Donahue quoted on COVID-19 spread
KDKA CBS Pittsburgh

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was quoted in KDKA on coronavirus spread. There is evidence for inside transmission. “Those particles, they can float around literally for days,” says Donahue. “The more fresh air you get in a room, the more diluted those (virus) particles are going to be.”

Jen and Sullivan quoted on coronavirus
Shared Air Podcast

ChemE’s Coty Jen and MechE’s Ryan Sullivan appeared on MechE’s Albert Presto’s podcast, Shared Air, on the role of masks in the coronavirus pandemic. They also discussed how coronavirus spreads. “We’re taking a lot of clues about how other viruses are spread,” Jen said. “There’s a lot of evidence coming out that...really strongly points to airborne transmission.”


Biegler receives Humboldt award
Humboldt Foundation

ChemE’s Larry Biegler has received a Humboldt Research Award, which recognizes the recipient’s achievements over the course of their academic career, and celebrates the significant impacts they’ve had on their discipline. Biegler is being recognized for his outstanding research in nonlinear dynamic optimization, and his valuable contributions to control theory and its applications in complex chemical processes. As part of the award, Biegler will travel to the Technical University of Berlin to further develop methods for optimal control of chemical plants and simultaneous solution methods for optimization under uncertainty. 


Ulissi quoted on material design

ChemE’s Zach Ulissi was quoted in Wired on material design. Researchers from the University of Toronto teamed up with Ulissi, who specializes in using algorithms to invent new materials. Conventionally, says Ulissi, “it has been really difficult to search wide swaths of materials.” These computer-based methods provide researchers with a faster and more comprehensive strategy for discovering new materials.

Donahue featured on smog
Multiple Sources

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was featured on a Nature podcast and in C&EN on atmospheric smog. In densely populated cities, concentrations of relatively large airborne particles can be more than 100 times as high as those in rural locations. To sort out this atmospheric puzzle, a team including Donahue conducted a series of experiments in a controlled-atmosphere chamber. The team tested components of big-city air pollution and probed the gases’ behavior over a range of temperatures.


Robinson on remote education

ChemE Head Anne Robinson was quoted in Fortune discussing how teachers of different age groups are adapting to teaching in during the pandemic. While many teachers of younger students expressed how the loss of physical contact, as well as the limited internet access of some students, has hindered the learning experience, Robinson also notes that graduate students require the same care as middle schoolers. “Students may be isolated from peers or in different time zones, so making sure they are doing OK mentally, physically, and intellectually is extremely vital,” said Robinson. “The regular social interaction of residential education is critical for graduate and postdoctoral students.”

College of Engineering students earn NSF GRFP awards
National Science Foundation

Several students in the College of Engineering have earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program awards, and some have received honorable mention. Congratulations to the following students: 

Award Honorees

Susana Beltrán (MechE)
Kevin Dai (MechE)
Xining Gao (BME)
Anatoliy Kuznetsov (ChemE)
Victor Rodriguez (EPP)
Varun Shankar (MechE)
Shivani Shukla (BME)
Angela Yang (BME) 
Jessica Yin (MechE)

Honorable Mention

Alexander Bills (MechE)
Jacob Brenneman (MechE)
Emma Clement (CEE)
Nolen Keeys (MechE)
Ryan Yeh (MechE)

Ydstie named finalist in American-Made Solar Prize Round 2 Set!
Scott Institute

ChemE’s B. Erik Ydstie was named a finalist in American-Made Solar Prize Round 2 Set! for his work on continuous silicon wafer production. The Solar Prize encourages the rapid development of innovative solar energy solutions capable of addressing the tough challenges facing the solar industry. Winning teams received $100,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers for their technologies.


Bettinger, Dahl, and Zhang named AIMBE Fellows

BME/MSE’s Christopher Bettinger, BME/ChemE’s Kris Dahl, and MechE’s Jessica Zhang have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)’s College of Fellows, Class of 2020. Bettinger and Zhang were nominated by BME Head Bin He; Dahl was nominated by Professor Joyce Wong at Boston University. The fellowship is an honorific designation, and fellows are expected to contribute to AIMBE’s critical mission to advance excellence and advocate for the medical and biological engineering fields. Zhang has also been elected as an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow (2019).


