Robert Handler (ChE/SFI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $6,810 research and development contract with Marion Utilities. The project is “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of MSW Gasification.”
By Sponsored Programs.
Love of plants and problem-solving drives bioenergy researcher Rebecca Ong
Growing up, Rebecca Ong was one of the youngest garden club enthusiasts in northern Michigan, a science-loving kid who accompanied her grandparents to club events like “growing great gardens” or “tulip time.” When she wasn’t tending the family garden, she was mucking about in nature, learning from parents who had both trained as foresters.
“My parents really instilled in me the importance of conservation,” says Ong, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University and researcher at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). “From an early age, I had this idea of sustainability and the importance of finding sustainable sources of energy.”
Dr. Pradeep Agrawal presented this award to Audra Thurston.
The Chair’s Award for Outstanding ChE Senior recognizes a particular student in the graduating class whose actions embody excellence. Excelling in academics is expected, but the recipient must also exhibit the traits of character, leadership, and service–to-others that are valued to the department.
Prevent Accidents with Safety (PAWS) Award
Scott Wendt presented awards to Scott Kitzmiller, Taylor Lindemann, Chris Moore, Ryan Oshe, and Madison Diehl.
Kimberly-Clark Professional Ethics Award
Dr. Sean Clancy presented the award to Phillip Cass and Lauren Keenan.
This award recognizes a student who has exhibited exemplary ethics and admirable professional conduct during Plant Design and Unit Operations experiences, and throughout their academic career at Michigan Technological University.
Kimberly-Clark Communication Award
Dr. Sean Clancey presented the award to Alexander Tangen.
This award recognizes the winner of the Award for Excellence in Communication from the Department of Chemical Engineering for the academic year.
UOP Davis W. Hubbard Plant Design Team Award
Ms Jeana Collins presented awards to Alexis Fitzpatrick, Anna Hohnstadt, Lauren Keenan, and Anna Nelson.
This award recognizes an outstanding team in Chemical Engineering Plant Design during the academic year. Also, this award recognizes technical ability, consideration of the safety and environmental aspects of process design, outstanding written and oral communication skills, and overall teamwork and professionalism. This is awarded in memory of Dr. Davis W. Hubbard.
Dow Chemical Mariott W. Bredekamp Award
Mr. Scott Wendt presented awards to Abigail Payne, Meghan Pierce, Alexander Tangen, and Audra Thurston.
This award recognizes outstanding technical skills in the laboratory, outstanding teamwork and professionalism, effective oral and written communication, and strong adherence to process safety practices as recognized by your peers and supported by the faculty of the department. This award is in memory of Dr. Mariott W. Bredekamp.
We don’t know yet what caused the explosion and fires at the Superior, WI oil refinery. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent, non-regulatory federal agency, is investigating the incident and it could take weeks to months before the causes of this incident become public information.
What Andre Da Costa, Herbert H. Dow Chair in Chemical Process Safety at Michigan Technological University, says he can tell you is that incidents like this – with an uncontrolled release of energy and chemicals with the potential to cause injuries to the employees and the public, damage to the environment and to property – can be prevented by effective implementation of risk-based process safety principles.
Caryn Heldt (ChE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $300,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Driving Forces in Aqueous Two-Phase Systems for Vaccine Development.” This is a three-year project totaling $300,000.
Worldwide, there is a need for less expensive vaccines. To achieve better vaccine coverage, vaccine production processes need to be low-cost and allow for continuous operation, which is not possible with current vaccine production technology. A primary objective of this project will be to explore aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) to fulfill the need for new viral particle purification processes that could reduce the cost of vaccines and be run as a continuous operation. ATPS could also reduce the development time for a new vaccine, allowing for pandemic vaccines to come to market sooner. In addition to vaccines, a better understanding of ATPS could aid in future cell separations for advanced cell therapeutics.
Caryn Heldt (ChE) and her collaborators Christian Nwamba and Barbara Radecki from Wayne County Community College were awarded second place in the Best Paper Competition at the 2018 ASEE North Central Section Conference at the University of Akron on March 24. This work was based on Heldt’s NSF CAREER Educational Plan.
Heldt’s group presented “Environmental research to engage community college students.”
