Chair's message

Spring 2024

Dear Alumni, Colleagues, and Friends:

It gives me great pleasure to share several exciting developments about the department with you, and I invite you to read more in this newsletter. 

We are thrilled to welcome Assistant Professor Graham Leverick to our faculty. Graham brings expertise in electrolyte design to enable next-generation batteries and electrochemical devices. His research also focuses on carbon capture and utilization. Graham complements the department’s core strength in materials for sustainability. 

I am also pleased to share that Prashant Deshlahra was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure. Prashant’s research on experimental and computational heterogeneous catalysis is extremely well-regarded by the research community. You read more about other prestigious faculty accomplishments throughout this newsletter.

The School of Engineering has undertaken a multi-year effort to modernize and optimize the research space in SciTech which will continue to enhance our students’ learning and training experiences. For instance, the ChBE teaching lab recently moved to a state-of-the-art space that can accommodate additional experiments. The School is also investing in constructing laboratories for existing faculty and new hires. We are looking forward to sharing progress on these activities through our website and future communications. 

Last fall, we celebrated the legacy of Maria (Miretta) Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, who was the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability at the time of her passing in 2019. The first symposium on single-site catalysts brought together prominent members of the catalysis community including faculty members from Tufts and universities across the country. Many of the presenters shared work that was built on the foundations of Miretta’s groundbreaking research. The inaugural Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Award for Creativity in Catalysis was presented to Professor Eranda Nikolla of the University of Michigan. On behalf of the department, we would like to convey our appreciation to the many donors for their support in making this event and its future iterations possible.

In October, the department held a symposium honoring the decades-long scholarship and contributions of Professor Nakho Sung, who passed away in October 2022. Nakho joined Tufts in 1978, served as ChBE Chair from 2007-2011, and was the founder and director of the Laboratory for Materials and Interfaces. His research interests centered around polymer science and engineering, particularly on structural composites and multiphase systems. In 2013, he was awarded the Seymour Simches Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising.

Following the celebration of Professor Christos Georgakis’ retirement last year, the department established the Christos Georgakis Award for Best Senior Honors Thesis, in honor of his many contributions to our department. Also, graduate student Demetrios Stoukides won the ChBE Professional Promise Award this year, which will support his academic growth and professional development. We invite you to read more about these awards and other ChBE student highlights in this newsletter. 

Before closing, I would be remiss not to express my gratitude to all the ChBE faculty and staff for the excellent work they do every day to support the educational needs of our students. Last fall when the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) evaluators visited the campus to review our program, they expressed similar sentiments about the strength of our community. 

As always, we welcome the participation and support of our alumni and friends toward shaping the department’s future.

Kind regards,

Emmanuel Tzanakakis
Professor and Chair