Spring 2016

Media Mentions

Chemical engineering senior brings together Penn State performing arts groups
Penn State freshman raises awareness for homelessness one step at a time

Department News

Andrew Zydney delivers plenary lecture at World Filtration Congress
Manish Kumar to present at 2016 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Faculty Recognitions and Awards

Four chemical engineering faculty members honored with PSEAS Awards

Costas Maranas coauthors book that explores optimization concepts in metabolic networks

Seong Kim and Zoubeida Ounaies receive US Air Force grant to develop low-density energy materials

Student Recognitions and Awards

Hasan Feroz awarded first-place paper/oral presentation at the College of Engineering Research Symposium

Emelia Conte, Siyang Liu, Nolan O'Connor, and Bryan Smith named recipients of the Larry Duda Undergraduate Student Research Award

Paul Butrico awarded first place in College of Engineering Spring 2016 Leonhard Center Speaking Contest

Students help communities in Africa, learn leadership skills

This issue features Stanley Chan, a chemical engineering senior that has made the college selection process much easier by developing a new and innovative website.

Alumni News

Raj Shah presented with prestigious Eagle Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials International

Industrial and Professional Advisory Council proposes new ideas during campus visit

Nominations now open for 2016 Early Career Alumni Recognition Award

Your gift to the Department of Chemical Engineering ensures 
the long-term sustainability of the department and helps us maintain a storied tradition of excellence. Click the "Give now" button to make a gift online through Penn State's secure giving portal. Thank you for your continued support.

Upcoming Events

College of Engineering Design Showcase
The Bryce Jordan Center
April 28, 2016

Classes End
April 29, 2016

Final Exams
May 2-6, 2016
College of Engineering Commencement
The Bryce Jordan Center
May 6, 2016

The Penn State College of Engineering is on Instagram!

# COEGrad 
Don't forget to share your graduation photos

CoverCover Photo
Xueyi Zhang, assistant professor of chemical engineering, works with Ph.D. student, Jay Thakkar, in his new lab space in Penn State's Greenberg Complex. The Greenberg Complex will serve as the home to many chemical engineering labs and activities during the next several years as the new Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering building is constructed. More information on the department's move and new building will be released this summer.

Manish Kumar receives NSF CAREER Award to develop bioinspired filtration membranes

Manish Kumar, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Penn State, was recently awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The prestigious NSF CAREER Award supports junior faculty who exemplify excellence in teaching, research and the integration of education and research to advance the mission of their organization. Support is given in the form of a five-year research grant.

Kumar was awarded $500,000 for his proposal, "Bioinspired Artificial Channel Water Treatment Membranes," which aims to develop scalable, synthetic protein membranes that can be used to conduct energy efficient water filtration.
Researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering awarded COE seed grant to initiate industrial catalyst studies

Michael Janik, professor of chemical engineering and John J. and Jean M. Brennan Clean Energy Early Career Professor in the College Engineering, and Robert Rioux, associate professor of chemical engineering, have been awarded a Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grant from the Penn State College of Engineering to develop catalysts with the ability to hydrogenate selectively. The work will focus specifically on the hydrogenation of linear alkenes and aromatics for industrial applications.
The duo's research proposal, "Selective Hydrogenation/Dehydrogenation Catalysis," was selected by the college as one of six proposals to receive funding. A total of 34 submissions were considered.

Chemical Engineering participates in 5k race to benefit area food banks

Members of the Department of Chemical Engineering participated in their first intradepartmental 5k race Saturday, April 9, as part of the Bellefonte FaithCentre's 10th annual 5k walk/run.

Three teams comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty, staff and families, competed against one another for the top prize. Participants were challenged to run a 3.1 mile course through the rolling hills of Bellefonte to raise money for area food banks.

While age might have been a factor in the final rankings, participants cited department team-building and their support of a worthy cause as the biggest accomplishments of the day.

The final team rankings were: first place, undergraduate students; second place, graduate students; and third place, faculty, staff and families. 

The department hopes to make the spring race an annual event. 

Kailasam named Outstanding Engineering Alumni
Ganesh Kailasam, (Ph.D. '91) has been named the 2016 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award Recipient for the Department of Chemical Engineering
The Penn State Outstanding Engineering Alumni (OEA) Awards recognize graduates who have reached exceptional levels of professional achievement. It rewards outstanding alumni for their success in their field and for the impact they have had and will continue to have on society and their profession.
Established in 1966, the award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Engineering.

Bernstein named student marshal for spring 2016 commencement
Nicole J. Bernstein will be the student marshal for the chemical engineering baccalaureate degree program at the Penn State College of Engineering spring commencement ceremony on May 6. Bernstein will receive a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering with a minor in engineering leadership development.
She has chosen Michael Janik, professor of chemical engineering and John J. and Jean M. Brennan Clean Energy Early Career Professor in the College Engineering, to be her faculty escort.

Brooks awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Allan Brooks, a graduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. 

Chemical engineering celebrates the career of James Vrentas following retirement announcement
James Vrentas, Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering, has announced plans for retirement following a 36-year career with the department.

Vrentas, who came to Penn State in 1980, will officially retire June 30, 2016. 

Prior to joining Penn State, Vrentas worked ten years in the Process Fundamentals Laboratory at Dow Chemical Company, and for eight years, was a professor of chemical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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