Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois

Undergraduate Research Symposium

At the University of Illinois Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, undergraduate students actively work alongside our world-class faculty on a variety of research projects. On Friday, April 7, 2017, 13 students presented posters on their work as part of the ninth annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

US symposium judges
John Schnake, BS ’89, Corey Correnti, BS ’85, OXE President Byeongjin Kang, and John Bassett, BS ’72.

The annual event is organized by Omega Chi Epsilon, the national honor society for chemical engineering and is an opportunity for students to showcase their research.

Thanks to this year’s symposium judges: John Schnake, BS ’89, who is corporate director of process analyzers at Endress+Hauser Group; Corey Correnti, BS ’85, retired executive from BP and currently consultant to energy companies; and John Bassett, BS ’72, also retired, having worked in petroleum refining and the mining industry, most recently as Vice President of Operations for Molycorp and president of Seadrift Coke.


Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

US symposium 1

First place

Edwin Zen (Rao Group), Selection for enhanced growth yield strains of Escherichia coli in xylose via emulsion-based encapsulation

Second place

Moeen Meigooni (Shukla Group), Molecular Perspectives on Agrochemical Control of Drought Resistance

Third place (tie)

Zaid Al-Bardan (Yang Group), “High performance oxygen evolution catalysts for water splitting in acidic electrolytes.”

Omotola Okesanjo and Robert Schneider (Guironnet Group), “Topology Control of Bottlebrush Polymers.”


In addition to the winners, this year’s symposium’s participants included the following:

Mikaela Dressendorfer and Kristen Lee (Guironnet Group), “Advanced Polymer Architecture Synthesis and Characterization.”

Xun Lu (Kenis), “Tailoring Electrolyte Composition to Improve Activity and Energy Efficiency for the Electroreduction of CO2 to CO.”

Ugonna Oduocha (Rogers Group), “Fluidization and Aging of Collodial Gel.”

Pimpisa Pechvijitra (Murphy Group), “Development of an Aerosol Delivery System for Gold Nanoparticles.”

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

Weikun Zhu (Diao Group), “Application of image analysis on the investigation of growth kinetics of C8BTBT.”


Winners of past undergraduate symposiums

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium
2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium
2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium
2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium
2012 Undergraduate Research Symposium