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.

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.

Wayne quoted in The Atlantic on cancer treatment
The Atlantic

On a panel at Aspen Ideas: Health, BME/Chem E’s Elizabeth Wayne pointed out that many current cancer treatments were derived from things originally intended to kill people. “A lot of our drugs are warfare drugs that we’re just hoping people don’t die from afterward,” said Wayne. Now, many doctors and researchers are working on immunotherapies to wipe out cancers while minimizing the patients’ suffering. Wayne and other engineers are developing a technology named CAR T-cell therapy. T-cells are on the front line of our immune system, and the researchers are exploring ways to extract them from patients and optimize them to find and fight cancer cells.

Donahue comments on U.S. air quality and environmental regulations
The Associated Press

EPP/ChemE’s Neil Donahue was recently quoted by The Associated Press in an article concerning U.S. air quality and changes in environmental policies. Federal data shows that the U.S. had more polluted air days over the last two years than a few years earlier. Over recent decades, regulations that limit emissions from factories and vehicles have helped improve air quality; however, the Trump administration has started to loosen these rules. If regulations on coal plants, cars, and other emissions are relaxed, the air quality will deteriorate, said Donahue. “There is zero reasonto expect any other outcome,” he added.


Donahue on recent slip in U.S. air quality
Associated Press

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was quoted by the Associated Press about the recent slip in U.S. air quality after decades of steady improvement. Particularly compared to air quality from 2013 to 2016, the air quality in 2017 and 2018 was distinctly unhealthier. This is due to a variety of factors, both natural and manmade. With the Trump administration’s pending policy on emissions that will likely loosen regulations, Donahue believes that U.S. air quality will only continue to deteriorate. “There is zero reason to expect any other outcome,” he said.


Donahue elevated to University Professors
CMU News

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was among the Carnegie Mellon faculty recently elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can achieve. Donahue was nominated and recommended by now-fellow University Professors. Donahue said, “This is a huge honor.”

College of Engineering’s Celebration of Education Awards announced

Congratulations to the College of Engineering’s 2019 recipients of the Celebration of Education Awards, which recognize individuals who exemplify excellence in teaching, advising, and mentoring.

  • Rosalyn Abbott, BME (Wimmer Faculty Fellow)
  • Peter Adams, CEE/EPP (Teaching Innovation Award)
  • Phil Campbell, BME (Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award)
  • Andrea Francioni Rooney, CEE (Academic Advising Award)
  • Rebecca Taylor, MechE (Wimmer Faculty Fellow)
  • Zachary Ulissi, ChemE (Wimmer Faculty Fellow)


Baranowski and Suzuki accept summer internships with Covestro thanks to Rethink The Rink 2019

ChemE junior Joanna Baranowski and MechE junior Ian Suzuki will be interning with Covestro as an outcome of their participation in Rethink the Rink 2019. The summer internships are extremely competitive and will allow the students to fully realize the best elements of each solution proposed during the make-a-thon in a finished product intended to improve safety of ice hockey athletes.

Eight faculty receive Scott Institute seed grants for energy research
Scott Institute

The Scott Institute recently selected awardees from the College of Engineering for its seventh round of seed grants for energy research. The eight recipients include CEE’s Matteo Pozzi; ChemE’s Ignacio Grossman; ECE’s James Bain and Gauri Joshi; MechE’s Alan McGaughey and Venkat Viswanthan; and EPP’s Katie Whitefoot and Granger Morgan. They will receive a combined total of half a million dollars to conduct research in key energy topics including emerging information technology, advances in high-performance materials, and natural gas solutions.

Grossmann ranked among the Top Scientists in Computer Science

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann has been ranked 53rd in the world among the Top Scientists in Computer Science by Guide2Research. These rankings are based on their H-index number—a metric that measures the citation impact of a researcher’s publications (H published papers that have been cited at least H times). Grossmann, who has an H-index of 115, is ranked alongside four other past and present CMU researchers in the top 100 in the world: Herbert Simon, Takeo Kanade, Christos Faloutsos, and Alex Smola. In addition to his world ranking, Grossmann is also ranked 38th in the United States.


Whitehead profiled on breast milk-drug delivery research
Chemical & Engineering News

ChemE’s Katie Whitehead was recently profiled by Chemical & Engineering News about her innovative research to one day engineer the cells in breast milk to deliver drugs to sick babies. With her team, Whitehead is currently working with goat milk for the study, with mice in the role of babies. She hopes one day to use breast milk to prevent and cure diseases and fix genetic defects. For this out-of-the-box idea, Whitehead won the National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award last year.

Donahue on the Green New Deal
The Hill

In an opinion piece for The Hill, ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue writes that the recently introduced Green New Deal is viable and necessary for the U.S. to combat current environmental issues at the federal level. He argues that lawmakers must eliminate fossil fuel emissions and turn to electric systems that will require investment in new infrastructure, as well as a carbon tax, which is most definitely possible but not without its potential challenges. Most importantly, Donahue emphasizes the importance of communication between partisan lawmakers. “In order for the Green New Deal to begin to make an impact, however, politicians on both sides of the aisle are going to have to get behind it—which is largely dependent on how these pros and cons are communicated, both to lawmakers and to the general public,” he writes.

Whitehead wins ASEE McGraw Research Award

ChemE’s Kathryn Whitehead has won the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Curtis W. McGraw Research Award. This award recognizes outstanding early achievements by young engineering researchers, and is given to encourage the continuance of outstanding research. Whitehead is a leader in the area of drug delivery, particularly as it relates to nucleic acid and oral protein delivery. She is widely recognized for breakthroughs that include highly-effective, low toxicity behavior for intestinal patches, polymer-protein conjugates, fruit-derived intestinal permeation enhancers, and high-throughput methods for nanoparticle-based RNA delivery to treat many diseases including atherosclerosis, liver cancer, and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The McGraw Research Award will be presented at the ASEE’s Engineering Research Council Annual Conference in Washington, DC on March 12, 2019.