2024

May


Khair and Tilton gave invited lectures at the Howard Brenner Memorial Symposium

ChemE’s Aditya Khair and Robert Tilton were invited to speak at the Howard Brenner Memorial Symposium, held May 19–21 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The symposium was held to commemorate 10 years since the passing of Dr. Howard Brenner, a renowned expert on fluid mechanics and former faculty member at CMU’s Department of Chemical Engineering from 1966–1977. Khair spoke about the dynamics of emulsions made of fluids with low electric conductivities, and Tilton spoke about surface tension synergy in mixtures of surfactants. The conference also included a keynote address by National Academy of Engineering President John Anderson, former department head of ChemE and former dean of the College of Engineering at CMU.


Donahue ranked on ScholarGPS
ScholarGPS

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue ranked #20 in the aerosol specialty on ScholarGPS. Highly Ranked Scholars™ are identified by career productivity levels (number of publications), as well as the quality and impact of their work.


April


Johnson, Kim, and Stinchfield honored in NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

ChemE undergraduates Sanjay Johnson and Julie Shin Kim were selected as 2024 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows. Ph.D. student Ali Stinchfield received an honorable mention.


March


Coscientist mentioned in article about LLMs for research
Chemical & Engineering News

Research by ChemE’s Gabe Gomes was referenced in a Chemical & Engineering News article about large language models being applied to chemistry and materials research. Gomes’ research team debuted Coscientist, a model that can contribute to the experiment process by answering queries, this past December.


Cue and Usman earn Emerging Researchers National Conference awards

ChemE Ph.D. students Camila Cue and Huda Usman gave oral presentations at the 2024 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM. Cue won 1st place in the Technology and Engineering - Biomedical Engineering track of the graduate oral presentations. Cue and Usman received travel awards from conference hosts the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Inclusive STEM Ecosystems for Equity & Diversity (ISEED) Programs, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Grossmann selected as John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecturer for 2024 AIChE Annual Meeting

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann was selected as the John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecturer for the 2024 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. During the lecture, Grossmann discussed a wide variety of applications for emerging models and algorithms such as mixed-integer linear/nonlinear programming (MILP/MINLP), Generalized Disjunctive Programming (GDP) and global optimization techniques. The review committee was impressed with Grossmann’s extensive technical contributions to the field of process systems engineering, and noted his remarkable accomplishments as a pioneer in the field as both an educator and researcher.


Grossmann receives INFORMS award for paper on hybrid MILP/CP models

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann received the INFORMS Journal of Computing Test of Time Paper Award for 1997-2001 for his work on solving problems through hybrid MILP/CP models. His paper, “Algorithms for Hybrid MILP/CP Models for a Class of Optimization Problems,” is an early application of logic-based Benders decomposition, where the master problem is solved by a mixed-integer program and the subproblems by constraint programming. In addition to its contributions to the considered application, the paper has been instrumental in stimulating significant and substantial research in Benders decomposition, branch and check, and branch and price and check, with applications in many domains including routing and scheduling.


February


Sanchez earns presentation award from AMS

ChemE Ph.D. student Victor Sanchez was the 2nd place winner of the Oral Student Presentation Award at the Conference on Probability and Statistics during the American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting. Sanchez, who works with ChemE's Hamish Gordon, presented "Constraining the Simulated Radiative Effects of Biomass Burning in Southern Africa."


Gomes’ AI tool featured in multiple outlets
Chemical & Engineering News

ChemE’s Gabe Gomes’ new AI tool with complex chemistry capabilities was featured in Chemistry & Engineering News. The program uses the internet and relevant literature to learn about a reaction and, within minutes, produces an outline for the procedure needed to complete the reaction. “We are converting bits to atoms,” Gomes says. “Taking a natural language prompt, the bits, and converting it into an actual chemical reaction.” This work was also featured in Axios, Ars Technica, Psychology Today, and Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.


Miller reflects on Iris rover mission
WPXI

ChemE student Lance Miller speaks with WPXI about his experience as telemetry operator on the Iris lunar rover team. CMU students had to adapt their mission when the moon landing was aborted due to an anomaly with the lander carrying Iris.


