Message from the Department Head

Fall 2019

It’s been a great year for Penn State Chemical Engineering! Our new building has been completed and we had the ribbon-cutting ceremony in April. The building has an expanded space for the unit operations lab, plenty of seats in the computer lab, and great student collaboration spaces such as the Dow Chemical Knowledge Commons. It was also another great year for our Ph.D. and undergraduate programs. We have 29 new Ph.D. students in our fall 2019 cohort, and we awarded 226 B.S. ChE degrees last year, which is again among the highest in the country. Our AIChE student chapter again was named an Outstanding Student Chapter by the national AIChE organization.

We added four new faculty members this fall! Bryan Vogt, a leader in polymeric materials and 3D printing, joined us from the polymer engineering program at the University of Akron, and we also added three assistant professors. Hee Jeung Oh will start in January 2020 and her lab will focus on membrane separations for biomedical and water/energy applications. Amir Sheikhi is teaching chemical reaction engineering this Fall and launching a lab that works on sustainable soft material platforms for biomedical and environmental applications. Finally, Ezgi Toraman is starting up her lab dealing with plastic waste valorization and shale gas upgrading.

Our faculty members continue to be recognized for their excellence. Kristen Fichthorn was named the recipient of the Nanoscale Engineering Forum Award from AIChE. Andrew Zydney was named the winner of the 2020 ACS Award in Separations Science and Technology. Antonios Armaou was promoted to the rank of Professor this year and Esther Gomez was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. We were again well represented in the recent 2019 College of Engineering awards. Seong Kim received the Premier Research Award, Andrew Zydney received the Outstanding Research Award (the 6th consecutive year a ChE faculty member has won this award), and Esther Gomez received the Outstanding Teaching Award.

And on top of all of this, we have the greatest alumni in the country! The ChE Alumni Society held its second annual Alumni Workshop on campus on a beautiful fall day. The afternoon was invested in networking and advancing plans for better connecting students and alumni through mentoring programs and guest lectures in classes, to name a few examples.

As always, do stay in touch with the department and reach out when you plan to be on campus.

Phil Savage, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering



The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574