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Seven Penn State engineering students receive Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowships


Seven Penn State engineering graduate students received the Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship in Entrepreneurship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Professor emeritus reflects on 55 years of service in chemical engineering


Emeritus Ron Danner has departed Penn State after 55 years as teacher, mentor and researcher in the chemical engineering field.

Scientists devise method to help prevent hospital infections


A research team led by Penn State and the University of California, Los Angeles, developed a novel surface treatment for medical devices such as catheters to help prevent hospital infections from bacterial films that can form on these devices.

Media mention: ‘Nanomaterials design reduces off-target effects of cancer drugs'


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, discusses nanomaterials research to combat the severe side-effects of chemotherapy drugs.

Engineering students awarded Department of Defense SMART scholarship


Three Penn State engineering students have received Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation scholarships from the U.S. Department of Defense.  

Institute awards seed grants for computational, data science projects


Penn State’s Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) has awarded eight new seed grants to bolster computational and data science research projects throughout the University. The support will benefit researchers from five Penn State campuses studying topics ranging from weather prediction, to forecasting mortgage loan closures, to exploring engineering approaches for battery materials.

2022 Guentter Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award finalists, winner named


Penn State University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College recognized the 11th annual finalist presentations and winner of the recently endowed Robert F. Guentter Jr. Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award on Thursday, May 5, immediately following the three finalists’ presentations:

Chemical engineer honored with national ‘Outstanding Young Investigator’ award


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Penn State, was selected to receive the American Chemical Society’s 2022 Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid & Surfactant Science.

Six Penn State engineering students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


The National Science Foundation has selected five current Penn State College of Engineering students as 2022 awardees for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and one College of Engineering student for an honorable mention.

Precise control of atomic arrangement may mean less waste in producing plastic


Efficient, customizable catalytic reactions — where two metals are combined using a catalyst, or molecule that remains unchanged during a reaction — are an attractive alternative to fossil fuels when manufacturing plastics. Researchers have found a way to make catalytic reactions less wasteful by controlling the placement of each atom on the catalyst surface.

Five engineering students recognized with University-wide awards


Penn State recently honored five Penn State engineering undergraduate students in recognition of their academic excellence, outstanding leadership and meritorious service. The University’s 2022 student award recipients exemplify best practices and achievements among students, reflecting the University's mission of teaching, research and service.

Chemical engineer named "Young Investigator" by international society's polymer division


Christian Pester, Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering, was named to the 2022 class of the American Chemistry Society's Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Young Investigators.

First round of funded projects announced from the Benkovic Research Initiative


The first round of projects to receive seed funding from the Patricia and Stephen Benkovic Research Initiative has been announced.

Materials Research Institute announces 2022 seed grant recipients


The Penn State Materials Research Institute has announced the 2022 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for the exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering.

2022 spring student marshal: Brandon Perdue


Brandon Perdue has been named the spring 2022 student marshal for chemical engineering.

Chemical engineering alumna stands tall at Smithsonian Institution


Paula Garcia Todd, Penn State chemical engineering alumna, was featured in #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit, presented by Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ IF/THEN Initiative. This exhibit comprises 120 life-size, 3D-printed statues of women innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), making it the most statues of real women ever assembled together.

College of Engineering adds 15 faculty members


The Penn State College of Engineering has added 15 faculty members this semester, with 11 tenured or tenure-line members and four non-tenure-line members.

Eleven alumni to receive College of Engineering’s highest honor


Eleven Penn State engineering graduates will be honored on April 4 at the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony at Hyatt Place State College. Charlie Blenko, an undergraduate student majoring in civil engineering, will serve as the event’s emcee.

Chemical engineering alumna receives Alumni Achievement Award


Sienna Helfrich, a 2014 chemical engineering graduate, was selected to receive the Alumni Achievement Award from the Penn State Alumni Association. Awardees are nominated by an academic college or campus and invited by the president of the University to share their expertise with students and the Penn State community, according to the press release.

New method purifies hydrogen from heavy carbon monoxide mixtures


Many industrial processes require purified hydrogen, but separating that hydrogen from a mix of other gases can be difficult. Penn State researchers propose using an electrochemical hydrogen pump to separate the hydrogen quickly and cost-effectively.

2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award: Colleen S. Pritchett


Colleen S. Pritchett, president of Hexcel Corporation, Americas Aerospace, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award by the Penn State College of Engineering.

