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School of Engineering

Tufts attends annual chemical engineering meeting

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Chemical and biological engineering students and faculty bring research to the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
Professor Christos Georgakis with family, students, and alumni
Seated in the front row of the session honoring Professor Christos Georgakis, from right to left: Ph.D. candidate Zhenyu Wang, Professor Georgakis, Tina Georgakis, and Foteini Makrydaki, EG10.

Faculty, students, and alumni traveled to Minneapolis, for the recent Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The Tufts Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering held a dessert reception for alumni and friends, and attended a meeting session held in honor of the seventieth birthday of Professor Christos Georgakis.

That well-attended session was chaired by Fernando V. Lima, EG08, an assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering at West Virginia University, and R. Donald Bartusiak, chief engineer of process control at ExxonMobil. Panelists presented papers on topics relating to Georgakis’ work, and students and colleagues reflected on his body of work and valuable contributions to Tufts and the field of chemical engineering. Also in attendance were alumni Foteini Makrydaki, EG08, Zhenyu Wang, EG17, and Alex Marvin, E09.

Undergraduate and graduate students also participated in talks and presentations at the Meeting. Ph.D. candidates Anthony D’Angelo and Huan Qin presented in the topics “Solvate Ionic Liquid-Based Gel Electrolytes Containing Functionalized Polymer-Based Networks for Use in Lithium Metal Battery Applications” and “Chemically Cross-Linked Poly(2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate)-Supported Deep Eutectic Solvent Gel Electrolytes,” respectively. Both are supervised by Associate Professor Matthew Panzer.    

Ph.D. students in a group organized by Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, Distinguished Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability, made four oral presentations. The speakers were Jilei Liu on “Mechanistic Studies of Selective Hydrogenation Reactions with Palladium Gold Alloy Catalysts,” Sufeng Cao on “Mechanistic Studies of Selective Hydrogenation Reactions with Palladium Gold Alloy Catalysts,” Georgios Giannakakis on “Selective Dehydrogenation and Oxidation Reactions on Niau Alloys at the Single Atom Limit,” and Mengwei Li on “Unsupported and Supported Au1-Ox-(OH)y-Naz Clusters As Stable, Single-Site Gold Catalysts.”

Li also received a Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) division Student Travel Award to attend the AIChE meeting and deliver a presentation on “Selective oxidation of methane to methanol or acetic acid on rhodium single-site catalysts at mild conditions.” Jacob Kronenberg, E18, won an award for best poster presentation in the separations division.

Faculty presented work on their current research as well. Professor and Department Chair Kyongbum Lee presented work at two sessions: Cell Culture Engineering & Process Design II: Reactor Engineering, and Microbial Engineering for Human Health (Invited Talks). A group made up of Ph.D. students Fan Zhang and Jessica Stieglitz, bioengineering M.S. student Shawna Downing, Assistant Professor James Van Deventer, and Associate Professor Emmanuel Tzanakakis gave a talk on “Function and Regulation of Regenerating (Reg) Proteins in Pancreatic Cells.”

The AIChE Annual Meeting brings together chemical engineers, students, and professionals interested in furthering professional growth, academics, and innovation.