2024 Covestro Lecture

Claire Adjiman, professor of chemical engineering, Imperial College London, will give the Covestro Lecture in Process Systems Engineering on February 27, 2024. Dr. Adjiman's talk is titled "Molecular systems engineering for process and product design." The Covestro Lecture Series in Process Systems Engineering recognizes the contributions of the Covestro Corporation in establishing and endowing the Covestro Chair for Chemical Engineering. Lectures are given by internationally recognized speakers who have made significant impact in the field of process systems.


Grossmann on Subject to podcast
Subject to

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann appeared on the Subject to podcast to talk about his life and career. The show features leading researchers in the fields of operations research, combinatorial optimization, and logistics.


Whitehead organizes symposium
Keystone Symposia

ChemE’s Katie Whitehead co-organized the Keystone Symposium on Delivery of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics in Banff, Alberta, Canada in late January. Ph.D. alum Khalid Hajj (2019), postdoc Sai Yerneni, and Ph.D. student Mariah Arral also attended.


2023


December


Grossmann delivers 2023 Distinguished Schiesser Lecture at Lehigh University
Lehigh University

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann delivered the 2023 Distinguished Schiesser Lecture at Lehigh University on December 6th, 2023 as part of the university’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering’s Fall 2023 Colloquium Seminar Series. His presentation was titled “Optimal Synthesis and Planning of Sustainable Chemical Process and Energy Systems.”


November


Donahue comments on Kentucky train derailment fire
AP News

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue comments on a Kentucky train derailment fire in AP News. Sulfur dioxide was thought to be released during the crash, prompting the residents of Rockcastle County to be evacuated. “It is just nasty, caustic, and acidic stuff that hurts. It’s unpleasant to be in,” Donahue says. “Once the fire was put out, the threat from the chemicals was expected to diminish quickly.” Donahue was also featured in The Washington Post on the topic.


Umscheid honored at oSTEM national conference

ChemE student Abigail Umscheid was awarded Best Undergraduate Poster at the Out in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (oSTEM) national conference. Umscheid, who works with ChemE's Daphne Chan, presented "Proteins as Renewable and Biodegradable Fillers in Polymer Composites."


Kailasham honored at AIChE poster competition

ChemE postdoctoral fellow R. Kailasham was awarded 2nd place in the fluid mechanics poster session at the 2023 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) annual meeting. Kailasham, who works with ChemE's Aditya Khair, presented "Dynamics of forced and unforced autophoretic particles."


Arral earns bionanotechnology graduate student award at AIChE

ChemE Ph.D. candidate Mariah L. Arral won 3rd place in the 2023 Bionanotechnology Graduate Student Awards with her talk titled "Accelerated Blood Clearance of Lipid Nanoparticles Occurs Regardless of Formulation." The awards were presented by the Nanoscale Science & Engineering Forum at the 2023 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) annual meeting. Arral works with ChemE's Kathryn Whitehead.


Liu honored at AIChE undergraduate research poster competition

At the 2023 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Student Conference, ChemE student Linda Liu earned 2nd place honors in the materials engineering and science category of the undergraduate research poster competition. Liu presented "Impact of Phase Separation on Marangoni Synergism in Binary Surfactant Mixtures." She was previously recognized as a 2023 Berg Scholar by the Department of Chemical Engineering. Liu works with ChemE's Bob Tilton and Physics' Steve Garoff.


Donahue featured in podcast posted by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Royal Society of Chemistry

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was recently featured in a podcast posted by the Royal Society of Chemistry. In the “Intro to Air Pollution” episode on the show Brought to you by chemistry,  he talks about air quality and how pollution canaffect the body. “Even in places where there have been great improvements in air quality, and I live in one, it’s still a major cause of death. And, in the developing world, it’s a really big issue,” he says.


