Category Archives: Seminars

PCA Panel Discussion for Chemical Engineering Students Fall 2016

The Presidential Council of Alumnae at Michigan Tech held a panel discussion in Chem Sci 101 on September 22, 2016. Alumnae gave presentations about their careers.

  • Christine Cowell: Introduction
  • Laurie Dorschner: Identifying and selecting career opportunity
  • Heidi Gieger: PIE to power your career: Performance Image Exposure
  • Sally Heidke: How to seek out and use a mentor
  • Jill Meister: Skills you gain throughout your career, balancing work/family
  • Adrienne Minerick: Work hard play Hard, be in the moment
  • Karen Wallace: “Oh the places you will go….”
  • Tina Schmiedel: The power of understanding the financials – professionally and personally

WATCH THE VIDEO

Closed captioning available.

PCA CHE Fall 2016

Shonnard is an Invited Panelist

David Shonnard
David Shonnard

David Shonnard (Robbins Chair, ChE) and Robert Handler (SFI) have been invited as panelists in a breakout session at the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in Macon, Georgia September 14-15, 2016.

Handler will attend and join other experts from government, industry and academia to promote the environmental sustainability of biofuels in the aviation industry. Further information can be obtained from Handler at 7-3612 or rhandler@mtu.edu.

From Tech Today.

Shonnard Delivers SCPPE Keynote Address

David Shonnard
David Shonnard

David Shonnard (ChE/SFI) delivered the keynote address at the 4th International Conference on Sustainable Chemical Product and Process Engineering (SCPPE) held in Nanjing, China from May 31 – June 3, 2016.

The conference was hosted by Nanjing Tech University and the State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering.

Shonnard provided an update on research into sustainable biofuels through environmental life cycle assessment.

From Tech Today.

Global Future: People, Progress, Energy and Engineering

William Colton Talk 2016
William Colton Talk 2016

Department of Chemical Engineering Presents

William M. Colton
Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning
Exxon Mobil Corporation

Global Future: People, Progress, Energy and Engineering

Fisher Hall 135
Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 4:00 pm

ABSTRACT: By 2040, the world’s population will have reached 9 billion, and global GDP will have more than doubled. This economic progress translates into improved standards of living for billions of people. Energy underpins standards of living everywhere in the world, and the need for affordable and reliable energy in the 21st century remains vast. Global energy demand is expected to grow 25% by 2040 and, to keep pace with demand, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources. These sources include oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables. At the same time, the CO2 intensity of the global economy is expected to be cut in half by 2040. These advances, for the economy, for people’s living standards, for the expansion of energy types and supplies, and for the environment, are enabled by technology. Technology has the highest potential to help meet our economic, energy and environmental goals—reinforcing the critical role played by scientists and engineers.

BIOGRAPHY: Mr. William (Bill) M. Colton is Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning for Exxon Mobil Corporation as of February 1, 2009. In this role, he oversees all of the corporation’s strategic planning activities and the development of its Energy Outlook, ExxonMobil’s assessment of global energy trends.

Mr. Colton received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1975. He joined Exxon Corporation in 1975 and his career has been spent in both upstream and downstream businesses throughout ExxonMobil, including project development, refining, lubes, synthetic fuels and natural gas marketing.

Mr. Colton also worked in finance and planning positions, including ExxonMobil corporate headquarters and eight years overseas in Tokyo and Bangkok. Mr. Colton’s previous assignment was as the Corporation’s Assistant Treasurer.

View the Presentation Photo Gallery in Chemical Engineering 2016

Dr. David Wood, Ohio State University- A Grain Processing Seminar in chemical Engineering

Dr. David W. Wood

Ohio State University

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

 

Friday-March 22, 2013

10:00 a.m.

