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Category: UConn Engineering News January 2018

Tough Engineering Classes Forged These CEOS

The School of Engineering’s main classroom building produced an unusual number of CEOs from chemical engineering in the early ’80s.

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In Memoriam: Carroll Osborne Bennett. April 1, 1921 – Jan. 9, 2016

Carroll Osborne “C.O.” Bennett, A UConn Engineering professor for 23 years who coauthored one of the fundamental texts of chemical engineering, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on Jan. 9, 2016 at Paris, France.

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A New Use for Old Carpet

Richard Parnas, a Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering professor, is leading a team to find a better use for the 4 billion pounds of carpet that are discarded each year

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Better (and Healthier) Ice Cream Through Engineering

Engineering a healthier ice cream option at the UConn Creamery

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UConn Researcher Using Silk To Treat Chronic Diseases

Dr. Kelly Burke is researching how silk can help treat chronic disesases

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Grad Student Spotlight: Erik Carboni

Erick Carboni, PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, works on improving drug delivery

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Student News

MSE seniors prove their geodesic bona fides, and CBE undergrads take top honors at AIChE’s poster competition

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Energy and Environment Commissioner Visits C2E2

Robert Klee, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), visited UConn’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering

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Faculty News

Jeffrey McCutcheon, Yongku Cho win awards.

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Alumni News

John W. Braccio ’82, Jacob “Jake” Friedman ’02, Udayarka Karra ’14, Matthew F. Tellier ’93 are all featured in this issue of Alumni News

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Meet the New Faculty For UConn Engineering

The new school year begins with an impressive group of new SoE hires.

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Alumni News

Catch up with Craig W. Ashmore ’85, William L. D’Agostino ’84, Bernard “Bernie” E. Gracy, Jr. ’85, Monica T. Mohtasham ’04 and Yingli Wen ’93 in this issue’s Alumni News.

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Leslie Shor Named a DuPont Young Professor

DuPont names Dr. Leslie Shor, who specializes in recreating very small habitats, a 2014 Young Professor

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Faculty News

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin named, and ACS Fellow, Rainer Hebert awarded contract and other faculty news.

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Student News

Ari Fischer ’15 is named a UDall Scholar and UConn races to a respectable finish in Michigan in this week’s student news.

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Work to Start Soon on New Engineering Complex

A busy site in the center of UConn’s flagship campus will be transformed in coming years, as the University moves forward with a project to build a state-of-the-art Engineering & Science Building.

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Alumni News

Robert R. Banning ’11, Anne Bartosewicz-Mele ’81, Richard P. Broderick ’81, John J. Legato ’86, Thomas W. Prete ’85 and Glenn T. Selby ’03 are all featured in this issue’s Alumni News

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Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Kristina Wagstrom

Prof. Kristina Wagstrom, through work in her Computational Atmospheric Chemistry and Exposure Lab, strives to improve the science and functionality of computational approaches in air pollution.

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UConn hosts 2014 Northeast Regional AIChE Conference

The Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering was the proud host of the 2014 Northeast Student Regional Conference for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers on April 4-5, 2014.

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Women Engineers Conference Inspires a New Generation

Wintry weather failed to dampen spirits at the “Celebration of Women in Engineering,” a daylong conference exploring the challenges of women engineering the future held Tuesday, February 18 in conjunction with national Engineers Week.

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Research Insight: Using Light to Control Neural Activity

Prof. Yongku Cho’s research ambition is to engineer light-activated proteins as a tool to manipulate brain circuit activity. He is currently equipping his laboratory here at UConn to build on his work recently published in Nature Methods. The research article, coauthored by Dr. Cho, his postdoctoral advisor Ed Boyden, and other colleagues, documents the group’s progress in controlling neural activity using novel light-activated ion channels.

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DuPont’s Mark Vergnano: From UConn to Global Leader

In January, Mark P. Vergnano (B.S. Chemical Engineering, ’80), Executive Vice President of DuPont, was named to become Chief Executive Officer of DuPont’s $8 billion Performance Chemicals segment, which will be spun off during the second quarter of 2015 as a stand-alone company.