Ezra Clark joins Department of Chemical Engineering


Ezra Clark joined Penn State as an assistant professor of chemical engineering on Jan. 1. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Gina Noh joins Department of Chemical Engineering


Gina Noh joined Penn State as an assistant professor of chemical engineering on Jan. 1. She came to Penn State from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich where she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow.

New tool can predict material properties from chemical structure


An international collaboration led by Penn State researchers has developed a new tool to reduce the time and resources involved in determining which materials can be best applied in wearable technology, including biomedical devices.

Researchers find crystalline porous material can exist in one dimension


Xueyi Zhang, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and his doctoral student, Xinyang Yin, contributed to a study led by researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Stockholm University that revealed crystalline porous materials widely used to produce chemicals, fuels and more can exist in one-dimensional nanotubular shapes. Called zeolites, the materials were previously only produced in two or three dimensions.

Shell technology integration manager receives early career award for alumni


Penn State alumnus Adam Mayernick is the recipient of the Department of Chemical Engineering’s 2021 Early Career Alumni Recognition Award.

2022 NSF CAREER Award: Chris Arges


Chris Arges, associate professor of chemical engineering at Penn State, earned a five-year, $570,030 NSF CAREER Award for a project titled, “Electrochemical pumping with high-temperature ionomers for challenging gas separations.”

2022 NSF CAREER Award: Christian Pester


Christian Pester, Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering at Penn State, earned a five-year, $500,000 NSF CAREER Award for a project titled “Photocatalytic optical fibers.”

Chemical engineering professor named fellow of North American Membrane Society


The North American Membrane Society recently named Andrew Zydney, Penn State professor of chemical engineering, a fellow. He is being honored for his contributions to the society over a span of 30 years.

Nine engineers recognized with $5.5 million in NSF early career awards


Nine faculty members in Penn State’s College of Engineering earned National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards. Each project funded ranges in duration from three and a half to five years, with grants from roughly $500,000 to more than $800,000.

Media mention: 'Customizing alloy catalysts for hydrogenation'


Michael Janik, associate department head and professor of chemical engineering, and Robert Roiux, Friedrich G. Helfferich Professor of Chemical Engineering, were quoted in an article on c&en, "Customizing alloy catalysts for hydrogenation."

Media mention: ‘Improve millions of lives’ through biomedical stroke rehabilitation


Amir Sheiki, Penn State assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering and principal investigator for the Bio-Soft Materials Laboratory, and Juliana Dominick, former undergraduate research assistant at Penn State, were quoted in an article published by the Daily Collegian on Feb. 18.

Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory capstone project winners announced


The College of Engineering Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory showcases for the fall 2021 semester took place virtually from Dec. 10 – 17 and in-person on Dec. 7. Students in the senior capstone design courses presented the culmination of their semester-long projects at the events.

Media mention: Can super-fast battery charging fix the electric car?


Chao-Yang Wang, professor and Diefenderfer Chair in the Penn State Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, was quoted in an article published by Wired on Feb. 9. Read more:

Benkovics support pioneering research in chemistry and the life sciences


The Patricia and Stephen Benkovic Research Initiative is a University-wide funding mechanism designed to directly support fresh, bold research projects at the interface of chemistry and the life sciences. Nikki Crowley, assistant professor of biology and biomedical engineering, Scott Medina, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering, were funded in the first awarding cohort.

Researchers aim to improve stroke recovery with new granular biomaterials


Now, researchers at Penn State and The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation and the University of California Los Angeles are developing novel biomaterials to target post-stroke immune response and promote new blood vessel and axon — the part of the neuron that carries nerve impulses away from the cell’s processing center — formation at the site of the stroke.

Penn State awarded $3.4 million contract to target plastic waste


Penn State has been awarded a $3.4 million contract from the REMADE Institute, a public-private partnership established by the United States Department of Energy, to fund research targeting the inefficient methods currently used to process and upcycle mixed plastic waste.

Engineered nanomaterial captures off-target cancer drug to prevent tissue damage


Standard chemotherapies may efficiently kill cancer cells, but they also pose significant risks to healthy cells, resulting in secondary illness and a diminished quality of life for patients.

Grant enables research into catalysts for more sustainable hydrogen production


Fuel cells running on hydrogen gas could serve as a gasoline alternative in cars of the future.

