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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Kong and four graduate students honored with SCS and ChBE awards for teaching excellence

Hyunjoon Kong (left), Soumajit Dutta (top left),  Azzaya Khasbaatar (top right), Armin Shayesteh Zadeh (bottom left), and Saket Sanjay Bhargava (bottom right) were awarded teaching excellence awards for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The School of Chemical Sciences and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign recognized professor Hyunjoon Kong and graduate students Soumajit Dutta, Azzaya Khasbaatar, Armin Shayesteh Zadeh, and Saket Sanjay Bhargava with teaching excellence awards for the 2020-2021 academic year.   

The SCS Teaching Award recognizes the entire scope of the school’s educational efforts from course development to in-class instruction. Hyunjoon Kong received a SCS Faculty Teaching Award for Thermodynamics (CHBE 321); he is known for his entertaining jokes and helpful lecture notes that he shares before each class. 

The SCS Graduate Student Teaching Award was presented to Soumajit Dutta, who is advised by professor Diwakar Shukla, for Process Control and Dynamics (CHBE 440). In addition, the Center for Innovation for Teaching and Learning (CITL) listed Dutta as an outstanding Teaching Assistant based on his students’ ratings. Azzaya Khasbaatar, who is advised by Ying Diao, also received an SCS Graduate Student Teaching Award for Momentum and Heat Transfer (CHBE 421). In the award letter, SCS Director Jonathan Sweedler commended them for excelling at their teaching duties while dedicating the necessary time and mental energy to their primary mission: research.  

The ChBE Graduate Student Teaching Awards recognize exceptional contributions to the department’s instructional mission. This years’ recipients are Armin Shayesteh Zadeh, who is advised by Baron Peters, for teaching Chemical Reaction Engineering (ChBE 424), and Saket Sanjay Bhargava, who is advised by Paul Kenis, for Electrochemical Engineering (CHBE 453/594)  a special topics course on Chemical Process Safety (CHBE 494). 

“Congratulations to these recipients, and many thanks for all the work you put in to help our students succeed academically this year,” said Kenis, who is the department head and Elio E. Tarika Endowed Chair. “We are lucky to have dedicated individuals who help us deliver course content and concepts—despite such challenging circumstances—that will serve our students in their future careers.”

Written by Claire Benjamin, associate director of communications

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