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UConn EWB Completes Nicaragua Roadway Project

During the holiday break between semesters, three members of the UConn chapter of Engineers Without Borders traveled to Nicaragua to complete the last phase of a long-percolating engineering project aimed at improving the lives of impoverished villagers by effecting permanent repairs to a road linking their rural village, La Prusia, to the large colonial city of Granada.

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Dr. Anson Ma Participates in US-Japan Faculty Exchange Program

Dr. Anson Ma recently participated as a delegate in a prestigious U.S.-Japan Young Scientist Exchange Program that allowed him to spend five intensive days visiting top Japanese universities and research centers, where he presented his research on the rheology and processing of nanofluids and met with fellow young researchers whose expertise may complement and extend his work.

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Faculty Honored

Six faculty were recognized for excellence in graduate student advising and faculty peer mentorship. Outstanding Faculty Advisor Awards were presented to Drs. Pamir Alpay (MSE), Reda Ammar (CSE), Wei Sun (ME), and Shengli Zhou (ECE). Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Awards went to: Drs. Jun-Hong Cui (CSE) and Ranjan Srivastava (ChE).  

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Alumni News

Stay in touch with fellow UConn engineering alumni by visiting our website. Following are briefs covering recent activities of some graduates. We look forward to hearing your news!

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Faculty and Grad Student News

Our engineering faculty and graduate students are respected leaders in research, instruction, mentoring and professional societies who regularly receive honors and awards. Read about some recent honors here.

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Team Works to Improve Agricultural Productivity

Drs. Leslie Shor (CMBE) and Dan Gage (MCB) recently received two grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The two cross-disciplinary projects focus on different aspects of microbial activity in soil, leading to a better understanding of soil microbial activity that could inform agricultural management techniques.

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Student News

Our engineering students are dedicated, motivated and academically outstanding. Many of them have received prestigious honors and awards, fellowships and other recognitions. Some recent awards are profiled here.

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Castleman Term Professors Named

The School of Engineering has named five outstanding faculty members as inaugural Castleman Term Professors in Engineering Innovation.

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CMBE Professors Investigate Nano-Devices for Explosive Detection

Two faculty members in the Department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering have begun a project that has the promise to transform the work and protect the lives of military and law enforcement personnel around the world. Associate professors Brian Willis and Yong Wang, working on a grant funded by the Office of Naval Research, are attempting to develop an electronic chemical sensing device that can identify the presence of explosives by sampling the vapor around an object.

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National Engineers Week February 19-25

Join us for a variety of fun, inspiring and illuminating activities in celebration of National Engineers Week, which takes place February 19-25 this year. For full details, please consult the calendar appearing on our website at www.engr.uconn.edu.

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Faculty & Staff News

Stay up to date with the latest School of Engineering faculty news and happenings

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Cheney Students Blast Off [Video]

During the fall 2011 semester, Howell Cheney Technical High School freshmen explored a number of exciting engineering concepts with Chemical Engineering doctoral student Neil Spinner, including an egg drop (profiled last month) and a bottle rocket experiment.

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Dr. Amir Faghri Receives Coveted ASME Award

Amir Faghri, Ph.D., a professor of engineering at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and leading researcher in the field of advanced energy systems, has been honored jointly by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

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Innovators: Networking Function in February

Innovative students, faculty and friends, mark your calendars: on Thursday, February 16, the School of Engineering and Springboard will host another in the popular Innovation Connection functions at the Storrs campus.

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Cheney Students Enjoy Engineering Lessons [Video included]

At Howell Cheney Technical High School in Manchester, CT, students enjoy a unique learning opportunity enabling them to explore engineering concepts and to apply these principles in often fun ways, thanks to a National Science Foundation-funded program that embeds engineering graduate students in selected classrooms.

