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.

    Professor Lampe Selected for Funding

    May 30, 2019

    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
    Yuanyuan Ji_250.jpg

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    ChemE Third-year Wins Awards

    April 17, 2019

    Kevin “Yuntao” Gu, a third-year Ph.D. student in Professor Bill Epling’s research group, attended the fourth North American Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering to present his work, “Mechanistic Study of a Palladium Exchanged Passive NOx Adsorber.” Kevin’s research focuses on the abatement of nitric oxide (NOx) emissions from a diesel engine during the cold start period. As one of the symposium’s travel award winners, Kevin also won the Best Poster Award.

    Geoffrey Geise Recognized With Multiple Teaching Awards

    April 16, 2019

    geise group

    Assistant Professor Geoffrey Geise is the 2019 winner of the Hartfield Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2012 the Jefferson Scholars Foundation began recognizing University faculty who have demonstrated both excellence in teaching and exceeding care for their students. This award honors those teachers in our community who have gone the extra mile in fulfilling their vocation without regard for their own advancement. He also won the University of Virginia Student Council Teaching Award.

    Updated April 25, 2019

    Geise is also a 2019 recipient of an All-University Teaching Award. Sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, each year deans, department chairs and colleagues recognize excellent faculty across Grounds as the University's top teachers.

    Lampe Lab Has Article in Press in Journal of The American Chemical Society

    April 10, 2019

    James Tang, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate, is the lead author with Assistant Professor Kyle Lampe of “Stimuli-Responsive, Pentapeptide, Nanofiber Hydrogel for Tissue Engineering.” The article is in press in the Journal of The American Chemical Society. Cameron Mura, a senior scientist in the Bourne Lab associated with UVA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and School of Data Science.

    Department Chair Earns ‘Advisor of the Year’ Honors for Graduate Research Support

    April 01, 2019

    Professor William S. “Bill” Epling, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored by the Graduate Engineering Student Council as the 2019 Advisor of the Year among UVA Engineering faculty. The award, given for exceptional support in graduate research, was presented at the 15th annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium.

    Natalia Diaz, a Ph.D. student in Epling’s lab, supported his nomination for the award in part because it’s clear that he cares about the well-being of his students both in and out of the lab.

    “Professor Epling’s always available whenever I encounter a challenge,” she said. “His mentorship made my transition into research a lot easier.”

    Kevin Gu has known Epling since they were both at the University of Houston, when Gu was an undergraduate there.

    “As a graduate faculty member, Professor Epling does an excellent job bridging the gap between undergraduate and graduate study and research on the student’s level. My experience working with him as an undergraduate student was unforgettable,” Gu said. “He definitely impacted my self-confidence and made a huge difference in my career planning. I started to realize my enthusiasm for academic research and saw my potential to make a greater impact in the chemical engineering industry.”

    When Epling left Houston to become chair of the department at UVA, Gu came with him as a graduate student, and they built Epling’s catalysis lab from scratch. Gu appreciates the expertise he gained through the process, noting Epling’s patience and steady guidance.

    “He has taught me to solve problems as part of my education,” Gu recalled. “The lab was functional by the end of the first year, but more importantly, I became an expert in designing and constructing reactors for specific research purposes.

    “As my Ph.D. advisor, Professor Epling is a mentor, friend, career development consultant and the force that drives me to be perfect.”