Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering graduate students and members of the Graduate Student Advisory Council organized the 11th annual graduate research symposium that took place October 26, 2012.

During the symposium, there were eight poster presentations and 10 oral presentations given by students. Topics covered included synthetic biology, microfluidics, tissue engineering, catalysis, and fundamental polymer physics.

This year’s symposium judges included some who created the symposium when they were graduate students. The judges were chemical engineering alumni and industry leaders including Eric Hukkanen (Ph.D. ’04), from The Dow Chemical Company, Eric Choban (Ph.D. ’04), from DuPont, Mohan Karulkar (Ph.D. ’07), from the Ford Motor Company and Neel Varde (Ph.D. ’04), from Roquette.

Danielle Mai, a ChemE graduate student and one of the organizers of the event, said they enjoyed having the alums return who had helped start the symposium. “It was neat to see the process come full circle by having them back to participate again,” she said.

Mai said the event allows students to share their research and learn about ongoing research in the department. “We often get caught up on our own specific projects, so it’s a nice opportunity to take a step back and see everything else that’s going on,” she said. “The symposium also provides a great networking opportunity with professors as well as our judges from industry.”

Congratulations to the winners.

Poster Presentations

First Place: Ritika Mohan (advisor Dr. Paul Kenis), “A Combinatorial Microfluidic Approach for Point-of-Care Applications.”

Second Place: Sudipto Guha (advisor Dr. Paul Kenis), “X-ray Compatible Microfluidic Platforms for Screening, Crystallization and Structure Determination of Proteins.”

Third Place: Molly Jhong (advisor Dr. Paul Kenis), “Catalyst and Electrode Design for CO2 Electrolysis to Value-added Products.”

Oral Presentations

First Place: Yunzi Luo (advisor Dr. Huimin Zhao), “Apply a Synthetic Biology Approach to Demystify the Target Cryptic Pathway for Novel Natural Product Discovery.”

Second Place: Maryam Sayyah (advisor Dr. Ken Suslick), “Composite Metal Oxide Materials Synthesized by Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis for CO2 Capture.”

Third Place: Sachit Goyal (advisor Dr. Paul Kenis), “Solvent Compatible Microfluidic Platforms for Solid Form Screening of Pharmaceutical Parent Compounds.”