Two chemical engineering faculty members receive promotions


By Jamie Oberdick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two faculty members in the Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering have received promotions in academic rank, effective July 1.

The department promoted Esther Gomez to associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering with tenure. Gomez’s research focuses on how mechanical signals control cells and on characterization of the structure of assemblies of biological molecules. She also is co-director of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program focused on the integration of biology and materials in chemical engineering, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Gomez received the prestigious NSF Early Career (CAREER) Award in 2018. NSF CAREER awards aim to support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

“Esther’s research provided a clearer picture of how mechanical and chemical signals affect the response of cells, which can be important in understanding the progression of diseases,” said Philip Savage, chemical engineering department head and Walter L. Robb Family Endowed Chair. “In addition, it helped to clarify the structure of complex biological materials.”

Gomez joined the Department of Chemical Engineering faculty as an assistant professor in 2011.

Antonios Armaou was promoted to professor of chemical engineering and mechanical engineering effective July 1, 2018. Armaou’s research focuses on process dynamics and control, computational modeling and applied mathematics, and process design and analysis. This work includes multiscale modeling of HIV, including development of optimal mediation schedules for HIV, and the development of biologically relevant tumor progression models for more efficient cancer treatment.

Armaou also is the recipient of the 2014 O. Hugo Schuck Award. The award is given to recognize the best two papers presented at the previous American Control Conference, a gathering of international researchers and practitioners in all areas related to the engineering and science of control systems.

Savage praised Armaou for his ability to form partnerships among researchers of different disciplines that push research forward.

“Antonios built a leading research program and network of international collaborations for solving optimization problems for chemical and biological processes with multiscale objectives,” Savage said.

Armaou joined the Department of Chemical Engineering faculty as an assistant professor in 2002.


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Megan Lakatos

Esther Gomez


Antonios Armaou
Antonios Armaou. IMAGE: PENN STATE



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