2022

September


Donahue to receive American Chemical Society Award
American Chemical Society

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue will receive the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science at the ACS Spring 2023 meeting in Indianapolis. The award encourages creativity in research and technology or methods of analysis to provide a scientific basis for informed environmental control decision-making processes. Donahue is being recognized for developing the Volatility Basis Set (VBS), which has become one of the main tools to understand and describe the chemistry and physics of organic aerosols in the atmosphere.


Gomes named to “Talented 12” rising stars in chemistry
Chemical & Engineering News

ChemE’s Gabriel Gomes was named one of Chemical & Engineering News’ “Talented 12” rising stars in chemistry, which recognizes “early-career researchers in the chemical sciences who are fearlessly tackling difficult global problems.” Gomes was recently the recipient of a 2022 Scott Institute Seed Grant. The awarded project aims to make advancements in green chemistry by improving sustainable processes in catalysis science.


Panagakos receives funding for carbon-capture research
Science and Technology

ChemE’s Grigorios Panagakos has received funding from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program. The three-year project will involve work with other researchers at CMU to model designs to scale-up the carbon absorption process.


August


Donahue quoted on Allegheny County’s bid to be a “clean hydrogen hub”
Public Source

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was quoted on the proposal to make Pennsylvania the host of one of four clean hydrogen hubs nationwide. “Hydrogen is another form of energy storage, like batteries,” Donahue says. “The question is where does the energy required to produce hydrogen come from?” Donahue suggests that we should instead be focusing on funneling resources to renewable energy.


Donahue quoted in article on adding butane to gasoline
WTAE

ChemE’s Neil Donahue was interviewed for a WTAE article on the possible environmental impacts of the White House proposal to put butane in gasoline in an effort to reduce gas prices. The article explains that butane evaporates extremely fast “The fact that it likes to evaporate from the gasoline instead of going through the engine is what makes it a serious thing when it comes to ozone pollution,” said Neil Donahue, “We pay in people getting sick.”


July


Khair earns AES Electrophoresis Society Mid-Career Award
AES Electrophoresis Society

ChemE’s Aditya Khair will be awarded this year’s AES Electrophoresis Society Mid-Career Award at the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies’ 2022 SciX Conference. The award acknowledges exceptional contributions to the field of electrophoresis, microfluidics, and related areas by an individual who is currently in the middle of their career. The nomination points to Khair’s internationally recognized research at the leading edge of theoretical fluid mechanics, as well as his outstanding mentorship and service to the AES and other organizations.


June


Scott Institute announces 2022 seed grants for five projects
Scott Institute

The Scott Institute has announced its latest seed grant awards worth $1.42 million to five research projects led by CMU Engineering faculty. This is the 10th annual round of grants awarded by the Scott Institute. Funding recipients include CEE’s Corey Harper, ChemE’s Gabriel dos Passos Gomes and Zachary Ulissi, CMU-Africa/ECE’s Barry Rawn, MechE’s Shawn Litster, and MSE’s Chris Pistorius.


Gounaris named director of new Shared Computing Facility

ChemE’s Chrysanthos Gounaris was named director of the new Shared Computing Facility at the College of Engineering. The on-campus resource is scheduled to operate in full-swing by the spring semester and will be available for use to all students, researchers, and faculty within the college.


May


Ulissi quoted on importance of reaction kinetics
Engineering & Technology Magazine

ChemE’s Zachary Ulissi spoke with Engineering & Technology Magazine about finding a catalyst to replace platinum in chemical reactions. Ulissi highlighted the role of reaction kinetics when testing new materials, saying they “are very important and necessary for more quantitative agreement with experiments.”


April


Biegler inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame
Control Magazine

ChemE’s Lorenz (Larry) Biegler is joining a prestigious list of individuals who have made a significant impact in process automation. Inducted into the 2022 class of Control Magazine’s Hall of Fame by a group of his peers, Biegler is recognized for his excellence, diligence, and influence on the process control industry. Biegler has spent the last 40 years at Carnegie Mellon, during which he’s made significant advancements in computer-aided process engineering, including flowsheet optimization, optimization of systems of differential and algebraic equations, reactor network synthesis, and algorithms for constrained, nonlinear process control, among others.


March


Rethink the Rink winners named
Rethink The Rink

Engineering students made up a majority of the first, second, third, and fourth place winners of this year’s Rethink the Rink make-a-thon, which focused on the “glass” along the ice rink perimeter to improve hockey player safety. These students dedicated their spring break to tackling a real-world problem with mentorship from our industry partners at Covestro and the Pittsburgh Penguins. At this excellent event, students showed off the high-quality education at CMU.

  • 1st Place - Best Overall: ECE senior Brandon Wang, ECE sophomore Luca Garlati, MechE sophomore Isaiah Lerch, and Ebrahim Karam, a master’s student in CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center. 
  • 2nd Place - Most Innovative: ECE junior Aichen Yao, ECE junior Zhichun Zhao, MechE/Physics first-year Betty Wang, and MSE first-year Tracy Wan.
  • 3rd Place - Best Prototype: CEE sophomore Alex Bram, MechE senior Andrew Spoto, MechE junior Daniel Fitzmorris, and MechE sophomore Rose McDermott.
  • 4th Place - Participation: ChemE junior Lucy Spero, III master’s student Tanya Gupta, MechE junior Jeanie Xu, and MSE first-year En Hung.

View the Penguins recap of the event.


