ChemE Briefs

Welcome to ChemE Briefs, a place to find quick notes and posts from the faculty, students, staff and alumni of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia.


    Lucas Kimerer’s Poster Prize in D.C. Begets Another Win at International Symposium

    July 07, 2019

    Fourth-year ChE graduate student Lucas Kimerer received a Best Poster Award at the 48th International Symposium on High-Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques (known as HPLC 2019) held in Milan, Italy, in June. Lucas’ poster was selected out of 508 poster presentations at the event. He received a certificate and a cash award.

    Last fall, Lucas received a Georges Guiochon Chromatography Award for best poster at the 2018 Washington Chromatography Discussion Group Poster Session held in Bethesda, Md., which provided a travel grant allowing him to attend the Milan conference. In Milan, he presented new work titled “Chomatographic Behavior of Bivalent Bispecific Antibodies on Cation Exchange Columns.”

    Lucas works in Lawrence R. Quarles Professor of Chemical Engineering Giorgio Carta’s Bioseparations Engineering Lab.

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    Professor Geise Wins New Directions Grant

    June 19, 2019
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    Assistant Professor Geoff Geise won a New Directions grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. The grant will support experimental efforts by the Geise Research Group to study polymeric materials, which could enable advanced water purification and/or clean energy technologies by investigating fundamental dielectric permittivity properties of hydrated polymers. The study will probe important molecular-scale interactions that control which molecules pass through or are rejected by polymer membranes. The grant also will further the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund’s mission of advancing scientific education by supporting graduate student education in chemical engineering.


    ChE Second-year Appointed to Biomedical Data Sciences Training Program

    June 18, 2019
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    Paul Myers, a second-year Ph.D. student in Associate Professor Matthew Lazzara’s Cell Signaling Engineering Lab, has been appointed to the Biomedical Data Sciences training program. The Biomedical Data Sciences Training Program aims to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers to address the monumental challenge of multi-type biomedical big data manipulation, analysis and interpretation. It proposes a curriculum and a set of programmatic activities to create an interdisciplinary training ground wherein teams of students will work across key disciplines, benefit from a true co-mentoring and interdisciplinary environment, and develop the technical and leadership skills necessary to succeed as independent scientists making groundbreaking new discoveries enabled by biomedical big data.


    ChemE Welcomes Promising Ph.D. Students Thanks to New Fellowships

    June 09, 2019

    The Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia School of Engineering has welcomed the first Gaden, Gainer and Kirwan fellowship recipients to Grounds. The newly arrived Ph.D. students met two of the fellowships’ namesakes, retired chemical engineering professors John Gainer and Donald Kirwan and their wives, and Jenny Gaden, wife of the late Elmer Gaden, at a lunch in the students’ honor. Also attending were department chair Bill Epling and their faculty advisors Matt Lazzara, Chris Highley and Gaurav “Gino” Giri. The fellowship recipients are Prince Verma (Kirwan Fellowship), William Hart (Gainer Fellowship) and Greg Grewal (Gaden Fellowship).

    The fellowships, created in 2018 through donations in honor of Gaden, Gainer and Kirwan, will support the graduate students during their first year. The fellowships provide additional funding to bring talented Ph.D. students to the chemical engineering program, boosting the volume and impact of the department’s research while enriching undergraduate education as teaching assistants and mentors.

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    Back row, from left: Greg Grewal, Assistant Professor Chris Highley and Chair and Professor Bill Epling. Middle row, from left: Associate Professor Matt Lazzara, Will Hart, John Gainer, Assistant Professor Gino Giri, and Mary and Donald Kirwan. Front row: Jenny Gaden, Susie Gainer and Prince Verma.


    Professor Lampe Selected for Funding

    May 30, 2019
     
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    Professor Kyle Lampe was selected for funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Trailblazer program. This program for early-stage investigators is designed for high-risk, high-impact research. The Lampe Group, in collaboration with faculty in the School of Medicine, will explore how novel drug delivery strategies can be used to reduce damage after a stroke.


    Yuan Ji Is Audience Favorite in Annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition

    May 09, 2019
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    Yuanyuan Ji’s three-minute thesis presentation was selected as the audience choice winner at the University of Virginia’s seventh annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. Yuan is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Geise Research Group. With a single slide, she spoke for three minutes about her research focused on “Using Selective Membranes to Provide Clean Water for Everyone.” Ji was one of 10 finalists from across the University and one of four finalists from UVA Engineering following a preliminary round of the competition.


    Kevin Chang Awarded Travel Supplement

    May 09, 2019
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    Third-year chemical engineering Ph.D. student Kevin Chang of the Geise Research Group was awarded an Elias Klein Founders’ Travel Supplement to attend the North American Membrane Society 2019 annual meeting in Pittsburgh. The travel supplement program supports students needing limited financial assistance, providing up to $500 in reimbursement for reasonable expenses associated with attending the meeting to present their research. The award program is named in honor of Elias Klein, whose vision and spirit guided the founding of the North American Membrane Society in 1985.


    ChemE’s Bev Miller Wins UVERS Poster Contest

    April 26, 2019
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    Bev Miller, a second-year Ph.D. student in Assistant Professor Steven Caliari’s lab, took first place with her talk, titled “Electrospun Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel,” at the University of Virginia’s 15th annual Engineering Research Symposium, also known as UVERS. The symposium included two poster presenters and one oral presenter per department determined from an abstract submission. The presenters were judged by industry members and professors from across the UVA School of Engineering during the symposium event on March 28.


    Chemical Engineering Second-Year Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

    April 26, 2019
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    Brooke McGirr, a second-year Ph.D. student in Associate Professor Matt Lazzara’s lab, received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in National Science Foundation-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. This fellowship will support Brooke in her doctoral studies for the next three years.


    Saringi Agata Awarded Graduate Engineering Degrees for Minorities Fellowship

    April 26, 2019
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    Third-year Ph.D. student Saringi Agata, who works in Assistant Professor Geoff Geise’s polymer membrane lab, was recently awarded a full fellowship from the National Consortium for Graduate Engineering Degrees for Minorities. The award provides majority funding and tuition for the remainder of Saringi’s doctoral studies. In addition, she received an internship with Lam Research for the summer of 2019.

    The consortium’s mission is to enhance the value of the nation’s human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science. Notable alumni of the program include Ursula Burns, chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation, and numerous engineering deans at highly ranked research universities.