October


2023 Engineering Andy Award winners
The Piper

The annual Andy Awards ceremony was held on October 18, 2023 where two Engineering staff members and one committee were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the university:

  • Leia Delabahan: Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Justin Dawber: Innovative & Creative Solutions
  • Mechanical Engineering DEI Committee: Gabi Cryster, Annie Harder, Eva Mergner, and Yanika Reid: Teamwork and Collaboration - Standing Team

A huge congratulations to them and the other winners!


Gomes selected to attend new Scialog: Automating Chemical Laboratories meeting
RESCORP

ChemE’s Gabe Gomes has been selected as a fellow to attend the new Scialog: Automating Chemical Laboratories meeting. This collaboration, co-sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, is a three-year initiative that aims to promote innovation in the chemical industry. The interdisciplinary community of fellows seeks to make advances in automated instrumentation and artificial intelligence through their shared expertise in fields of synthetic chemistry including organic, inorganic, materials, and biological.


17 College of Engineering nominees for annual Andy Awards
Carnegie Mellon University

17 College of Engineering staff members were nominated for the annual Andy Awards, which recognize excellence in areas including Commitment to Excellence; Commitment to Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion; Commitment to Students; Innovative and Creative Contributions; Spirit; and Teamwork and Collaboration. Congratulations to the following staff members:

Commitment to Excellence

  • Neil Emmett (rookie) - Mechanical Engineering
  • Elizabeth Clark (veteran) - Materials Science and Engineering
  • Nancy Doyle (veteran) - Information Networking Institute
  • Matthew Moneck (veteran) - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Commitment to DEI 

  • Leia Delabahan - Integrated Innovation Institute
  • Brittany Bristoll - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Commitment to Students

  • Heather Costello - Chemical Engineering
  • Deborah Kuntz - Engineering and Public Policy

Innovative and Creative Contributions 

  • Justin Dawber - Chemical Engineering
  • Chris Hertz - Mechanical Engineering

Spirit

  • Cindy Arnett - Information Networking Institute
  • Lisa Cowling - Mechanical Engineering

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Support Team - Heather Costello and Kristyn Williams
  • Mechanical Engineering DEI Committee Staff Team - Annie Harder, Eva Mergner, Yanika Reid, Gabriele Crytser

September


Donahue comments on climate, environmental safety
ABC News

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue commented on a study that found Earth exceeds its “safe operating space for humanity” in six out of nine categories. However, Donahue said there are things that can be done to fix the problem.


Sekar quoted on EV cyberattacks
The Atlantic

ECE’s Vyas Sekar discussed the potential cyber threats associated with connected electric vehicles. “If the attacker finds a weakness they can compromise a large number of connected cars simultaneously without much cost or effort.”


Donahue comments on “climate havens”
The Hill

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue comments on “climate havens” with The Hill. Cities around the U.S. are marketing themselves as safe places from extreme climate changes; however, experts believe that no place will be immune. “It’s an absurd concept with a grain of truth,” Donahue says.


August


Kitchin to receive the Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education
Chemical Engineering

ChemE’s John Kitchin will receive the Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for his contributions of open-source Python libraries, social media, and scientific publishing tools.


Grossmann ranked on ScholarGPS
ScholarGPS

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann ranked #10 in Chemical Engineering on ScholarGPS. Highly Ranked Scholars™ are identified by productivity levels (number of publications), as well as the quality and impact of their work.


Donahue discusses effects of chemicals from East Palestine train derailment
AP News

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue discusses the effects of vinyl chloride and dioxins from the East Palestine train derailment with AP News. “Vinyl chloride is bad, dioxins are worse as carcinogens and that comes from burning,” he says. Recent testing indicates a low chance of dioxins being released, but environmentalists and Ohio residents are still pushing for the banning of vinyl chloride.


July


Donahue talks smoke, air quality in Pittsburgh
The Hill

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue acknowledges Pittsburgh’s historic reputation as the “Smoky City” while discussing current air quality issues. Donahue compares recent Pittsburgh air quality levels to be “as bad as it was every now and then in 2000, and practically every day in 1974.”


