Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois

Congrats to scholarship, research symposium winners

On Friday, April 7, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering honored its outstanding students by holding the annual Undergraduate Awards Ceremony. Faculty presented the 2016-2017 scholarships and Omega Chi Epsilon students announced winners of the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Congratulations to all!

At the ceremony, Department Head Dr. Paul Kenis called the students an inspiring group and said he was confident they will add to the department’s luster and tradition of excellence.

“The students who sit among you today come from throughout the U.S. and around the world, from small farm towns to cities of over 8 million. Some are among the first in their families to go to college. Others come from a long line of engineers. During their time at Illinois, they’ve established themselves as outstanding, driven students,” he said.

Grants and Vermani by RAL
Jim and Pamela Grant with scholarship recipient Vivek Vermani.

“In addition to excelling in the classroom, many also work in the labs of our faculty members on exciting new research, such as synthesis of electrocatalysts. Several hold leadership positions in student organizations like AIChE, OXE, and the Society of Women Engineers. They volunteer their time tutoring other ChemE students and introducing chemical engineering concepts to high schoolers. They’ve devoted themselves to causes outside the classroom, such as advocating for homeless students. They have dreams of becoming professors, process engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs,” Kenis said.

This was the first year the department awarded the James K. Grant Scholarship. Grant, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1969 from the University of Illinois, attended the ceremony with his wife Pamela Grant, a graduate of the College of Media.

Also on Friday, 13 students participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

US symposium judges
John Schnake, BS ’89, Corey Correnti, BS ’85, OXE President Byeongjin Kang, and John Bassett, BS ’72.

Thanks to our symposium judges this year: John Schnake, BS ’89, who is corporate director of process analyzers at Endress+Hauser Group; Corey Correnti, BS ’85, retired executive from BP and currently consultant to energy companies; and John Bassett, BS ’72, also retired, having worked in petroleum refining and the mining industry, most recently as Vice President of Operations for Molycorp and president of Seadrift Coke.

US symposium 1
Edwin Zen discusses his work with the judges.

First place winner was Edwin Zen of the Rao Group with his presentation, “Selection for enhanced growth yield strains of Escherichia coli in xylose via emulsion-based encapsulation.”

Second place went to Moeen Meigooni of the Shukla Group with, “Molecular Perspectives on Agrochemical Control of Drought Resistance.”

Third place was a tie. Those winners included the team of Omotola Okesanjo and Robert Schneider of the Guironnet Group with “Topology Control of Bottlebrush Polymers” and Zaid Al-Bardan of the Yang Group with “High performance oxygen evolution catalysts for water splitting in acidic electrolytes.”

Below is the complete list of 2016-2017 scholarship winners.  More information on scholarships funded by generous alumni and friends can be found here.

John Martin Ankenbauer Memorial Scholarship
Isaac N. Strain

Franklin A. Boyle Scholarship
Jacob E. Komenda

Chemical Engineering Alumni Scholarship
Elijah B. Karvelis
Ashley C. May
Omotola O. Okesanjo
Benjamin J. Pedretti
Weikun Zhu

CITGO Scholarship
Pacharapol Charoensuk
Dongkwan Lee

Donald E. Eisele Scholarship
Michael D. Jorgensen

ExxonMobil Scholarship
Seo Woo Choi
Tiernan D. Ebener

Robert S. Frye Scholarship
Atreyo Ghosh

Clarence G. Gerhold Memorial Scholarship
Anthony J. Salazar
Yiling Loh

Dr. Joseph and Donna Glas Scholarship in Memory of Professor James Westwater
June R. Qian

James K. Grant Scholarship
Vivek Vermani

Chester W. Hannum Scholarship
Justin W. Genova
Pimpisa Pechvijitra
Yuying Wu
Zijie Wu
Yijiang Yu
Edwin K. Zen

Edmund D. and Sara J. Heerdt Scholarship
Lauren C. Schmitt
Noah R. Wood

Earp Jennings Chemical Engineering Scholarship
Lucas S. Kreidl

Donald B. Keyes Scholarship
Ethan J. Dukovic

John W. Latchum, Jr. Scholarship
Caleb J. Zmuda

Dr. Ray A. Mentzer Scholarship
Victor Qiao

Omega Chi Epsilon Scholarship
Byeongjin Kang
Alexandra N. Warton

Edward I. Onstott Scholarship
Daniel J. Cordero
Awele Bill Uwagwu
Junli Wu

Raymond M. Pasteris Scholarship
Christian T. Monte

Pathways to Success Scholarship
Austin R. Cepeda
Daniel J. Cordero
Andrew S. Morrice
Liam J. Quinn
Anna R. Welton-Arndt

Phillips 66 Scholarship
Rebecca L. Boehning
Jesus Dominguez
Mikaela R. Dressendorfer

Worth Huff Rodebush Scholarship
Shawn Lu

Thomas R. and Yolanda S. Stein Scholarship
Madeleine M. Chalifoux
Yijung Chen
Sohum K. Patel

Glenn E. and Barbara R. Ullyot Scholarship
Zaid Al-Bardan
Francisco Canales
Scott J. Kieback
Alexander J. Koutsostamatis

R. J. Van Mynen Chemical Engineering Scholarship
Faisal A. Aldukhi
Nicholas Y. Chan

Bruno H. Wojcik Scholarship
Moeen S. Meigooni