Extract: In order to better serve the students that desire a four-year degree and to increase their knowledge of job opportunities with different four-year degrees, a research project was created between a university and a community college. The community college students take weekly water samples over the course of a summer project and test the water for biological and chemical components. This is the first time these students have been exposed to an open-ended laboratory without known results.
REU Site: An Interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates in Food Safety, Food Engineering, and Nutrition
June 4, 2018 to August 10, 2018, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
Are you an undergraduate student interested in exploring myriad opportunities in food safety, food engineering and nutrition? Food science is a STEM area which produces far fewer graduates than the job opportunities. Would you like to undergo a rigorous mentoring and professional development training along with a paid research internship to fine-tune your skill sets required to become successful scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs? Wait no further and apply for this paid internship program. You will be trained by eight mentors from Illinois Institute of Technology and Food and Drug Administration for a 10 week period. The selected students will be given a stipend totaling $8,900 by this program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Award # 1757989).
The goals of the REU program are
1) to provide hands on research experiences to undergraduate students in food safety, food engineering and nutrition to provide exposure to the field (special emphasis will be given to students without previous experience, minority students and students from community colleges)
2) to systematically train the students in transforming basic research ideas into practical applications aimed at solving real world problems for improving the safety and nutrition of our food supply through interactive seminars and discussions
3) to systematically mentor the undergraduate students to hone their research and professional skills through mentoring workshops, student presentations/discussions, interaction with graduate students, and K-12 outreach
4) to expose the students to broader fields of food science to enhance their knowledge in this field (with special emphasis on food safety, food engineering, and nutrition) through seminars and tours, and
5) to train the students on research and professional ethics.
Projects (major focus of the project is given within the brackets)
1) Energy-efficient design of sterilization of foods using pressure assisted thermal sterilization using COMSOL (modeling and simulation)
2) Low moisture food safety of legacy technologies (microbiology)
3) Shedding light on food safety: Application of a novel pulsed light treatment for inactivation of pathogens (engineering and microbiology)
4) Physiological chemistry of plant bioactives in humans (nutrition)
5) Application of cold plasma for enhancing safety of sprout seeds (engineering and microbiology)
6) Understanding transport processes in food processing using COMSOL (modeling and simulation)
7) Affordable nutrition through kinetic hydroponics (engineering design and microbiology)
8) Repurposing food ingredients for controlling biofilms of food-borne pathogens (microbiology)
• Be a U.S. Citizen or green card holder currently enrolled in an UNDERGRADUATE program in a science or engineering discipline within the United States
• Available for the entire duration (June 4, 2018 to August 10, 2018) in Chicago for the training
• GPA ≥ 3.00 (if proper justification is provided, a GPA of 2.75 will be considered)
Send the following documents to Kathiravan Krishnamurthy (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5:00 PM CST on Monday, April 30, 2018.
• Completed REU application form
• Transcript (unofficial transcript)
• Two letters of recommendation (at least one of them should be from a faculty)
• An essay detailing i) why are you interested in this REU program?, ii) what are your goals in participating in this training program?, and iii) what are your career goals and how does this training program will help you in achieving your career goals
• List the projects you are interested in
REU Application Form
Academic year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)
Name of the current institution
Anticipated graduation date
Date of birth
Citizenship status (US citizen, Green card holder)
Gender identity (optional)
Do you have disability? (optional)
Preferred REU project(s) – if you do not list any specific projects, you will be considered for all the projects
Would you like to be considered for other projects if your preferred REU project is not available (yes or no)
Lei Pan (ChE/ASISC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $15,000 research and development grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The project is “Separation and Recovery of Battery Components.”
This is a one-year project.
By Sponsored Programs.
Several Michigan Tech faculty members will be on hand this week at a forum in Iron Mountain to discuss the future of the paper industry.
The Kraft Lignin Innovation Forum takes place Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 11/12, 2017) at the Verso Quinnesec Mill, just outside of Iron Mountain. The event is coordinated by the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute (MIFBI). Mark Rudnicki (SFRES), executive director of MIFBI, says the forum intends to bring researchers and companies from across Michigan, and beyond, to learn first hand the availability and opportunities surrounding residual black liquor from Michigan’s largest pulp producer.
For more information and for a complete schedule of the conference, visit here.