Graduate Student Profiles

Sungjoon Kim

Sungjoon

PhD in Chemical Engineering | Seoul, Korea

Why did you choose UIC? The College of Engineering is heavily research focused and provides students with ample opportunity for collaboration with other departments.

Name one thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: At UIC, I feel that the faculty, as well as the other supporting offices, genuinely want you to succeed. Also, all kinds of academic and financial support are available, if you are willing to look for them.

What has been the most rewarding part of doing research at UIC? The amazing faculty. There are so many professors who are willing to take the time and effort to help you in the areas you need, which helps me to stay focused and break through the problems I am facing.

How do you hope your research will create positive change in the world? I hope my research will lead to applications in the materials and nanotechnology area, shedding light on the mechanisms of conduction and diffraction in 2D hetero-structures.

Favorite place in Chicago: The Lakefront Trail has to be my favorite place to go. It’s wonderful for biking.

Daniel Christiansen

Daniel

PhD in Chemical Engineering | Eastern Long Island, New York

How (and why) did you choose your faculty advisor? Our department requires us to meet with all potential advisors, so I met all and found I enjoyed the work of two professors, one in molecular simulations and another in biomaterials. I talked with both about a joint project and co-advisorship, and I have been a member of both labs ever since.

What is your academic focus within your department? Artificial intelligence applied to simulating and predicting biomaterial properties.

How do you hope your research will create positive change in the world? I hope my work will enable the discovery of new biomaterials that will help prevent the spread of disease.

How you get around? By Divvy bike or walking.

Romella Maleksetian

Romella

MS in Chemical Engineering | Iran

Name one thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: I love how the campus community is diverse.

How (and why) did you choose your faculty advisor? I chose my faculty advisor, Dr. Gang Cheng, because I feel that he can assist me the best in my field of study.

What is your academic focus within your department? Incorporating biochemistry with chemical engineering.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus: I am usually most likely at the library studying.

Favorite place in Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago.

Chrystian Ochoa

Chrystian

PhD in Chemical Engineering | Chicago, IL

Why did you choose UIC? For its reputation and the potential to advance my career.

What is your academic focus within your department? Interfacial phenomena and rheology.

Dissertation title: Stepwise thinning and nanoscopic thickness variations in foam films formed from aqueous sodium naphthenate solutions.

Favorite place in Chicago: UIC!

Ayankola Ayansiji

Ayankola

PhD in Chemical Engineering | Nigeria

Why did you choose UIC? I chose the UIC College of Engineering because of the limitless opportunities it offers. Also, the college has highly innovative faculty members who engage in groundbreaking research activities. The college also has invested in a lot of state-of-the-art facilities that make research activities interesting and rewarding.

What is your academic focus within your department? I am studying the mechanisms of drug targeting and delivery to the central nervous system.

How do you hope your research will create positive change in the world? I hope it will bring innovation to the pharmaceutical industry.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus: The Laboratory for Product and Process Design. This is where I carry out most of my research.

Shirin Saffar Avval

Shirin

PhD in Chemical Engineering | Tehran, Iran

Name one thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: UIC is a helpful environment where everyone does their best to make sure you feel at home the moment you arrive.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus: My research lab in the chemical engineering department. Because of the nature of PhD studies, research labs are students’ second homes. I like the library as well. Doing research at one of the round tables near the window is nice.

Favorite place in Chicago: Downtown in the evening, walking down the streets just after the sunset when the sky is still navy blue.

How you get around? When I’m not using public transportation, I like to walk or ride a bike.