Faculty & Research

Research Impacts

Chemical engineers turn raw materials into valuable products that impact society on every level. Our department boasts a long record of research accomplishments, including the home kidney dialysis machine, LEDs for photonics, and anti-biofouling coatings for treating ship hulls and for use with medical implants. Below you'll find a list of articles highlighting work by our faculty and alumni that has the potential to positively impact lives:



May 2013 | UW Today

Shaoyi Jiang and Buddy Ratner publish a paper in Nature Biotechnology

The two Engineering researchers created a synthetic substance that fully resists the body’s natural attack response to foreign objects. Medical devices such as artificial heart valves, prostheses, and breast implants could be coated with this polymer to prevent the body from rejecting an implanted object. More…


March 2011 | UW Today

Baneyx research will augment new UW Nanotoxicology Center

The UW Nanotoxicology Center is hoping to build a safer and environmentally-friendly tomorrow with nanomaterials, microscopic materials found in many consumer products. While nanomaterials are strong and efficient, their health and environmental impacts are unknown. The new center will focus on testing and creating standards and models to build safer nanomaterials. ChemE Prof. Baneyx will serve as one of the Center's leading researchers. More…

Penny Huang

December 2010 | UW Today

Engineering students win award for water-testing device

A team of engineering students, including Chemical Engineering senior Penny Huang, developed an inexpensive device to make water safer for the world to drink. Using the sun's rays to disinfect water, the team created an electronic indicator to show when the water is safe to drink. Winning a $40,000 prize from the Rockefeller Foundation, the device bested over 70 other proposals. A nonprofit business is being established to manufacture and market the device. More…


December 2010 | Semprus BioSciences

Jiang's Lab coating technology plays critical role in $18M Semprus BioSciences financing round

Semprus BioSciences announced a second financing round that will fund product development to address medical device complications. The company is focused on developing the first permanently dual-function (anti-colonization and anti-thrombogenic) vascular access catheter with a single surface modification. Semprus BioSciences spun out of the labs of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Prof. Robert Langer, and incorporates Prof. Jiang's research. Jiang is co-Chair of Semprus' Scientific Advisory Board, and senior editor of Langmuir, a premier colloids and interface sciences journal.


July 2010 | Washington Technology Center

WTC awards Helionics $82,500 award to commercialize biomaterials technology to reduce infection

The Washington Technology Center awarded Healionics Corporation an $82,500 award to commercialize technology that will reduce infection from skin-breaching devices such as catheters. Helionics is a spinoff from the UW Engineered Biomaterials Center directed by Buddy Ratner, a UW professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering. More…

Biofuels logo

May 2010 | UW Week

UW, tribal partnership to develop bioenergy

UW researchers and local Native American tribes are collaborating to develop bioenergy solutions that make sense for the Pacific Northwest while considering feasibility, political obstacles, and environmental and social boundaries. See also: UW's Bioresource-based Energy for Sustainable Societies program and Biofuels Discovery video.

Buddy Ratner and Dave Castner

January 2010 | UW Week

Gates Foundation funds technology to measure micronutrients in malnourished populations

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation last fall awarded Buddy Ratner and David Castner, both UW professors of bioengineering and chemical engineering, $640,000 to develop an inexpensive micronutrient rapid measuring device that could be used to detect deficiencies in settings with scarce resources. More…

UW Engineers Without Borders

October 2009 | UW Department of Chemical Engineering

Students work with Engineers Without Borders in two Bolivian communities

Two chemical engineering students are collaborating with the UW chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-UW) in their mission to support communities in developing areas such as Bolivia. In September, students Claudia De La Via and Lady De La Via extended their hands to two Bolivian communities. Claudia worked on improving potable water supply in Yanayo Grande. Lady worked on improving an irrigation system in a neighboring community, Yanayo Chico. More...

organic electronics

August 2009 | UW Week

Organic electronics a two-way street, thanks to new plastic semiconductor

Promising research by Samson Jenekhe and colleagues on organic electronics was featured in the cover article in an August issue of Advanced Materials. "The organic semiconductors developed over the past 20 years have an important drawback, “ Jenekhe said. “It's very difficult to get electrons to move through. By now having polymer semiconductors that can transmit both positive and negative charges, it broadens the available approaches. This would certainly change the way we do things." More…

Patents and Innovations

Our faculty are dedicated to creating solutions and innovations. Often with the assistance of their students, Chemical Engineering faculty members have recently filed for patents for the following inventions.
  • Super-Low Fouling Sulfobetaine Materials and Related Methods (Jiang)
  • Integrated Antimicrobial and Low Fouling Materials (Jiang)
  • Copolymer semiconductors comprising thiazolothiazole or benzobisthiazole, or benzobisoxazole electron acceptor subunits, and electron donor subunits, and their uses in transistors and solar cells (Jenekhe)
  • Crosslinked Zwitterionic Hydrogels (Jiang)
  • Particles coated with Zwitterionic Polymers (Jiang)
  • Self-Assembled Particles from Ultra-Low Fouling and Functionalizable Zwitterionic-Based Block Copolymers and Methods for Their Preparation and Use (Jiang)
  • Zwitterionic Polymer Bioconjugates and Related Methods (Jiang)