News & Events

ChemE Faculty Play Key Roles in Two New UW Research Centers

UW ChemE
January 23, 2018

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Nanocrystals - Image courtesy of Holmberg laboratory

Two New UW research centers ignite collaborative efforts. The secret ingredient? Chemical engineers.

The recent opening of the Molecular Engineering Materials Center (MEMC), a new Materials Science Research & Engineering Center (MRSEC), and of the Center for Dialysis Innovation (CDI), a joint venture between UW medicine and engineering, is accelerating the pace of cross-disciplinary research on campus.  Working at the interface of disciplines has always been a hallmark of Chemical Engineering and it is no surprise that our faculty are playing key roles in both efforts.

Co-Directed by ChemE / BioE Professor Buddy Ratner and UW Professor of Medicine in Nephrology, Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb, the CDI was established in November 2016 with a $15M grant from the Northwest Kidney Centers. The CDI's mission is to improve the health and well-being of people receiving dialysis treatment, with a vision of making future treatment complication free, and restorative of kidney health. As part of the CDI team, Profs. Eric Stuve and Shaoyi Jiang are applying electrochemistry fundamentals and using non-fouling polymers to help develop a new type portable dialysis device that will transform patients’ lives.

In September 2017, UW was selected by the National Science Foundation to receive a $15.6M award that will fund the new MEMC MRSEC. The center is directed by Chemistry Professor Daniel Gamelin, and is a partnership among the College of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, the Clean Energy Institute (CEI) and the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute. MEMC focuses on the creation of ultrathin semiconductor materials with unique quantum mechanical properties, and on the engineering of defects in nanocrystals for far-reaching applications in clean energy and future electronics. Profs. Hugh Hillhouse and Vincent Holmberg will contribute to the endeavor by developing approaches to minimize non-radiative recombination and enhancing transport in nanocrystals, investigating the role of defects in plasmonic nanomaterials, and controlling impurity incorporation during nanocrystal growth.