Virginia Tech: Invent the Future Department of Chemical Engineering


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Department of Chemical Engineering

Congratulations to Hemanth Pillai

Hemanth Pillai

September 2018     Congratulations to Hemanth Pillai of the @XinGroup_VT for winning an award for the best student poster at the Southeastern Catalysis Society annual symposium at Atlanta! Nice work!

Department of Chemical Engineering

Greg Lambert successfully defends his PhD Thesis

Greg Lambert

Congratulations to Greg Lambert for completing his degree requirements and successfully defending his PhD dissertation.
Greg's research advisor was Professor Don Baird.
His dissertation was entitled "Using Non-Lubricated Squeeze Flow to Obtain Empirical Parameters for Modeling the Injection Molding of Long-Fiber Composites."

We wish Dr. Greg Lambert the best in his future career!

Department of Chemical Engineering

Dr. Stephen Martin will be on sabbatical for the 2018-2019 academic year to work at the Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, DC.

Stephen Martin

August 2018     Dr. Stephen Martin, Associate Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF). Dr. Martin will spend the 2018-2019 academic year on sabbatical working in the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) at the Department of Energy (DOE), located within the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) in Washington, DC.

For complete story, read here.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Ami Jo successfully defends her PhD Thesis

Ami Jo

Congratulations to Ami Jo for completing her degree requirements and successfully defending her PhD dissertation.
Ami was advised by Dr. Rick Davis.
Her dissertation was entitled "The Design of Biodegradable Polyester Nanocarriers for Image-Guided Therapeutic Delivery."

We wish Dr. Ami Jo the best in her future career!

Department of Chemical Engineering

Xiwen Zhang successfully defends her MS Thesis


Congratulations to Xiwen Zhang for completing her degree requirements and successfully defending her MS Thesis. Xiwen is advised by Dr. Ayman Karim. Her thesis was entitled "Structure Sensitivity of Alkane Hydrogenolysis Reactions on Ir/MgAl2O4 Catalysts."
We wish Xiwen the best in her PhD studies.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Congratulations to Andy Ford for successfully defending his PhD dissertation


Congratulations to Andy Ford for completing his degree requirements and successfully defending his PhD dissertation. Andy was advised by Dr. Padma Rajagopalan. His dissertation was entitled "Investigating the Interplay between Inflammation and Matrix Stiffness: Evaluation of Cell Phenotype and Cytoplasmic Stiffness In Vitro.
We wish Dr. Andy Ford the best in his future

Department of Chemical Engineering: Erdogan Kiran

Kiran Group presents at 12th, International Symposium on Supercritical Fluids

Mick Williams, James Dickmann, Jenna Sumey, Joseph Sarver, and Scott Holahan
(left to right)

Five members of the Supercritical Fluids laboratory of professor Erdogan Kiran each gave poster presentations at the 12th International Symposium on Supercritical Fluids held in Antibes, France. The symposium brings together the leading researchers in the field of supercritical fluids every three years. The symposium focused on commercialization of supercritical fluids technologies with oral presentations given by industrial and academic professionals.

Department of Chemical Engineering

A green approach to ammonia production published in Nat. Commun.

Prof. Hongliang Xin (left) and his postdoc Dr. Liang Yu

May 2018
Prof. Hongliang Xin and his postdoc Dr. Liang Yu with his collaborators at University of Central Florida have authored the article “Ambient ammonia synthesis via palladium-catalyzed electrohydrogenation of dinitrogen at low overpotential” in the Nature Communications. The team has developed a new approach that can facilitate ammonia production using renewable energy, such as electricity generated from solar or wind. A new mechanism via the catalyst of palladium hydride was discovered. You can read more at The computational work is partially supported by the National Science Foundation Catalysis Program and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.

Department of Chemical Engineering

ChE alumnus Kirk H. Schulz (BS ’86; PhD ’91) was inducted into the College of Engineering Academy of Engineering Excellence on April 26, 2018.

Kirk Schulz (center) inducted into Academy of Engineering Excellence.
Dr. Cox (left) and Dean Ross (right)

photos by Jack Beach

April 2018     After graduation, Kirk Schulz joined the University of North Dakota as an assistant professor of chemical engineering before moving to Michigan Technological University, where he later became associate professor and department chair of chemical engineering. In 2001, he became director of the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University, then served as dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering and vice president for research and economic development at MSU. In 2009, Schulz was named president of and professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University. In 2016, Schulz joined Washington State University as the president and professor of chemical engineering.

Schulz has served on various higher education boards such as the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Board of Directors and the NCAA Board of Governors (including a two-year term as chair). Schulz is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Complete article

Department of Chemical Engineering

Difference in gene switching discovered in different parts of the brain

Ma and Lu  (right)

April 2018     In a study published in Science Advances, Chang Lu and his team found significant difference in the molecular machinery that turns on and off gene expression between the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex of a mouse brain. Their results provide clues to the molecular apparatus that is involved in conscious thinking in brains.

Complete article

Department of Chemical Engineering

Postdoc Quanyou Feng and Assistant Professor Rong Tong published a paper in Nature Communication online

Quanyou and Rong Tong (r)

April 2018. Postdoc Quanyou Feng (first author) and Assistant Professor Rong Tong's paper "Stereoselective photoredox ring-opening polymerization of O-carboxyanhydrides" was published in Nature Communications. Their work describes a new catalytic process for the synthesis of stereoregular functional polyesters. The resulting polyesters are biodegradable polymers with improved physicochemical properties (e.g., thermal properties) that have not been achieved before.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Virginia Tech Department of Chemical Engineering is to educate students to become outstanding chemical engineers who possess all of the skills necessary to excel in an advanced, global society; to conduct innovative and beneficial research while training students to be the researchers of the future; and to provide service and expertise to the chemical engineering profession and society.

Chemical Engineering Program Outcomes and Objectives

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