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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

ChBE Graduate Student Advisory Committee

The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department Graduate Student Advisory Committee (ChBE GSAC) is a representative body of graduate students that acts as a liaison between the graduate students and the administration of the department. We organize events such as the annual Graduate Research Symposium, providing students with a platform to showcase their research and enhance scholarship. We also assist with graduate student recruitment and arrange social events, such as academic networking, welcome week, and recruitment weekends to provide bonding opportunities for students. Moreover, we organize outreach events such as Toys for Tots and a food drive, among others, to create and foster a sense of community service.

ChBE GSAC has created a helpful guide to cultural and recreational spots and tips for new students on getting acclimated to the life in Champaign-Urbana.

Board and contact information

Chris Torres, President

“Chris performs heterogeneous catalysis research in the Flaherty lab, where he focuses on fundamental phenomena governing liquid-phase oxidation reactions over zeolite frameworks. When he is not performing experiments or analyzing data, Chris likes to workout, play his Nintendo Switch, and entertain his Calico cat, Butters.”

Liliana Bello, External Vice President

Lili is a member of the Sing Lab, where she employs theoretical and simulation techniques to fundamentally understand charge transport mechanisms, structure, and dynamics of redox active polymers for flow battery applications. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing sand volleyball, and keeping her office plants alive.

Cara Sarver, Internal Vice President

Cara is a member of the Rao lab, where she works on the metabolic engineering of bacterial and enzymatic systems to combat modern issues such as plastic pollution and methane emissions. In her free time, she enjoys working on bikes at the Bike Project of Urbana Champaign and grabbing a beer at the Blind Pig.

Aliki Kolliopoulos, Outreach/Symposium Chair

Aliki conducts biomaterials research in the field of tissue engineering in the Harley Lab. She focuses on developing biomaterials that instruct the inflammatory response in musculoskeletal and craniofacial tissue injuries to guide regeneration. During her free time Aliki likes to build Legos and puzzles, go on walks, and watch Korean dramas.

Armin Shayesteh Zadeh, Webmaster/Symposium Chair

Armin is a member of the Peters lab. He studies amyloid fibril formation mechanism and kinetics to develop a theoretical framework for describing interactions between proteins that follow “dock-and-lock” mechanism. When he is not running simulations, you can probably find him playing pool at the Union or binging stuff on Netflix.

Danielle Meyer, Treasurer

Danielle is a member of the Rao lab, where she studies metabolic engineering oleaginous yeasts for biofuels as a source of renewable energy to combat climate change with a special emphasis on lipid droplets to increase oil content. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, swimming, and being in nature.

Haley Vapnik, Professional Development Chair

Haley is a member of the Su lab, where she focuses on functional materials discovery and synthesis for selective electrochemical separations. When she is not in the lab, Haley enjoys volunteering with different outreach and mentoring programs, and binge watching TV shows.

Caroline Li, Secretary

Caroline is a member of Schroeder lab, where she studies the intramolecular and intermolecular charge transport of redox active material at a molecular scale to provide a guideline for building molecular electronics and designing redoxmer in energy storage systems. Outside the lab, she enjoys cooking, working out, and maybe traveling if she finishes her experiments ahead of time.


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