs gave her an advantage.
“I knew what I was getting involved in when the Fall semester arrived.”
She now works as a process engineer at Bayer MaterialScience.
“I love it at Bayer,” she said. “They’re all real supportive of what I want to do. My boss is very open to things that I want to work on. I make sure our production lines are working properly and that the equipment is running properly. It’s like a small company within a company, and I’m the owner.”
She said the STEP Award and being featured in the magazine are all the more rewarding because of the obstacles that she faced along the way, particularly an anxiety disorder that made taking tests a struggle. But she persisted, got through school and is now in a leadership position at a major company.
“I just think it’s important to let people know that they can do it, even with obstacles in the way,” she said.
By Sydney Souder
Students of the CBE department excelled at AIChE’s Undergraduate Poster Competition this November. Despite fierce competition among more than 300 student presenters, six UConn Chemical Engineers took home prizes.
The 2014 AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) Annual Meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia this year. It is the premier forum for chemical engineers, and academic and industry experts presented developments on a wide range of topics relevant to cutting-edge research, new technologies, and emerging growth areas in chemical engineering.
Over the years, the Undergraduate Poster Session has become one of the highlights of the conference. Competing students each prepared a poster detailing progress and contributions on their independent research projects. During the conference, the students presented their work to individual judges. Over 80 judges were in attendance, all of which were senior AIChE members from academia or industry.
The research categories included: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering; Sustainability; Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology; Separations; Environmental; Education; Fuels, Petrochemicals and Energy; Computing and Process Control; and Materials Engineering and Sciences. Awards were presented to the top posters in each division.
We’re pleased to announce that the following UConn CBE undergraduates won in their divisions:
- Gabriella Frey – 1st Place in Separations
“Formulating Draw Solution Mixtures for Forward Osmosis”
- Gianna Credaroli – 2nd Place in Separations
“A New Thin Film Composite Membrane”
- Oscar Nordness – 2nd place in energy fuels and petrochemicals
“Incorporation of High Pressure CLC into IGCC systems”
- Abbey Wangstrom – 2nd place in Reaction and Catalysis Engineering
“High Activity, High Stability Pt/ITO Fuel Cell Catalysts”
- Clarke Palmer – 3rd Place in Fuels, Petrochemicals, and Energy
“Reactor Design and Analysis of a Simulated moving Bed Reactor for Chemical-Looping Combustion”
- Ari Fischer – 3rd Place in Catalysis and Reaction Engineering
“Thermochemical CO2 and H2O Splitting Via Chemical-Looping with Cerium and Cobalt Mixed Oxides for Oxygen Generation”
After their hard work, the CBE faculty treated our undergraduates to a night on the town.
The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers has elected Dr. Doug Cooper as a Fellow of AIChE. To be considered for the honor, a candidate must practice chemical engineering for at least 25 years, and be a member of AIChE for at least ten. Election as Fellow recognizes both service for the betterment of society and the profession, and professional accomplishment in engineering, management, research, education, or entrepreneurship.
Dr. Cooper has excelled in a number of these categories. Currently professor and head of the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Cooper has also served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at UConn.
His recent academic pursuits focus on helping nontraditional students engage in STEM disciplines. His research focus is on process control system analysis and design. He also has an ongoing interest in mentoring students in entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, and life-long learning.
Dr. Cooper has authored and co-authored 85 scholarly publications, garnered more than $6 million in research funding from government and industry. In addition, he has been inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (2004), honored by the Carnegie Foundation as the Connecticut Professor of the Year (2004), and designated as a Teaching Fellow at UConn (2003).
“Most of all,” says Dr. Cooper, “I enjoy interacting with students and guiding their intellectual growth.” He has taught engineering classes at all undergraduate and graduate levels, and has innovated software and supporting materials for teaching automatic process control, now used by 250 academic institutions around the world.
In 2004, Dr. Cooper founded Control Station, Inc., a company that offers a portfolio of industrial process control solutions and services to manufacturers. With a dozen employees, including four chemical engineers, Control Station offers an array of best-in-class technologies for optimizing plant operation.
“I am honored to join the ranks of Fellow of AIChE,” says Dr. Cooper.
By Sydney Souder
Dr. Jeffrey McCutcheon, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 FRI/ John G. Kunesh Award. This award, presented by the Separations Division of AIChE, acknowledges outstanding separations scientists under the age of 40. Dr. McCutcheon received this highly competitive international award for his outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of osmotic separations. “I have long made AIChE a part of my professional network,” says McCutcheon. “And I am eager to continue that throughout my career.”
Dr. McCutcheon is a leading scholar in the development, characterization, and performance testing of novel membranes for forward osmosis applications. His substantial contributions have been recognized by the industrial community. In the past three years, he has received the Solvay Specialty Polymers Young Faculty Award, the 3M Faculty award, and the DuPont Young Professor award.
Dr. McCutcheon is the Director of the Sustainable Water and Energy Learning Laboratory (SWELL). His early work included pioneering studies on forward osmosis (FO), a salinity gradient process that uses osmotic potential for driving a desalination process. This work has since expanded to consider other osmotically driven membrane processes.
“Water is a key component of economic growth, and it is a necessary commodity to help humanity emerge from the global economic slowdown. My research seeks to reduce the cost of producing drinking quality water from saline or otherwise impaired water sources,” he says. “I am excited by revolutionary technologies that approach the challenges of desalination and water reuse in a unique and cost effective manner.”