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Materials Research Institute names 2022 Roy Award Winners


Seven Penn State materials researchers have received the 2022 Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award, including five in the College of Engineering.

Engineering community mourns death of Professor Janna Maranas


The Penn State College of Engineering community is mourning the sudden loss of Janna Maranas, professor of chemical engineering, who died on Nov. 3 at the age of 57.

FDA-approved cholesterol medicine may help prevent antibiotic resistance


A Penn State-led multidisciplinary collaboration may have found a solution for antibiotic resistance in cholestyramine, an oral drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce cholesterol levels and remove bile acids associated with liver diseases.

Collaborative grant to advance granular biomaterial-surgical applications


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Penn State College of Engineering, and co-principal investigator Dino Ravnic, associate professor of surgery at Penn State College of Medicine and Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Regenerative Medicine and Surgical Sciences, were awarded a one-year, $801,134 NIH grant to advance biomaterial-surgical applications.

Penn State chemical engineering alumnus establishes early career professorship


Chemical engineering alumnus Michael Griffin and his wife, Nikki, established a $400,000 endowment to establish the Michael and Nikki Griffin Early Career Professorship in Chemical Engineering to support a faculty member in the first years of their academic career. The endowment includes a $100,000 matching gift from Penn State.

Researchers to engineer synthetic anaerobic bacteria to capture, convert methane


Researchers at Penn State and the University of Arizona will use a four-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to employ a synthetic version of these bacteria in a system for capturing and converting methane at its source.

Penn State shares $25M DOE grant to study climate change impacts and adaptation


Penn State was named a collaborating institution in a $66 million U.S. Department of Energy Urban Integrated Field Program designed to study the impacts of climate change on American cities. Bruce Logan, Evan Pugh University Professor and Kappe Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is one of 21 Penn State faculty members working on the grant.

Penn State ranks 31st among national public universities in U.S. News ranking


Penn State ranked 22 out of 212 schools in "Best Engineering Programs" at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. The University also ranked well in a number of engineering specialties.

Electricity-driven water purification method may extend to saltier waters


Engineering researchers have received a $570,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to improve upon membrane capacitive deionization, a portable, lightweight, and easy to operate water purification method that has the potential to desalinate seawater.

Media mention: ‘Novel hydrogel bioink improves 3D-printed biomaterials’


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, and his team's research were recently featured in a BioTechniques article.

International award recognizes engineer for cellulose research contributions


Seong Kim, Distinguished Professor in Chemical Engineering and associate head of the department at Penn State, was named this year’s recipient of the Hayashi Jisuke Prize from the Cellulose Society of Japan. The award is given to “up-and-coming researchers from Japan and overseas who are making significant contributions to the development of cellulose science and technology” and who also promote “efforts in international exchange activities,” according to the Cellulose Society’s website. Kim was the only researcher recognized this year.

New granular hydrogel bioink could expand possibilities for tissue bioprinting


Penn State researchers have developed a novel nanoengineered granular hydrogel bioink that could be used to to develop biomaterials that can be three-dimensionally (3D) printed as complex organ shapes, capable of hosting cells and forming tissues.

Paula Garcia Todd: ‘I Engineer Representation’


The “I Engineer” campaign highlights excellence across Penn State’s College of Engineering and how the college is made stronger by the diversity of perspectives, experiences and backgrounds of those in the engineering community. Featured here is chemical engineering alumna Paula Garcia Todd, global strategic manager of pharma solutions for International Flavors & Fragrances.

Compost to computer: Bio-based materials used to salvage rare earth elements


Penn State chemical engineering researchers used micro- and nanoparticles created from the organic materials like corncobs and tomato peels to capture rare earth elements from aqueous solutions.

Researchers to assess environmental impact of meat alternative production


Motif FoodWorks connected with Penn State Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Rui Shi after learning that chemical engineering senior students completed preliminary designs for heme protein production during their capstone design course. Motif awarded Shi a $125,000 grant to explore the environmental impacts of two of Motif’s products: HEMAMITM protein, used in the company’s plant-based burgers, and APPETEXTM, which mimics the texture of animal tissue.

Penn State engineering ranks highly in Academic Ranking of World University Subjects


Penn State ranks in the top 50 in 16 subject area rankings — two of which are from the College of Engineering — and in the top 100 in the world in an additional 14 subjects — including three related to the College of Engineering — according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Interim associate vice president for research named


Phillip Savage, currently the head of Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been named interim associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives in the Penn State Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR), effective Aug. 22.