New chemical engineering faculty to explore sustainable fuels, depollution


Two new faculty members will join the Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering. Gina Noh and Ezra Clark will start in their new roles on Jan. 1, 2022.

Salvaging rare earth elements from electronic waste


Manufacturers rely on rare earth elements, like neodymium, to create strong magnets used in motors for electronics including hybrid cars, aircraft generators, loudspeakers, hard drives and in-ear headphones.

Four College of Engineering faculty named to Highly Cited Researchers list


For the third consecutive year, four faculty members in Penn State's College of Engineering were recognized as Highly Cited Researchers by the Web of Science Group.

Going gold: Engineers to investigate using gold as catalyst in hydrogenation


Everyday items, like prescription drugs, gasoline and plastics, all undergo several rounds of catalytic processes during manufacturing.

Engineers to sustainably mine rare earth elements from fertilizer byproduct


Despite their name, rare earth elements are not actually that rare. The 17 metallic elements are ubiquitous in nature and are becoming even more common in technology, as a critical component of microchips and more.

Drastically improved electric vehicle batteries possible with $2.9M grant


In pursuit of commercially-adoptable electric vehicle batteries with twice the energy density and cycle life of current technology, Penn State researchers have been awarded $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Engineering associate dean for equity and inclusion featured on NSF podcast


Tonya Peeples, associate dean for equity and inclusion and professor of chemical engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering, was featured in the third episode of "Collaborative Strategies for Inclusive Change," the official podcast of the National Science Foundation INCLUDES Coordination Hub.

Getting a head start on a materials research career


Faced with a growing workload in its research labs, the Materials Research Institute met the challenge by offering Penn State students an opportunity that most materials science and engineering undergraduates normally never receive.

New Penn State consortium launches to help fuel the energy revolution


Energy production and use presents a multilayered challenge that includes technical, social and environmental intricacies. With such a complex challenge at hand, Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) has launched a focused effort called the Consortium for Integrated Energy Systems (CIES).

Can machine learning lead to cleaner water and more efficient ionic separations?


The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $1.5 million to a Louisiana State University-Penn State research team to develop a smarter approach to ionic separations, critical chemical reactions needed for water treatment, resource recovery and energy production.

New tool predicts changes that may make COVID variants more infectious


As SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, new variants are expected to arise that may have an increased ability to infect their hosts and evade the hosts’ immune systems.

Chemical engineer receives grant to develop novel tumor-mimicking biomaterial


Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among children in the United States, with brain cancer causing the most fatalities.

Undergraduate engineering programs once again rank among nation's best


In the recently released 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs rankings, the Penn State College of Engineering ranks No. 21 in the country, advancing one place from last year's report.

Engineering professor recognized for contributions to fuel cell research


Chao-Yang Wang, William E. Diefenderfer Chair in Mechanical Engineering and professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, was recognized for his research in fuel cell technology, which has enabled advancements in hydrogen-powered vehicles.

New faculty named Electrochemical Society and Toyota Young Investigator Fellow


The Electrochemical Society (ECS) has named Christopher Arges, who joined the Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering as an associate professor on Aug. 15, as one of five 2021-22 ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship for Projects in Green Energy Technology recipients.

Task force created to significantly reduce Penn State's carbon emissions


Over the last 15 years, Penn State has cut its carbon emissions by more than 35%, putting the University ahead of schedule to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas outputs to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Engineer pens first chapters of two volumes for Royal Society of Chemistry


Cellulose, the main component of plant cell walls, is the most abundant polymer in the world. A carbohydrate made of at least 3,000 glucose molecules, cellulose is used in everything from food and medicine to paper and clothes.

Global Alumni Spotlight: Mohammed Al-Aufi


Mohammed Al-Aufi graduated from Penn State with a degree in chemical engineering in 2018. After a short stint in the field, the pandemic altered the course of his career, and he recently opened a coffee shop in Oman, dedicated in many ways to his sister.

Engineering and Applied Research Laboratory award defense research seed grants


In support of multidisciplinary research, the Penn State College of Engineering and the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) collaborated to create a new seed grant program.

Bacterium-derived compound from food shown to stimulate brain cell growth


The old saying may ring true: You are what you eat. There is new evidence that the gut is linked to brain health, thanks to a bacterium-derived compound known as indole, according to an international team of researchers.

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