Donahue explains Pittsburgh summer temperatures
The Hill

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue explains Pittsburgh’s cooler summer temperatures in an interview with The Hill. “We are close enough to the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream to get some of the moderation associated with being more coastal,” Donahue says. “We are not all that far north of the Mason-Dixon line, but we are definitely not South.”


Donahue talks Canada wildfire smoke with The Hill
The Hill

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue talks with The Hill about the Canada wildfire smoke and his predictions of when it will dissipate. The incoming rainfall will help flush out the particles in the air, allowing the smoke to disperse in “probably another day or two, according to the forecast,” he says.


Donahue comments on air pollution challenges
Vox

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was quoted by Vox in a story about recent air pollution challenges. “Obviously wildfires occur in nature, but their frequency and their severity and everything else is affected by us, by human activity,” Donahue said.


Jen discusses poor air quality’s impact on health on WPXI Channel 11 News
WPXI Channel 11 News

ChemE’s Coty Jen discusses the poor air quality resulting from the Canadian wildfires and how prolonged exposure can have a serious impact on people’s health on WPXI Channel 11 News. “Basically, anything you breathe in will travel into your bloodstream. So, long-term impacts can be on anything inside your body,” Jen says.


June


Chemical Engineering faculty featured at PASI 2023
PASA 2023

ChemE’s Larry Biegler, Ignacio Grossmann, Carl Laird, and Ana Torres served as instructors and speakers during a four-day intensive course hosted by the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute on Optimization and Data Science for Net-Zero Carbon and Sustainability (PASI) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Donahue talks to Delaware Valley Journal about new carbon sequestration bill
Delaware Valley Journal

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue talks to the Delaware Valley Journal about Pennsylvania’s new bill that focuses on carbon sequestration and storage as a solution for reducing carbon emissions. CO2 gas would be compressed, then stored, in underground rock formations which “have held the gas and oil (and CO2) for millions of years. So shoving new CO2 into them probably would work,” Donahue says.


Donahue discusses air pollution and health risks
Healthline

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was interviewed by Healthline on the health risks of increased particulate matter in the atmosphere due to air pollution. According to Donahue, about 100,000 deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to air pollution each year. Donahue pointed out a particular particle, PM2.5 that he says “causes more than 10% of all deaths around the world.”


Donahue quoted on wildfire emissions
Vox

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was quoted in Vox on wildfires and air pollution in the context of climate change. Donahue said that wildfires are a source of natural emissions, but they can be influenced by humans. “Obviously wildfires occur in nature, but their frequency and their severity and everything else is affected by us, by human activity,” Donahue said.


Laird wins Best Oral presentation award at the ESCAPE 33 meeting in Athens

ChemE’s Carl Laird was awarded Best Oral presentation at the 33rd European Symposium on Computer-Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE 33) in Athens, Greece. His presentation was titled “Optimization of Process Families for Deployment of Carbon Capture Processes using Machine Learning Surrogates.”


Grossmann speaks at World Congress of Chemical Engineering
11th World Congress of Chemical Engineering

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann was an invited plenary speaker at the 11th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, which gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the start of June. Grossmann gave a presentation called “Optimal Synthesis and Planning of Sustainable Chemical Process and Energy Systems.”


Three CMU energy projects receive Scott Institute Seed Grants
Scott Institute

Three CMU-led projects have been awarded seed funding from the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation as a part of the Seed Grants for Energy Research program.

  • EPP’s Paulina Jarmillo will collaborate with ChemE’s Hamish Gordon, CEE’s David Rounce, and EPP Head Peter Adams on their project Climate risk assessment for electricity transmission assets in the U.S.
  • MechE’s Rahul Panat and Burak Ozdoganlar will work alongside ChemE’s Grigorios Panagakos to demonstrate scalable and low-cost manufacture of porous metal-oxide-frameworks for CO2 capture.
  • Additionally, MSE’s Mohadeseh Taheri-Mousavi, Chris Pistorius, and Marc De Graef will enhance understanding of localized plasticity in pure alloys by studying H-embrittlement of high-strength structural alloys.