A busy conference season for chemical engineering Ph.D. students yielded numerous awards, a testament to the students’ excellence and commitment to difference-making research. We rounded up a few examples here.

Mara Kuenen in assistant professor Rachel Letteri’s polymer biomaterials lab collected two best poster prizes plus a scholarship to attend a short course on sustainable polymers. Her work focuses on designing materials with controlled lifetimes to address challenges such as plastic waste pollution and drug delivery.

In professor William Epling’s environmental catalysis lab, Silvia Marino earned two competitive travel awards to attend conferences and present research. Both projects investigate catalysts to improve the aftertreatment system of gasoline-engine cars to reduce pollution.

Anna Sviripa also won a top graduate student poster prize for her work in assistant professor Chris Paolucci’s computational catalysis research group to reduce vehicle carbon dioxide emissions.

Brooke McGirr Brown and Karl Kowalewski in professor Matthew Lazzara’s lab won breakout session presentation awards at a conference for cancer research trainees, including Ph.D. students and postdoctoral and clinical fellows. Their investigations focus on the mechanisms that cause tumor cells to resist therapy, with the goal of identifying what processes to target with cancer-killing drugs to improve outcomes.

Beibei Gao in professor Roseanne Ford’s lab was awarded a top student poster award for research to improve bioremediation techniques for environmental cleanup.

In associate professor Geoffrey Geise’s polymer membrane lab, Sean Bannon won a travel award for his investigation of water purification methods to address the growing global demand for clean water.

Beverly Miller in assistant professor Steven Caliari’s biomaterials lab won an award from Women in Chemical Engineering to attend the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, which includes a two-year membership in AIChE. She gave a talk on her research in muscle tissue engineering related to women’s reproductive health.