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Dr. Carter Elected AAAS Fellow

Dr. C. Barry Carter, Department Head of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering, has been named a 2011 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world.

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Outstanding Student Transforms Tragedy Into Triumph

For many people, crucial turning points define, or perhaps reroute, their life trajectories. Joseph Zinski (’10), an undergraduate student pursuing his B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology, aspires to a research career perhaps involving stem cell science. This ambitious aim emerges not only from his keen intellect, dedication and […]

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Student Profile: Allison Melch

Allison, who is enrolled in the EUROTECH program, will earn two degrees when she graduates in May ’11: a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.A. in German. She is contemplating a career in international pharmaceuticals and personal care products, with a possible interlude in the Peace Corps or a similar relief organization following graduation. […]

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100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era

By Kristina Goodnough Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs at the UConn Health Center and dean of the medical school, has been named among “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The recognition from the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals acknowledges Laurencin’s work […]

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Student Team to Help Power Plant Improve Performance

Three engineering students, overseen by Chemical Engineering professor Douglas Cooper, began a research study over the summer aimed at helping the UConn power plant attain greater performance efficiencies. The team seeks to fine-tune plant operation with the goal of reducing the consumption of natural gas and fresh water while still meeting the electrical, heating and […]

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Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering

The Department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering welcomes three new faculty members, all of whom will join the department in August. Dr. George A. Rossetti, Jr., who joins the department as an associate professor of materials science, brings expertise in structure-processing-property relations in electroceramic materials and their applications in dielectric, electromechanical and energy conversion […]

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Christine Endicott

Christine graduated in May ’08 (B.S. Chemical Engineering) and is now pursuing doctoral studies at Cornell University. An Honors Program scholar, Christine completed her thesis on a small molecule called furanone that appears to inhibit the explosive growth of the deadly bacterium anthrax. Her advisor, Dr. Ranjan Srivastava, said that “Based on Christine’s work, it […]

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Shaw Provides Leadership to Department in Transition

In August, Professor Montgomery Shaw was appointed Interim Head of the Department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering (CMBE). The department emerged from the July 2006 merger of the formerly autonomous departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. Dr. Shaw, who has served on the faculty for nearly three decades, is responsible for […]

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UConn Demonstrates Continuous Biodiesel Production

Faculty and students associated with the multidisciplinary Biofuel Consortium at the University of Connecticut staged a technological first for academic biodiesel production: the continuous 16-hour operation of a pilot-scale reactor converting waste cooking oil to pure biodiesel. Following several short-run trials of the reactor, aimed at determining the conversion efficiency of the device (it was […]

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Parnas Named an Environmental Leader

Richard Parnas, associate professor and director of the Chemical Engineering program, and member of the Polymer Program in the Institute of Materials Science, was presented the 2006-07 faculty Environmental Leadership Award. Dr. Parnas, who received several nominations, including a departmental nomination, was selected in recognition for his efforts to not only reduce the CO2 footprint […]

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Faculty Win Navy Young Investigator Awards

Two engineering faculty have captured competitive Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) awards to carry out research involving underwater communications channels and microreactors for use in fuel cells. Drs. Benjamin Wilhite, an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering, and Shengli Zhou, an assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, garnered the YIP awards, which […]

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Focus on Alumni: Mark Vergnano

For alumnus Mark Vergnano, who has built an enviable 26-year career with chemical giant E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co., Inc., his UConn Chemical Engineering education honed his analytical acumen and helped him succeed in a career blending engineering and business leadership. “I believe that an engineering background gave me the advantage to approach problems in […]

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Lei Zhu Awarded DuPont Young Professors Grant

Assistant professor of Chemical Engineering Lei Zhu has been awarded one of just eight 2005 DuPont Young Professor Grants presented to North American researchers. Dr. Zhu’s research investigates the synthesis and self-assembly of carbon nanotube-based liquid crystalline materials, and characterization and design of useful nanotechnology devices for the development of novel photovoltaics and nanotransistors. Dr. […]

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