Robinson named to National Academies study committee
Chemical Engineering

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Chemical Science and Technology (BCST) has announced the provisional committee of a new study, “Chemical Engineering in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities,” that will analyze the status of the field. Anne Skaja Robinson, Department Head of Chemical Engineering, has been named a member of the committee.



Ydstie among Solar Prize Round 2 Semifinalists
Scott Institute

ChemE’s B. Erik Ydstie has been named a Round 2 Semifinalist of the American-Made Solar Prize, which is organized by the Department of Energy. Ydstie will receive a cash prize for his innovation, “Continuous Silicon Wafer Production.” The Scott Institute has collaborated with Ydstie on his research, as well as other researchers named to the semifinalist list. The Solar Prize is a $3 million prize competition that aims to incentivize U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs to rapidly discover, research, iterate, and deliver new solar solutions to the market.

Wayne featured on PBS News Hour’s Brief but Spectacular
PBS Newshour

ChemE’s Elizabeth Wayne was featured on PBS News Hour’s Brief but Spectacular about the importance of representation and being a role model.

Jayan and Ulissi named Scott Institute Fellows

MechE’s B. Reeja Jayan and ChemE’s Zack Ulissi have been named Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation Energy Fellows. They were inducted in a ceremony on Sept. 18. The Scott Institute Energy Fellows Program promotes and rewards the university’s most dedicated energy faculty. Each fellow receives funding and membership in the Scott Institute Fellow Council.


Engineering staff nominated for Andy Awards
Carnegie Mellon University

The Andy Awards honor staff members and teams whose work has had a significant on the university. This year, 14 staff members from the College of Engineering were nominated across four categories.  

  • Commitment to Excellence: INI’s Jessica Becker and ChemE’s Julie Tilton
  • Commitment to Students: INI/SV’s Cindy Annett 
  • Spirit: INI’s Nancy Doyle
  • Teamwork and Collaboration:
    • CyLab’s Terri Deasy, INI’s Jessica Shirly, and INI’s Christa Jones as part of the CMU WICys team
    • ECE’s Marika Weiler, Dante Boni, James Orsvanis, Mason Risley, Norman Gottron, and Matthew Moneck as part of the Nanofab team
    • MechE’s Charlie Gaglione as part of the Student Activities team

College of Engineering ACS Scholars announced

Congratulations to the College of Engineering’s class of 2020 Andrew Carnegie Society (ACS) Scholars, listed below. ACS Scholars are undergraduate seniors selected by their deans and department heads for their academic excellence, volunteerism, leadership, and involvement in student organizations, athletics, or the arts.

  • Frank Andujar Lugo, MechE/EPP
  • Joseph Brauch, ChemE/Music Composition
  • Taylor Brown, CEE/EPP
  • Michael Fernandez, BME/MechE
  • Sarika Hegde, CEE
  • Julianne Igbokwe, MechE/Applied Physics
  • Keith Kozlosky, MSE
  • Joel Miller, ECE
  • Sarah Park, ECE/BME
  • Talia Solomon, BME/ChemE


Donahue will give lectures at AAAR and AGU
Earth and Space Science News

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue has been named a Fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). He will give a plenary lecture at the AAAR meeting at Portland in October. Additionally, Donahue has been selected to attend the 2019 section of American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest earth and space science society. He will give the Jule Gregory Charney Lecture, which is presented annually to a scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the understanding of weather and climate.

DOE awards Litster and partners $3.7M for fuel cell tech research
Department of Energy

MechE’s Shawn Litster is involved in two new projects on fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicles, which are both funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). Litster will lead a $2 million award that looks into polymers for fuel cell electrodes. His partners for this project include ChemE’s Zachary Ulissi, Ballard Power, and Chemours. The second project, led by Nikola Motor, aims at advancing the assembly development of fuel cell membrane electrode.


Gellman selected as an international guest chair at UPPA in France

ChemE’s Andrew Gellman was recently selected to hold a five-year international guest chair as part of the Energy and Environment Solutions (E2S) Initiative at the University of Pau and the Pays de I’Ardour (UPPA) in France. Gellman will collaborate with scientists at UPPA to conduct research related to energy and the environment. His research expertise includes chemical reactions on surfaces, catalysis, and the conversion of molecules from one form to another. This collaboration is supported by the E2S regional initiative.