Faculty member to participate in National Academy of Engineering symposium


Hee Jeung Oh, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Penn State, is one of 84 early-career engineers selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)’s Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering 2022 U.S.-based symposium.

Five engineering graduate students awarded 2022 NASA Space Grant Fellowships


Five College of Engineering graduate students have received 2022 NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant awards and been named graduate fellows.

Eight Penn State engineering students receive Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowships


Eight Penn State engineering graduate students received the Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship in Entrepreneurship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Professor emeritus reflects on 55 years of service in chemical engineering


Emeritus Ron Danner has departed Penn State after 55 years as teacher, mentor and researcher in the chemical engineering field.

Scientists devise method to help prevent hospital infections


A research team led by Penn State and the University of California, Los Angeles, developed a novel surface treatment for medical devices such as catheters to help prevent hospital infections from bacterial films that can form on these devices.

Media mention: ‘Nanomaterials design reduces off-target effects of cancer drugs'


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, discusses nanomaterials research to combat the severe side-effects of chemotherapy drugs.

Engineering students awarded Department of Defense SMART scholarship


Three Penn State engineering students have received Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation scholarships from the U.S. Department of Defense.  

Institute awards seed grants for computational, data science projects


Penn State’s Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) has awarded eight new seed grants to bolster computational and data science research projects throughout the University. The support will benefit researchers from five Penn State campuses studying topics ranging from weather prediction, to forecasting mortgage loan closures, to exploring engineering approaches for battery materials.

2022 Guentter Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award finalists, winner named


Penn State University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College recognized the 11th annual finalist presentations and winner of the recently endowed Robert F. Guentter Jr. Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award on Thursday, May 5, immediately following the three finalists’ presentations:

Chemical engineer honored with national ‘Outstanding Young Investigator’ award


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Penn State, was selected to receive the American Chemical Society’s 2022 Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid & Surfactant Science.

Six Penn State engineering students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


The National Science Foundation has selected five current Penn State College of Engineering students as 2022 awardees for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and one College of Engineering student for an honorable mention.

Precise control of atomic arrangement may mean less waste in producing plastic


Efficient, customizable catalytic reactions — where two metals are combined using a catalyst, or molecule that remains unchanged during a reaction — are an attractive alternative to fossil fuels when manufacturing plastics. Researchers have found a way to make catalytic reactions less wasteful by controlling the placement of each atom on the catalyst surface.

Five engineering students recognized with University-wide awards


Penn State recently honored five Penn State engineering undergraduate students in recognition of their academic excellence, outstanding leadership and meritorious service. The University’s 2022 student award recipients exemplify best practices and achievements among students, reflecting the University's mission of teaching, research and service.

Chemical engineer named "Young Investigator" by international society's polymer division


Christian Pester, Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering, was named to the 2022 class of the American Chemistry Society's Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Young Investigators.

First round of funded projects announced from the Benkovic Research Initiative


The first round of projects to receive seed funding from the Patricia and Stephen Benkovic Research Initiative has been announced.

Materials Research Institute announces 2022 seed grant recipients


The Penn State Materials Research Institute has announced the 2022 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for the exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering.

2022 spring student marshal: Brandon Perdue


Brandon Perdue has been named the spring 2022 student marshal for chemical engineering.

Chemical engineering alumna stands tall at Smithsonian Institution


Paula Garcia Todd, Penn State chemical engineering alumna, was featured in #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit, presented by Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ IF/THEN Initiative. This exhibit comprises 120 life-size, 3D-printed statues of women innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), making it the most statues of real women ever assembled together.

College of Engineering adds 15 faculty members


The Penn State College of Engineering has added 15 faculty members this semester, with 11 tenured or tenure-line members and four non-tenure-line members.

Eleven alumni to receive College of Engineering’s highest honor


Eleven Penn State engineering graduates will be honored on April 4 at the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony at Hyatt Place State College. Charlie Blenko, an undergraduate student majoring in civil engineering, will serve as the event’s emcee.

Chemical engineering alumna receives Alumni Achievement Award


Sienna Helfrich, a 2014 chemical engineering graduate, was selected to receive the Alumni Achievement Award from the Penn State Alumni Association. Awardees are nominated by an academic college or campus and invited by the president of the University to share their expertise with students and the Penn State community, according to the press release.

New method purifies hydrogen from heavy carbon monoxide mixtures


Many industrial processes require purified hydrogen, but separating that hydrogen from a mix of other gases can be difficult. Penn State researchers propose using an electrochemical hydrogen pump to separate the hydrogen quickly and cost-effectively.

