Dr. Sindee L. Simon has been selected to receive the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) 2014 Research/Engineering Technology award for research and technology developments in polymers and polymer composites and for her pioneering contributions in thermal analysis of polymers. She will accept the award at the Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC) in April, 2014.
Drs. Sindee L. Simon and Greg McKenna have been selected to receive the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Lubbock Chapter Scientists of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the Annual Scientist of the Year (SOY) Dinner. The ARCS Foundation,Inc. is a national volunteer women's organization dedicated to providing financial support to academically outstanding students majoring in the fields of natural science, medicine, and engineering. This academic year the local chapter has awarded thirteen scholarships to students enrolled at Texas Tech, the TTUHSC, and LCU.
Dr. Siva A. Vanapalli and his student Deepak Solomon (as senior personnel) received an NSF Innovation Corps award of $50,000 to assess the commercial feasibility of their drop-based microfluidic technology for drug screening. The award will allow Solomon to participate in an entrepreneurship immersion course, receive guidance from a business mentor in Lubbock, and develop a business plan for the technology.
Dr. Greg McKenna has been elected president of the Society of Rheology; his term will start during the annual meeting on October 17, 2013.
Dr. Rajesh Khare has been selected as the chair of AIChE’s Area 1a (Thermodynamics and Transport Properties) Programming Committee; his term will begin at the 2013 annual meeting. Khare is currently a member of the Area 1a Programming Committee and handled thermodynamics programming for the 2013 annual meeting.
The department is pleased to welcome Dr. Chau-Chyun Chen as Professor and Jack Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair in Sustainable Energy. Chen, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, comes to Texas Tech from AspenTech where he was Vice President for Technology. His research expertise is in molecular thermodynamics, thermophysical properties and fluid phase equilibria, and process modeling.
Dr. Ronald C. Hedden and Dr. Rajesh Khare were awarded a three year, $639,929 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) program. Their funded project is entitled, "DMREF: Combinatorial Methods to Enable Rapid Prototyping of Pervaporation Membranes for Bio-alcohol Recovery."
Ketan S. Khare, a chemical engineering graduate student working in Dr. Rajesh Khare's research group, was awarded the first place in the poster competition at the Polymer Composites and High Performance Materials workshop organized by the Division of Polymer Chemistry, American Chemical Society (ACS) in Santa Rosa, California in July 2013. The poster titled "Effect of the Chemical Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes on the Thermo-mechanical Properties of Cross-linked Epoxy-Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites," presents results that elucidate the key role played by matrix-filler interfacial interactions in load transfer between the polymer matrix and the carbon nanotubes in nanocomposites. This research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Jeevan Maddala was awarded an NSF STTR grant to commercialize his doctoral work,
which was performed under the supervision of Dr. Raghunathan Rengasamy.
The project, titled "Development of a Computational Tool for Modeling, Simulation, and Design of Next Generation Discrete Droplet Microfluidic Systems,"
is a collaboration with Rengasamy. The aim is to develop novel design concepts for microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices that allow precise control of chemical
composition and concentration. Such devices are anticipated to facilitate discovery of materials for various pharmaceutical and biomedical applications,
including protein crystallization, stem cell growth, and drug screening.
Several chemical engineering faculty and staff members were recognized by the Whitacre College of Engineering. Dr. Rajesh Khare received the George T. and Gladys Abell-Hanger Faculty Award for outstanding graduate teaching, Dr. Micah Green received the Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award, Dr. Ronald C. Hedden received the Whitacre Research Award for excellence in research, and Dr. Micah Green received the Whitacre Research Award for growth in research. The department's unit coordinator, Mary Beth Abernathy, received the Orval Leroy Lewis Award. At the university level, Dr. Micah Green will also receive the Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award.
Graduate Student Jing Zhao’s work on 20 million year old amber published in Nature Communications, was highlighted by National Geographic , the Tikalon blog and by Texas Tech. Zhao made calorimetric and viscoelastic measurements on 20 million year old amber under the guidance of Dr. Sindee L. Simon and Dr. Greg McKenna. The purpose of the work was to test the idea of glass formation through an “ideal” glass transition. The findings challenge this view and alter the current paradigms for the physics of glasses.
