Illinois I-mark

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering undergraduates have the opportunity to work alongside world-class faculty and graduate students on a variety of research projects. We caught up with Ugonna Oduocha, who worked in the Simon Rogers Lab before graduating in May 2018.

How did you come to work in the Rogers lab?

I came to work in Dr. Rogers’ lab because I liked the way he taught my material balances class (CHBE 221: Principles of CHE). I would often speak with him about the class material. One day we started talking about his research in rheology and soft solids and how he would eventually have spots for undergraduates to join his lab the following year. In the meantime, I kept in touch with him and visited his office periodically and read suggested papers Dr. Rogers gave me about his projects. That next year, I was one of the first undergraduates to begin working in his lab.

Tell us about the research project or projects you’re involved in.

I am currently working on a project that deals with inducing a large amplitude oscillatory sheer (LAOS) to a colloidal gel. The purpose of this is to apply a new analysis method, sequence of physical process (SPP), to the LAOS results. The results from SPP will be compared to structural information from modeling.

How has working in a university research lab had an impact on your undergraduate education?

It has impacted my undergraduate experience tremendously. It has given me an idea of how to write and plan experiments to achieve specific objectives, rather than the procedure being provided to me, such as in classes. It has also given me the ability to present my findings to a group of people who are very knowledgeable on the topic and then defend the results. Lastly, it has also given me the ability to be content with not knowing what the answer is, but always trying to ask questions and strive for better understanding from the results I have obtained.

What are you post-graduation plans?

I plan to work for Honeywell UOP following my graduation in Spring 2018. I will be working on oil and natural gas refining at the different UOP locations around the world.