February


Biegler awarded 2022 Sargent Medal 
Chemical Engineering

ChemE’s Larry Biegler was recently awarded the 2022 Sargent Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Named after Roger Sargent, the former president of IChemE, former Courtaulds Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, and the founding father of process systems engineering (PSE), the award is considered one of the most prestigious in the field. It is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant recent contribution to research in the area of computer-aided product and process engineering.


Domach published in Water, Environment & Technology
Water Environment Federation

In the Water Environment Federation’s latest edition of Water Environment & Technology, ChemE’s Michael Domach explains how orthophosphate, which is increasingly being added to drinking water for lead corrosion abatement, may affect people and products on the other end of the line.


Collaboration leads to new open-source Python package
Imperial College

ChemE’s Carl Laird teamed up with researchers from Imperial College and Sandia National Labs to develop the new open-source Python package, OMLT, which provides various optimization formulations for machine learning models.


Whitehead featured in Pittsburgh Business Times
Pittsburgh Business Times

In the Pittsburgh Business Times’ latest “Personalities of Pittsburgh” article, Paul Gough sits down with ChemE’s Katie Whitehead to discuss mRNA vaccines, science communication, Whitehead’s hobbies, and more.


January


Robinson’s Alzheimer’s research featured
Technology Networks

ChemE Head Anne Robinson’s research on Alzheimer’s was featured in Technology Networks. Published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Robinson’s latest research paper explains why understanding the progression of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, and its eventual treatment, is much more complex than previously thought. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in America, and it affects one in 10 Americans over the age of 65. This statistic rises to one in three for people over 80. Robinson said, “Many of these models approach the problem from an all-or-nothing standpoint—normal tau protein only goes this way; malformed tau protein only goes that way, or malformed tau enters the cell this way; normal tau another way. However, operating under these models has historically produced seemingly conflicting data; data that researchers who study Alzheimer’s have been hard-pressed to reconcile.” Medical News Today also reported on this research. 


Gomes group publishes article in first edition of Nature Synthesis
Nature Synthesis

ChemE’s Gabe Gomes has published an article in Nature Synthesis on predictably activating C–H and C–C bonds for the synthesis of new materials remains a challenge within the synthetic community. A ternary catalytic dance between radicals, metals, and light may unlock this puzzle.

2021


December


Whitehead quoted on mRNA abilities
BBC

ChemE’s Katie Whitehead was quoted in BBC on the capabilities of mRNA. Despite being believed to be years down the line, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, mRNA vaccinations were quickly brought to the forefront. However, Whiteheads remarks that this was not anticipated. “There weren’t many people in the mRNA therapeutics world who would have imagined 95% initial efficacy rates in this emergency scenario.” This success had lead people to wonder where mRNA technology will go next, with one possible use being to reduce the inflammation response in patients with autoimmune disorders who receive vaccines.


Sudoc named in 10 start-ups to watch
C&EN

Sudoc (Sustainable Ultradilute Oxidation Catalysis) was named one of “C&EN’s 2021 10 Start-Ups to Watch.” MechE’s Ryan Sullivan is a co-founder of the company, which was publicly launched in 2020 and aims to reinvent cleaning supplies, making them both more effective and less damaging to the environment. Sudoc’s inaugural product, the first in its line of Dot-branded products, is a mold-remediation treatment.


November


Wayne co-authors Nature commentary
Nature

ChemE’s Elizabeth Wayne and the University of Florida’s Erika Moore, Josephine Allen, and Connie Mulligan, published an article in Nature arguing the need to consider ancestry in cell samples for medical research because ancestral differences are present in many diseases. Ancestry typically refers to biological or genetic characteristics, but sociocultural factors, such as language and family history, also impact ancestry. The authors say that accounting for a person’s ancestry will improve the effectiveness of treatment for patients of all backgrounds.


October


Grossmann gives keynote talk at 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting

ChemE’s Ignacio Grossmann explained the challenges in the application of mathematical programming approaches to enterprise-wide optimization of process industries at the 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting. His keynote talk provided an overview of major modeling and computational challenges in developing deterministic and stochastic linear/nonlinear mixed-integer optimization models for planning and scheduling for the optimization of plants and entire supply chains involved in enterprise-wide optimization problems.


Ulissi featured in Physics World
Physics World

A feature in Physics World explains how ChemE’s Zachary Ulissi and his group have developed a deep reinforcement learning (DRL) program, dubbed CatGym, used to find the best surface atom configurations for a given chemical reaction.


Biegler receives Long Term Achievements Award

ChemE’s Lorenz Biegler received the Long Term Achievements Award in Computer Aided Process Engineering at this year’s European Congress of Chemical Engineering (ECCE) and European Congress of Applied Biotechnology (ECAB) Conference. Awarded by the European Federation of Chemical Engineering, the Long Term Achievements Award recognizes life-long excellence and contributions to process systems engineering. During the conference, Biegler also presented a keynote lecture titled “Optimization-driven Modeling for Industry 4.0.”


September


Whitehead gives talk at Precision Medicine World Conference
Pittsburgh Business Times

ChemE’s Katie Whitehead presented on lipid nanoparticles in RNA drug delivery at the Precision Medicine World Conference on Friday, September 24. A pioneer and one of the world’s leading reachers on RNA drug delivery, Whitehead says this new technology has implications for many of the world’s diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, and cancer. She believes the breakthrough of mRNA vaccines will enable scientists to create protections against some of the most deadly and feared pathogens, like Malaria, Ebola and HIV.