 MUB-Alumni Lounge

 

New Technologies from Engineered Self-Modifying Proteins

Professor Wood’s work seeks to apply biological concepts of protein function, cell metabolism, genetics and evolution to the molecular-scale development of new technologies.  These goals are achieved through the development of designer fusion proteins that combine domains and functions from unrelated proteins and enzymes.  We typically combine rational protein engineering with genetic selection to create and fine-tune the desired activities.  In oseparations, we have combined a previously developed pH-sensitive self-cleaving protein with a variety of purification tags to produce simple and economical methods for purifying recombinant proteins.  Our most recent work involves rational and evolutionary approaches to optimizing our self-cleaving tags for use in a wider variety of expression hosts.  In biosensing, we have developed allosteric proteins that incorporate human hormone receptors, and have used these proteins to generate Escherichia coli strains that are growth-dependent on hormones and hormone-like compounds.  Remarkably, this genetically simple bacterial sensor can differentiate agonist from antagonist activities and has been effective in detecting a wide variety of strong and weak estrogenic compounds.  More recently, we have applied this system to the discovery of thyroid active compounds, as well as the evaluation of environmental endocrine disruptors in humans and animals, and even the discovery of possible autism-associated environmental factors.  Applications of our designed proteins are far-reaching, and include drug discovery, biosensing, drug activation, reversible knockouts for metabolic research, new genetic selection systems, and advanced cellular control strategies.

 

 

Grain Processing Seminar February 22nd-Dr. Todd Przybycien,Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Todd M. Przybycien

 Carnegie Mellon University

Departments of Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering 

Friday-February 22, 2013

10:00am

MUB- Alumni Lounge

 

Unconventional Applications of Poly(ethylene glycol)-modified Proteins in BioProcessing and Drug Delivery

The covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) polymer chains, or “PEGylation,” improves the efficacy of protein drugs by extending their half-lives in the circulation without adversely affecting biological binding activity: the PEG chains are thought to hinder recognition by proteases, inhibitors and antibodies through steric interactions and to retard renal clearance through increased molecular size.  We used a more complete understanding of the solution and interfacial adsorption behavior of PEG-protein conjugates to explore new applications of protein PEGylation in bioprocessing and drug delivery. 

We have developed new, high selectivity protein affinity chromatography media by PEGylating immobilized protein affinity ligands outside of the target binding site.  This discourages the non-specific binding of contaminant species without decreasing target binding.  We find selectivity enhancements for IgG-class antibodies of 2x to 3x for Protein A affinity chromatography media modified with 5 kDa and 20 kDa PEG chains relative to the un-modified media, without loss of antibody binding affinity.  Increased contaminant rejection by Protein A media has important implications for simplifying downstream processing operations for monoclonal antibody production and for extending the operating lifetime of this expensive class of bioseparations media.

We have exploited PEGylation to reduce denaturing adsorptive interactions between proteins and interfaces that limit the successful delivery of protein drugs from poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) microsphere delivery systems. Oil/water interfaces are present during the generation of protein-loaded PLG microspheres by the double emulsion technique and solid/water interfaces are present as the microspheres erode during delivery.  The depressed adsorption isotherms of conjugates reduce the extent of adsorption at denaturing interfaces and the attached PEG random coils serve as steric diluents at interfaces.  While PEGylation with 20 kDa PEG has little effect on protein behavior at ethyl acetate/water interfaces, at PLG/water interfaces we find decreased extents of adsorption, increased reversibility of adsorption and decreased tendency to aggregate.  These results have translated to ~50% and ~100% improvements in active protein release for monoPEGylated and diPEGylated ribonuclease A, respectively.

 

 

Dr. Thomas Werner-Grain Processing Seminar February 8

Dr. Thomas Werner, Assistant Professor
Michigan Technological University
Department of Biological Sciences

Friday-February 8, 2013

MUB Ballroom B at 10:00am

 

The role of toolkit genes in the evolution of complex wing, thorax, and abdominal color patterns in Drosophila guttifera.