The Texas Tech AIChE Student Chapter hosted the 2013 Southwest AIChE Regional Conference in Lubbock. Students from UT, Rice, LSU, UH, TAMU, TAMU-Kingsville, Lamar, and Tecnológico de Monterrey attended. Naureen Suteria, a student under the supervision of Dr. Siva A. Vanapalli,
won first place in the Regional Student Paper Competition. The Texas Tech ChemE Jeopardy Team,
consisting of Braden Pate, Seth Spear, Amber Helm, and Michael Sees, also took first place.
The Texas Tech AIChE Student Chapter officers are Donny Torres, Kim Davis, Erika Yamasaki, and Jimmy Woods.
Dr. Ronald C.
Hedden was granted tenure and Dr. Brandon Weeks was
promoted to full professor at the recent meeting of the Board of Regents. The
promotions are effective September 1, 2013.
Siyang Gao, a fourth-year graduate student in Dr. Sindee L. Simon's research group won third place at the International Polyolefins Conference for her poster,
titled "The Calorimetric Glass Transition of Single Polystyrene Ultrathin
Films." The conference, which was held in Houston on February 23-27, 2013,
attracted more than 600 participants and more than 40 poster
Deepak Solomon, a chemical engineering graduate student working
under the supervision of Dr. Siva A. Vanapalli, was awarded fourth place in the graduate student poster
competition at the 84th Annual
Meeting of The Society of Rheology in Pasadena, California in February
2013. The poster was titled, "Measurement of hydrodynamic resistance due to
purely elastic instabilities in curvilinear microchannels."
The department is pleased to welcome Dr. Carla Lacerda as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Lacerda earned her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in Chemical Engineering with a focus on metal resistance in microbial communities. After completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Lacerda transitioned from environmental to biomedical science. Her current research is aimed at understanding the effects of mechanical stimuli on heart valves.
Texas Tech made a big impression at the first Texas Soft Matter Meeting held at the University of
Houston in January 2013. Texas Tech had 24 representatives at the meeting
including 19 students, two post-doctoral researchers, and three faculty
members. An invited lecture was given by Dr. Sindee L. Simon. The students and other faculty were from the Soft Matter Working
Group at Texas Tech. The group focuses on research and education in the
blossoming field of Soft Matter and Soft Materials and is represented by
faculty from the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,
Industrial Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Dr. Sindee L.
Simon was named recipient of the 2013 Lubbock Women of Excellence Award in
Science from the Lubbock YWCA.
Qiuying Gu, a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr.
Karlene Hoo, recently completed a seven-month internship with Halliburton
in Carrollton, Texas. Her project involved modeling a cement flow valve and
mixing system, designing and testing an appropriate controller strategy,
preparing a written report, and orally presenting the results to the
Dr. Sindee L. Simon was named a Fall 2012 Assessment Spotlight Champion by the Texas
Tech University Office of Planning and Assessment.
Ariana Poindexter, a sophomore chemical engineering major, has been
named the recipient of an 2012 Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence
Award. The Sophomore Academic Excellence Award is presented to the one National
AIChE student member in each student chapter who has attained the highest
scholastic grade-point average during his/her freshman and sophomore years, on
recommendation of the Student Chapter Advisor. Poindexter received free
registration for the AIChE Annual Student Conference on October 26-29, 2012 in
Josh Castilaw, a freshman chemical engineering major, has been named
the recipient of an AIChE Freshman Recognition Award. This award is given to the
freshman from each chapter that becomes the most involved with AIChE.
Xiguang Li, a graduate student working under the direction of Dr. Greg McKenna, goes to Paris, France, on a nine-month Chateaubriand Fellowship
awarded by the French government. Li will perform research at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et
Métiers (ENSAM) on a joint project between Dr. McKenna and ENSAM
faculty Drs. Miquelard-Garnier and Régnier in the area of forced
assembly of polymer nanofilms and graphene-based nanocomposites. Li joined the
graduate program at Texas Tech in 2009 after completing a B.S. in chemistry at
Nanjing University and a M.S. in chemistry at University of California-Irvine.
