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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Department celebrates scholarship recipients, winners of undergraduate research symposium

On Friday, April 13, 2018, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering honored its outstanding students at the Undergraduate Awards Ceremony. At the annual event, faculty presented the 2017-2018 scholarships and Omega Chi Epsilon, the national honor society for chemical engineering, announced winners of the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

This year marked the 10th year for the undergraduate research symposium. Thanks to our alumni judges who volunteered their time. Joe Drago (BS ’72) is a retired nuclear engineer from the Department of Energy who is now a consultant to the energy industry and nonprofit organizations. He also has his master’s in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering from Illinois. Dan Hanus (BS ’86) is a section head at Procter & Gamble and has an MBA from Xavier University.

This year, judges awarded three students the top award: Qihua Chen, Marko Ivancevic, and Eli Karvelis. Chen, a member of Dr. Diwakar Shukla’s research group, presented with, “Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Conformational Heterogeneity of a Strigolactone Receptor in Parasitic Plants.” Marko Ivancevic, who worked with the Paranthaman Research Group at Oak Ridge National Lab, presented, “Novel Carbon Electrodes Derived from Waste Tires for Capacitive Deionization of Brackish Water.” Eli Karvelis, a member of Dr. Brendan Harley’s research group, presented, “Modeling Glioblastoma Invasion with Microfluidic Chips.”

Honorable mentions were awarded to Alayna Johnson and Anastasiya Lukiyanenko.

Judge Dan Hanus, Department Head Dr. Paul Kenis, symposium winners Qihua Chen, Elijah Karvelis and Marko Ivancevic, and judge Joe Drago (BS ’72)

Congratulations to all the research symposium participants.

Qihua Chen (Shukla Group), Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Conformational Heterogeneity of a Strigolactone Receptor in Parasitic Plants

Marko Ivancevic (Paranthaman Group, Oak Ridge National Lab), Novel Carbon Electrodes Derived from Waste Tires for Capacitive Deionization of Brackish Water

Alayna Johnson (Flaherty Group), Effects of Catalyst Hydrophobicity on Rates and Selectives of Alkene Epoxidation

Eli Karvelis (Harley Group), Modeling Glioblastoma Invasion with Microfluidic Chips

Anastasiya Lukiyanenko (Diao Group), Characterizing Cooperative Transitions in Organic Semiconductors

Jun Og (Murphy, Kenis Groups), Gold Nanorod-Hydrogel Composite

June Qian (Sing Group), Single-Chain Dynamics of Ring Polymers in Dilute Solution Under Mixed Flows

Channing Richter (Schroeder Group), Precise Control Over Position and Orientation of Anisotropic Colloidal Particles Using Stokes Trap

Bugra Sahin (Guironnet Group), Di-block Bottlebrush Polymer Synthesis

Yuquan Tong (Burke Group), An Iterative Approach to the Synthesis of Contiguous Polyols

Research symposium judges Dan Hanus and Joe Drago with OXE president and symposium organizer Mikaela Dressendorfer.

Scholarships awarded

Also on Friday, Department Head Dr. Paul Kenis and members of the ChBE scholarship committee handed out scholarships for the 2018-2018 year.

This is the first year the department gave out the Kirk Nass and Michael Gillespie Scholarship. Kirk Nass, an Illinois ChemE graduate from the Class of 1983, recently established a scholarship with his husband Michael Gillespie. After graduating from Illinois, Kirk Nass went on to earn a PhD from the University of Washington and is now a technical team leader at Chevron in California.

This is also the first year the department present a student with the Rebekah Schiff-Berger Scholarship. Rebekah was a James Scholar and involved in a variety of organizations, including AIChE, the Society of Women Engineers, and the department’s Undergraduate Advisory Board. The scholarship was established by her parents, Linda Schiff and Neil Berger, as well as family and friends. In the wake of Rebekah’s passing in 2015, friends and classmates organized several events to raise money for the scholarship. Rebekah was dearly loved by family and friends and touched many lives during her time here on campus. The department hopes through this scholarship she will continue to do so.

Below is the complete list of 2017-2018 scholarship winners.  More information on scholarships funded by generous alumni and friends can be found here.

John Martin Ankenbauer Memorial Scholarship

Ty’Nya Larry


Franklin A. Boyle Scholarship

Elijah Karvelis


CITGO Scholarship

Pacharapol Charoensuk

Elizabeth Tang

Kevin Wade


Donald E. Eisele Scholarship

Jesus Sanchez


ExxonMobil Scholarship

Pak Wing Chen

Weikun Zhu


Robert S. Frye Scholarship

Robert Schneider


Clarence G. Gerhold Memorial Scholarship

Michelle Brown

Anthony Salazar

Sanjna Shah


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

Christian Monte

Alishba Rehman


James K. Grant Scholarship

Vivek Vermani


Chester W. Hannum Scholarship

Alishba Rehman

Isaac Strain


Edmund D. and Sara J. Heerdt Scholarship

Marko Ivancevic

Jing Zhao


Earp Jennings Chemical Engineering Scholarship

Mateusz Dusza


Donald B. Keyes Award in Chemical Engineering

Kevin Wade


John W. Latchum, Jr. Scholarship

Caleb Zmuda


Dr. Ray A. Mentzer Scholarship

Jessica Rabczak


Kirk Nass and Michael Gillespie Scholarship

Royce Chen


Edward I. Onstott Scholarship

Faisal Aldukhi


Raymond M. Pasteris Scholarship

Ethan Dukovic


Pathways to Success Scholarship

Claudia Cappa

Estelle Mace

Randy Marquez

Ambar Rivera

Christopher Torres


Phillips 66 Scholarship

Mingyan Liu

Gina Partipilo

Victoria Wisniewski


Worth Huff Rodebush Scholarship

Dongkwan Lee


Rebekah Schiff-Berger Memorial Scholarship

Sanjna Shah


Thomas R. and Yolanda S. Stein Scholarship

Channing Richter

Jesus Sanchez


Glenn E. and Barbara R. Ullyot Scholarship

June Qian

Ugonna Oduocha


R.J. Van Mynen Chemical Engineering Scholarship

Ami Patel


Bruno H. Wojcik Scholarship

Huayang Liu




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