Virginia Tech: Invent the Future Department of Chemical Engineering


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Department of Chemical Engineering

Congratulations to graduating senior Camilla (Erin) Johnson!

Camilla (Erin) Johnson
In addition to being recognized as the Chemical Engineering Senior of the Year for 2018, graduating senior Camilla (Erin) Johnson was awarded the Graduate Education for Minorities (GEM) fellowship and an NSF graduate research fellowship. With these awards, she will begin pursuing a PhD in the fall at Georgia Tech. Camilla has been actively involved in mentorship and outreach through Hypatia Living Learning Community, Alpha Phi Omega, and Summer Academy, and has twice done outreach work in Panama with Score International.
She is from Richmond, VA.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Jake Fallon received the inaugural Garth L. Wilkes MII Interdisciplinary Student Scholar award

Jake Fallon recently received the inaugural Garth L. Wilkes MII Interdisciplinary Student Scholar award presented at the 2018 MII Technical Conference and Review. The Garth L. Wilkes Interdisciplinary Scholar Awards are named in honor of Professor Garth L. Wilkes, who was an internationally-recognized interdisciplinary scholar, faculty colleague, and personal friend to many people around the world. This coveted scholarship is presented to a graduate student who represents interdisciplinary excellence in research, teaching, and engagement.
Jake is a Macromolecular Science and Engineering student advised by Dr. Michael J. Bortner in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Department of Chemical Engineering: ChE-car

Virginia Tech Chem-E-Car Wins Third Place the AICHE Mid-Atlantic Student Meeting

Team Members of the VT Chem-E-Car Team 2018
Department of Chemical Engineering
Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Chem-E-Car team competed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition held as part of the AICHE Mid-Atlantic Student Meeting held at Princeton University. The competition requires students to design and build a small autonomous vehicle whose propulsion system and control mechanism rely on chemical reactions. The goal is for the car to travel a defined distance and stop without outside intervention. The VT car, nicknamed the Meme-machine, relied on a student-built lead acid battery to drive an electric motor. The stopping mechanism relied on a Cinnemaldehyde clock reaction in which an opaque solid precipitate forms in the reactor after a specific length of time which depended on reactant concentrations and temperature. A photodiode detects the formation of the solid and switches off the motor.

The team gratefully acknowledges the technical support of the VT Chemical Engineering Staff, as well as financial support from the Student Engineers Council, Zestron, Exxon-Mobil, and Steve Cope.

Department of Chemical Engineering: Erdogan Kiran

Joey Sarver received recognition at the 34th Annual Graduate Student Assembly Research Symposium.

Joey Sarver

ChE graduate student Joey Sarver received recognition at the 34th Annual Graduate Student Assembly Research Symposium. His poster titled "Foaming of Polymers with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide" was one of six posters receiving an award from 44 posters presented by graduate students throughout the university. He is conducting research in the Supercritical Fluids Laboratory of Professor Kiran.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Outstanding Overall Presentation Award

Dr. Michael Bortner presenting the award to James Owen (right).

March, 2018     Chemical Engineering junior James Owens was recently awarded the "Outstanding Overall Presentation" Award from Rice University for his talk at the university's annual Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS). He participated in the Chemical and Biological Engineering division with a presentation entitled "Cellulose Nanocrystal Templates for Transparent Conductive Films", a joint project between Prof. Michael Bortner (Chemical Engineering) and Prof. Johan Foster (Materials Science and Engineering).

Department of Chemical Engineering

Epigenomic tool breakthrough has implications for identifying disease processes

Sai Ma (left), a biomedical engineering and mechanics graduate student and first author of the paper, and Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering, in their Goodwin Hall lab on Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus. (right)

March, 2018     A major research advancement, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, titled "Cell-type-specific brain methylomes profiled via ultralow-input microfluidics" was led by Dr. Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull professor of Chemical Engineering.

Complete Research article

VT News article

Department of Chemical Engineering

ChE Faculty and students publish two new textbooks (2018)


February 2018    The first 610-page textbook, Petroleum Refinery Process Modeling: Integrated Optimization Tools and Applications, Wiley-VCH, is written by Professor Liu and his graduate students, Ai-Fu Chang and Kiran Pashikanti. It is a pioneering and comprehensive guide to predictive modeling of integrated refinery reaction and fractionation systems for process optimization and production planning. It has received excellent reviews and strong endorsements by top academic expert and industrial practitioner in petroleum refining and process optimization, Professor Lawrence Evans of MIT and Mr. Steven Cope, ExxonMobil’s refining director for North America.

The second, 433-page textbook, Design, Simulation and Optimization of Adsorptive and Chromatographic Separations, Wiley-VCH, is written by Professor Liu and his graduate students, Kevin Wood and Yueying Yu. It is a comprehensive resource that integrates fundamental principles, industrial applications, and hands-on workshops and practice problems of commercial software tools for the design, simulation and optimization of adsorptive and chromatographic separations, such as PSA (pressure swing adsorption), TSA (temperature swing adsorption), and SMB (simulated moving bed) chromatography. The book is strongly endorsed by Dr. George Keller, chief engineer of Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center, S. Charleston, WV., a top industrial expert in separation science and technology and an inventor of PSA for medical oxygen generation.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Rong Tong has been selected as one of the 2017 Class of Influential Early Career Researchers

Rong Tong

October 2017. Rong Tong has been selected as one of the 2017 Class of Influential Early Career Researchers by Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research on the basis of the quality and impact of the research. His invited review paper entitled "New Chemistry in Functional Aliphatic Polyesters" has been published in the special issue "2017 Class of Influential Researchers" in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. (Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2017, 56 (15), pp 4207).

Department of Chemical Engineering

Hongliang Xin Recognized as Emerging Investigators 2017 in Journal of Materials Chemistry

Hongliang Xin

September 2017
Hongliang Xin was recognized as Emerging Investigators in 2017 by experts in the field of catalysis and surface chemistry in a themed issue of the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, highlighting the research being carried out by researchers in the early stages of their independent careers. The article "High-Throughput Screening of Bimetallic Catalysts Enabled by Machine Learning" outlines the collaborative work of Drs. Xin and Achenie with graduate students Zheng Li, Siwen Wang, Wei Shan Chin on machine learning models development for catalysis applications. By using quantum chemistry tools and machine learning algorithms, the researchers identified reactivity descriptors for methanol electrochemical oxidation on metal surfaces and predicted which metal elements can be added in what geometry to make the methanol fuel cells more energy efficient. This work is currently supported by the catalysis program in the National Science Foundation

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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