He is only the second Chinese student ever awarded a Chateaubriand
Dr. Yingying Chen, a recent graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in
chemical engineering, received first place in the Mathematics, Physical Sciences,
and Engineering category of the Texas Tech University Graduate School's
Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Awards competition for her dissertation titled
"An Analysis of Model Parameter Uncertainty on Online Model-based Applications."
Chen's dissertation advisor was Dr.
Dr. Sindee L. Simon served as the Technical Program Chair for the 40th annual meeting of
the North American Thermal Society (NATAS) in Orlando,
Florida. At the meeting, she received the NATAS Service Award acknowledging
her service over the years in various capacities, including as president in
Rong Xu, supervised by Dr.
Ted Wiesner, won second place in the Engineering Division of the 11th
Annual Graduate Student Poster Competition in April. Her research poster
entitled, "Dynamic Model of a Solar Thermochemical Water-Splitting Reactor
with Integrated Energy Collection and Storage," detailed her work on a novel
shell-and tube reactor which can sustain 24/7 hydrogen production from solar
Dr. Greg McKenna has been named an Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and
Physical Review Letters journals, as chosen by the journal editors for
Dr. Micah Green has
been awarded a 2011 Mortar Board Senior Honor Society/Omicron Delta Kappa
(ODK) Faculty Recognition Award. The Faculty Recognition Award is unique among
those offered from Mortar Board/ODK in that it is based solely on student
nominations. Green was chosen as one of five awardees based on a pool of over
ninety applications from a wide range of departments across Texas Tech
Dr. Greg McKenna begins serving a two-year term as Vice President of the Society of
Dr. Karlene Hoo is an Intergovernmental personnel act (IPA) rotator in the Division of Industrial
Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), in the Directorate of Engineering at
the National Science Foundation (NSF). She will serve a two-year appointment
starting July 18, 2011. She is the current Program Director for the
Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research program at the
NSF. The Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) program, provides two
choices designed to spur the translation of fundamental research into
market-valued solutions, to encourage public-private partnerships, and to
accelerate innovation that results in the creation of new wealth and the
building of strong local, regional, and national economies.
Dr. Greg McKenna receives the coveted Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology.
"The Society’s Bingham Medal has been awarded annually since 1948 to a
resident of the North American Continent or a member of The Society who has
made an outstanding contribution to the science of rheology. The Society of
Rheology is composed of physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, and
mathematicians interested in advancing and applying rheology, which is defined
as the science of deformation and flow of matter." This Medal will be given to
Professor McKenna in the 81st Annual Meeting, October 18−22,
2009, in Madison, Wisconsin. For more additional information about Professor
McKenna, visit his website.
Dr. Rajesh Khare an
Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has won the 3M
Non−Tenured Faculty Grant for 2006. Dr. Khare was one of the 27 awardees
selected by 3M researchers this year. The award is for supporting Dr.
Khare’s research in the area of multiscale modeling. Dr. Khare’s
research group uses the techniques of multiscale modeling to develop
fundamental understanding of physical and chemical processes in the areas of
nanofluidics, biolubrication, polymer thin films, and biofuels.
Dr. Greg McKenna has been awarded the 2007 Founders Award by the Polymer Analysis
Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. This award will be given to him
at the next ANTEC to be held in Cincinnati, OH, May 6−10, 2007. There
will be a symposium in his honor at this Annual Technical Conference of the
Society of Plastics Engineers (ANTEC). The Award is named in honor of the
founders of the Polymer Analysis Division, Tom Gedemer, Jesse M. Howard III,
Alan Riga, and George Schmitt. The Award consists of a check for $3,000 and a
plaque citing the contribution of the recipient.
Most bioengineering faculty members and some members of polymer and materials
group have relocated their research laboratories to the new $37M Experimental
Sciences building in 2006.
Texas Tech University | Whitacre College of Engineering | Department of Chemical Engineering | Box 43121 | 6th Street and Canton Ave | Lubbock, TX 79409-3121