Sindee Simon, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University
Department of Chemical Engineering
Lubbock, TX 79409−3121
Dr. Sindee Simon's Biography
The new academic year is now underway, as is our progress towards becoming the undergraduate chemical engineering department of choice in Texas and one of the top research and graduate chemical engineering departments in the nation. Both our students and our faculty continue to receive recognition for their excellence through receipt of a variety of awards and honors. The department is currently ranked 68th in the U.S. News and World Report out of all chemical engineering programs in the country.
At the undergraduate level, 469 students are enrolled in the major this fall, a record high, with over 50 students in the senior class. At the graduate level, we have 75 current students enrolled, also a record, with 10 Ph.D.s graduating in 2013. The quality of all of our students continues to improve, despite the increase in our enrollments, and our students at both levels continue to get very good jobs, many with multiple offers. The graduate program is tied to external funding of our research programs, and this continues to be exceptionally strong. Restricted research expenditures from competitive grants in FY 2014 topped $3.0M – also a first for the department – and we continue to lead the university in competitive research grant dollars per faculty member.
We have several exciting additions to the faculty: Dr. Wei Li and Chijuan Hu joined the department in January, and Dr. Jeremy Marston started this fall. Li performs interdisciplinary work at the interface of polymers and bioengineering focusing on a wide range of issues including the 3D microenvironment of cells, interactions between cells and surfaces, bio-imaging sensors, and cancer drug screening. Marston is a fluid dynamicist and expert in high-speed imaging; he is particularly interested in waterless cleaning technologies for solar panels, multiphase flows, and water and oil encapsulation of particulates. Hu has considerable industrial experience as a bioengineer and will develop and teach our undergraduate laboratory courses. Other changes in the faculty in the past year include the departure of Dr. Karlene Hoo to become the dean of the Graduate School at Montana State. Hoo joined the faculty in 1999 and played an important role in raising our visibility at the national and international levels, including several years of service at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Micah Green also left the department to join the faculty at Texas A&M University – he did an excellent job here and we wish both Micah and Karlene continued success in the future.
Our alumni continue to help the department through their generous donations – nearly one hundred alumni made gifts or pledges totaling nearly $150k in FY 14, and 28 organizations donated an additional $278k. The External Advisory Board development subcommittee led by Andrew Spangler with the help of Julie Jackson are working with college development officers to increase gifts for undergraduate scholarships, graduate student fellowships, laboratory and department renovations, and endowed professorships for both junior and senior hires. In addition to your financial support, alumni can contribute to the department by recruiting students, giving presentations to our student chapters, and serving on our advisory board.
Stay in touch and stop by when you are in Lubbock! I would love to show you what is going on and the exciting progress that we are making.
Dr. Sindee Simon
P. W. Horn Professor
Whitacre Department Chair in Chemical Engineering