2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award: Colleen S. Pritchett


Colleen S. Pritchett, president of Hexcel Corporation, Americas Aerospace, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award by the Penn State College of Engineering.

Ezra Clark joins Department of Chemical Engineering


Ezra Clark joined Penn State as an assistant professor of chemical engineering on Jan. 1. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Gina Noh joins Department of Chemical Engineering


Gina Noh joined Penn State as an assistant professor of chemical engineering on Jan. 1. She came to Penn State from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich where she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow.

New tool can predict material properties from chemical structure


An international collaboration led by Penn State researchers has developed a new tool to reduce the time and resources involved in determining which materials can be best applied in wearable technology, including biomedical devices.

Researchers find crystalline porous material can exist in one dimension


Xueyi Zhang, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and his doctoral student, Xinyang Yin, contributed to a study led by researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Stockholm University that revealed crystalline porous materials widely used to produce chemicals, fuels and more can exist in one-dimensional nanotubular shapes. Called zeolites, the materials were previously only produced in two or three dimensions.

Shell technology integration manager receives early career award for alumni


Penn State alumnus Adam Mayernick is the recipient of the Department of Chemical Engineering’s 2021 Early Career Alumni Recognition Award.

2022 NSF CAREER Award: Chris Arges


Chris Arges, associate professor of chemical engineering at Penn State, earned a five-year, $570,030 NSF CAREER Award for a project titled, “Electrochemical pumping with high-temperature ionomers for challenging gas separations.”

2022 NSF CAREER Award: Christian Pester


Christian Pester, Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering at Penn State, earned a five-year, $500,000 NSF CAREER Award for a project titled “Photocatalytic optical fibers.”

Chemical engineering professor named fellow of North American Membrane Society


The North American Membrane Society recently named Andrew Zydney, Penn State professor of chemical engineering, a fellow. He is being honored for his contributions to the society over a span of 30 years.

Nine engineers recognized with $5.5 million in NSF early career awards


Nine faculty members in Penn State’s College of Engineering earned National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards. Each project funded ranges in duration from three and a half to five years, with grants from roughly $500,000 to more than $800,000.

Media mention: 'Customizing alloy catalysts for hydrogenation'


Michael Janik, associate department head and professor of chemical engineering, and Robert Roiux, Friedrich G. Helfferich Professor of Chemical Engineering, were quoted in an article on c&en, "Customizing alloy catalysts for hydrogenation."

Media mention: ‘Improve millions of lives’ through biomedical stroke rehabilitation


Amir Sheiki, Penn State assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering and principal investigator for the Bio-Soft Materials Laboratory, and Juliana Dominick, former undergraduate research assistant at Penn State, were quoted in an article published by the Daily Collegian on Feb. 18.

Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory capstone project winners announced


The College of Engineering Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory showcases for the fall 2021 semester took place virtually from Dec. 10 – 17 and in-person on Dec. 7. Students in the senior capstone design courses presented the culmination of their semester-long projects at the events.

Media mention: Can super-fast battery charging fix the electric car?


Chao-Yang Wang, professor and Diefenderfer Chair in the Penn State Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, was quoted in an article published by Wired on Feb. 9. Read more:

Benkovics support pioneering research in chemistry and the life sciences


The Patricia and Stephen Benkovic Research Initiative is a University-wide funding mechanism designed to directly support fresh, bold research projects at the interface of chemistry and the life sciences. Nikki Crowley, assistant professor of biology and biomedical engineering, Scott Medina, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering, were funded in the first awarding cohort.

Researchers aim to improve stroke recovery with new granular biomaterials


Now, researchers at Penn State and The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation and the University of California Los Angeles are developing novel biomaterials to target post-stroke immune response and promote new blood vessel and axon — the part of the neuron that carries nerve impulses away from the cell’s processing center — formation at the site of the stroke.

Penn State awarded $3.4 million contract to target plastic waste


Penn State has been awarded a $3.4 million contract from the REMADE Institute, a public-private partnership established by the United States Department of Energy, to fund research targeting the inefficient methods currently used to process and upcycle mixed plastic waste.

Engineered nanomaterial captures off-target cancer drug to prevent tissue damage


Standard chemotherapies may efficiently kill cancer cells, but they also pose significant risks to healthy cells, resulting in secondary illness and a diminished quality of life for patients.

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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

Phone: 814-865-2574