Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Graduate Research Symposium!
The annual research symposium for graduate students was held on Friday, October 27, 2017. The symposium allows graduate students to present their work in the form of either a poster or an oral presentation. James W. Westwater Professor Edmund Seebauer presented the awards.
In the poster competition, Charles Young won first place with “The Rheology of Semidilute Polymer Solutions.” Young is a member of Assistant Professor Charles Sing’s research group. Pei-Chieh Shih was awarded second place with “Iridium-based Pyrochlores for Efficient Oxygen Evolution Reaction in Acid.” Chieh is a member of Richard C. Alkire Professor Hong Yang’s research group.
In the oral competition, Dylan Walsh won the first place award with “Topology Control of Bottlebrush Polymers.” Walsh is a member of Assistant Professor Damien Guironnet’s research group. Saurabh Shukla came in second with “How Multiple Molecular Motors Transport Cargo in Cells.” He is a member of Physics Professor Paul Selvin’s research group. Thao Ngo won third place with “Studying the Durability of Pt-based Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction Using in situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy.” Ngo is a member of Dr. Yang’s research group.
Thanks to this year’s judges: Dr. Qingjun Meng (PhD ’04, Higdon) with BP; Dr. Meredith Sellers (PhD ’10, Seebauer) with Exponent Consulting; Dr. Josh Tice (PhD ’07, Kenis) with Scientific Device Laboratory; and Dr. Gregory Underhill, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Qingjun Meng is currently the Simulation Team Lead in Refining Technology and Engineering of BP. He received his BS and MS in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science from Tsinghua University in China. He then joined the PhD program at Illinois and received his degree in 2004, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Higdon. After graduation, he started his career at BP Petrochemicals Technology in Naperville, IL, and later on moved to Refining Technology and Engineering. Meng has been mostly involved in Computational Fluid Dynamics, process modeling in petrochemicals and refining, and operator training simulators.
Dr. Meredith Sellers is a Managing Engineer in the Materials and Corrosion Engineering Practice of Exponent, Inc. In her capacity as a technical consultant at Exponent, she aids clients with materials analysis and incident/accident investigation, particularly as they relate to oil and gas pipelines, chemical process safety, and integrated circuit fabrication. Her research expertise lies in the synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials for microelectronics and energy storage devices. Sellers earned her BS from Cornell University and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Illinois. Prior to joining Exponent, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL).
Dr. Joshua Tice received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 2005 and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2012. During his time in academia, he focused on studying microfabrication and applications thereof – including chemical synthesis, diagnostics, and protein crystallization. After a year working at Intel, Dr. Tice took a position as a Product Development Engineer at Scientific Device Laboratory. There, he heads the R&D division, pushing to make microfluidic technology a commercial reality.
Dr. Gregory H. Underhill is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois. Dr. Underhill received his PhD from Northwestern University, with his doctoral research focused on the mechanisms controlling the tissue recruitment of T lymphocytes and the functional characteristics of antibody secreting plasma cells. Dr. Underhill completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia’s laboratory at MIT, where he worked to develop and apply engineered cell culture platforms towards the study of cell functions. His current research is focused on studying cellular fate decisions, including the tissue development and engineering of the liver. These efforts are at the interface of cell and developmental biology, genomics, biomaterials, and microfabrication.
Graduate students in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and members of the Graduate Student Advisory Council held another successful research symposium this fall. The 14th annual event took place on Oct. 23, 2015, as part of Homecoming weekend.
The symposium allows graduate students to present their work in the form of either a poster or an oral presentation. Research areas include a range of topics, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, computational science, and energy applications.
Invited judges are typically Illinois alumni from industry and academia. The symposium also provides students with one-on-one opportunities to network with the judges.
This year’s presentations were judged by Dr. Josh Gray (PHD ’04), Program Manager with Boeing’s Surface and Analytics Lab; Dr. Ibrahim Sendijarevic (PHD ’02), Business Development Manager with Troy Polymers; Dr. Anastasia Vaia (PHD ’03), PTA Process Optimization Manager with BP; and Dr. Yongbo Yuan (former Illinois ChBE postdoc), Scientist III with ADM.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
First Place: Katelyn Dahlke, part of Assistant Professor Charles Sing’s research group, with “Kinetics of DNA-binding Dimeric Proteins.”
Second Place: Andy Chang from Assistant Professor David Flaherty’s group with his poster, “Deconvoluting the Effects of Solvation and Acid Strength on Zeolite Catalysis: Model Systems for Complex Materials.”
Third Place (tie): Sumit Verma from Professor Paul Kenis’ research group with “Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Value Added C1-C2 Chemicals and Fuels” and Kai-Chieh Tsao from Professor Hong Yang’s Research Group and his poster, “Continuous Production of Uniform Carbon-Supported Catalysts of Metal Nanocubes and Nanooctahedra Using Carbon Monoxide-Mediated Processes.”
First Place: Danielle Mai of Associate Professor Charles Schroeder’s group with, “Single Molecule Dynamics of Branched DNA Polymers.”
Second Place: Ran Chao of Professor Huimin Zhao’s group with “Building “iBioFAB” for automated synthetic biology.”
Third Place: Neil Wilson of Assistant Professor David Flaherty’s group for “Mechanism and Factors that Determine Selectivity for H202 Formation on Pd and AuPd clusters via Direct Synthesis.”
Other graduate students participating in the 14th Annual Graduate Research Symposium included the following: Zehua Bao, Nicholas Clay, Arkaprava Dan, Todd Freestone, Kandis Gillard, Kai-Wen Hsiao, Jiazhang Lian, Sam Hamedi Rad, Ankur Taneja, and Megan Witzke.