On November 28, 2016, the department gathered to honor the achievements of outstanding graduate students in the areas of teaching, research, and scholarship.
A number of honorees won competitions during the department's Ninth Annual Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Symposium held Thursday, September 22.
1st Place Speaker Jared Shadish: Photopatterned Immobilization and Release of Site-Specifically Modified Proteins
Best Poster Presentation:
Ryan Stoddard: Eliminating Phase Segregation in Mixed-Halide Perovskite Solar Cells
Matthew Crane: Laser-directed, spatial control of nanodiamond patterning and doping
Two teaching assistants were honored with the Jane and Joseph McCarthy Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Teaching. Dr. McCarthy wished to reward graduate students who show excellence in teaching.
Brian Gerwe was honored for his work in Chemical Engineering II, part of the senior core. Students nominating Brian said that he was very available, knowledgeable, and willing to help students even for things in classes outside of his specific course.
For the junior core courses, Steven Adelmund was nominated for his teaching in Materials and Energy Balances. Students commented, "Steven was very helpful both on problem solving help for the homework but more so on conceptual understanding of the course material and the implications of the concepts. [He] went above and beyond to welcome us to the department and make sure that we had a deep understanding of the material."
The 2016 Faculty Lecture Award was awarded to Peng Zhang for his outstanding work in the field of drug delivery using a Zwitterionic Polymer Encapsulation Technique. Peng is a third year PhD student in the Jiang research group where he has played a key role in projects to develop new protection technologies for therapeutic and protective proteins for pharmaceutical and defense applications. He recently published three first-author papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and the Journal of Controlled Release, and has more papers under preparation.
Tao Bai won the High Impact Publication Award for his paper entitled, "Zwitterionic Fusion in Hydrogels and Spontaneous and Time Independent Self-Healing Under Physiological Conditions" which was published in the April 2014 issue of Biomaterials. At present, nearly all self-healing materials require the addition of healing agents or external energy input, such as heat or UV light exposure. For very few “spontaneously” self-healing materials, healing can be achieved only immediately after rupture occurs (e.g., less than one minute) or at low pH values. In this paper, Bai reported on the first spontaneously healing material, driven by a completely new mechanism, zwitterionic fusion. This material can repair at any separation time after damage (i.e., time-independent behavior) without any healing agents added or external energy input.