Animal color patterns such as zebra stripes, leopard spots, and the myriad variants of butterfly wing color patterns are known to play important ecological and physiological roles in the life of animals and are crucial for the survival of species. Scientists first tried to solve the secret of animal patterns with mathematical approaches to find models that could explain how these patterns developed. In 1952, Turing proposed the famous reaction-diffusion model in which a short-range acting activator molecule diffuses from a source to stimulate color production, while a long-range acting inhibitor molecule prevents pigmentation. Using the spectacularly ornamented fruit fly Drosophila guttifera, we developed a transgenic protocol to study the development and evolution of color patterns. We identified that the Wingless morphogen had evolved a new function in the D. guttifera lineage by activating the yellow gene on pre-existing structural landmarks on the wing, causing black melanin spots around sensory organs, tips of the veins, and crossveins. We are currently expanding this work by investigating if the melanin patterns on different body parts of D. guttifera evolved by the same mechanisms involving Wingless, or if they have independently evolved

Dr. Eric Seagren-Grain Processing Seminar November 30

Dr. Eric Seagren from Civil & Environmental Engineering will present “Biomediated Geomechanical Processes”

Friday-November 30, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in  Ballroom B of the MUB

Geoengineers have relatively recently become aware of the potential of biological applications for improving the mechanical properties of soils.  The National Research Council (2006) report, “Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium,” recognized the great potential of microorganisms for modifying soil properties in field applications and improving the practice of geoengineering in the 21st Century through biomediated geomechanical processes.  Biomediated processes can significantly impact the geomechanical behavior of earth materials.  Examples of microbially-mediated processes that have been investigated for their influences on geomechanical properties, include mineral precipitation, biofilm formation and use of biopolymers, mineral transformation, and biogenic gas production.  These activities and others can directly or indirectly alter the physical properties of soils, either permanently or temporarily.  Potential impacts of these processes on soil behavior include reductions in hydraulic conductivity, and increases in the strength and stiffness of soils.   This presentation will provide an overview of what is currently known with respect to the biomediation of geomechanical processes in soils and other construction materials.

Refreshments will be served

Grain Processing Seminar in Chemical Engineering

November 9: Dr. Megan C. Frost- Grain Processing Seminar Series in Chemical Engineering

Friday-November 9, 2012 at 10:00am
Fisher Hall, Room 139
Dr. Megan C. Frost, Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University

 

Topic: Developing Nitric Oxide Releasing Polymers and Test Platform to Understand  Cellular Response to Nitric Oxide

Polymeric materials used to coat or construct biomedical devices universally inspire a foreign body response when in contact with a biological system (e.g., thrombus formation on the polymer surface when in contact with blood, inflammatory response in subcutaneous tissue, etc.). Nitric oxide (NO) is a highly reactive free radical gas that has been shown to have a number positive of physiological functions at appropriate levels, including serving as a potent inhibitor of platelet adhesion and activation and mediating the inflammatory response. An NO-releasing silicone rubber coating was developed that contains a photosensitive S-nitrosothiol NO-donors that utilizes light as an external on/off trigger to initiate NO release. This material   shows dynamically controllable NO release based on the duration and intensity of light irradiating the material and offers  precise control of the level and duration of NO delivered at the tissue/polymer interface. We have also developed a test platform that allows quantitative levels of NO to be delivered to cells in vitro to further understanding of cellular response to NO.

 

Apr 13: Dr. Surya K. Mallapragada – Grain Processing Seminar Series in Chemical Engineering

Friday, April 13, 10:00 a.m.
Chem. Sci. & Engineering, Room 102
Dr. Surya K. Mallapragada, Stanley Professor and Chair
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University

Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture

Topic: Self-assembling block copolymers for gene delivery and biomineralization

We have synthesized a family of novel self-assembling pH and temperature sensitive multiblock cationic and anionic copolymers with a variety of nanoarchitectures. The copolymers exhibit pH sensitivity and thermo-reversible gelation at physiological temperatures. The cationic multiblock copolymers exhibit complexation with DNA and serve as excellent gene therapy vectors for cancer therapies. Our studies have shown that these polymeric vectors show sustained gene delivery and selective transfection in cancer cells versus non-cancer cells. Detailed mechanistic studies have shown that the selectivity arises due to intracellular differences in pH be-tween cancer and normal cells. The anionic multiblock copolymers and their micelles also serve as excellent templates for biomineralization. These hierarchically self-assembling copolymers in conjunction with mineralization proteins/peptides, form bioinspired self-assembled nanocomposites. These novel injectable insitu-forming nanocomposites show mechanical properties similar to that of native cartilage, and are being investigated for cartilage rescue to prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis.