2019

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Chemical engineering Spring 2019 graduate profiles
Emily Buhle Tell us a little about yourself and your time here at UIC. I am 24 years old and I lived in Taiwan for the first 10 years of my life. I’ve been living in Chicago for almost five years. During my time at UIC I was a part of a social sorority, a member of the badminton club team, and I also spent a few semesters with the Engineering World Health Club. During my undergraduate education, I completed a seven-month co-op with Baker Engineering and Risk Consults. During the summer following my co-op, I joined the Smith and Burgess internship program. For the past few months my team and I have been working hard on our senior design…
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Christine Tarkowski, ENTROPY
Engineering Innovation Building acquires some extra glass from a local artist
The UIC Fine Arts Review Committee has spoken, and local Chicago artist Christine Tarkowski has come out on top in the College of Engineering’s search for a public art commission for its new Engineering Innovation Building. Tarkowski’s The Second Law of Thermodynamics: ENTROPY was selected after the committee reviewed votes and comments from students, faculty, staff, and other members of the UIC community. The other two finalists for the art commission were Conduit by Rachel Beach of New York, Nano Vanitas by Todd Slaughter of Ohio. Models and digital presentations from the three finalists were displayed in the lobby of the Engineering Research Facility last month and the UIC community was invited to view the models and vote on their favorite. The results were reviewed by…
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Chemical Engineering students at EXPO
Chemical engineering seniors impress at Expo 2019
Dozens of senior UIC chemical engineering students capped off months of hard work, along with years of studying in the department, by showcasing their projects at the 30th annual UIC Engineering Design Expo. The Expo, held this year on April 26, featured 14 teams of chemical engineering students who impressed attendees and judges with an extensive variety of projects and prototypes, including several clean energy and fuel production projects, an improved power plant model, a method to enhance the production of cancer fighting chimeric antigen receptor T-Cell therapies, and a new antifouling polymer that can be used for medical applications. The chemical students joined with more than 700 college of engineering undergraduates to pack the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum in…
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UIC undergrad chemical engineering student finds equilibrium to help future students
Senior chemical engineering students at the University of Illinois at Chicago face all sorts of challenges when completing the required unit operations lab, which requires students to take the knowledge and theories they have learned previously and conduct actual experiments. However; the next group of seniors’ lives will be a little bit easier thanks to the hard work of student Milos Markovic. During his junior year, Markovic approached Clinical Assistant Professor Alan Zdunek about completing a research project this year. Zdunek had a project for Markovic that was eight plus years in the making. As part of the ChE 392 undergraduate research course, more commonly known as the unit operations lab, the students complete a liquid extraction experiment where they…
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UIC chemical engineering student Vrushant Patel wins Henry McCormack Outstanding Senior Award
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Chemical Engineering Department selected Vrushant Patel to receive the 2019 Henry McCormack Outstanding Senior Award. The award is given out each year by the Chicago chapter of The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Patel is one of the top students in the department and has the highest GPA in his senior class. He has completed research in Professor Vivek Sharma's Soft Matter Optics, Dynamics, Elasticity, and Self-Assembly (ODES) Lab. Clinical Assistant Professor Alan Zdunek said Patel has worked on visualization and characterization of beads-on-a-string formation on coated fibers using high speed imaging and measured extensional rheology response of polymer solutions using dripping-onto-substrate (DoS). He is a current member of AIChE and has received…
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ChE senior design team
Senior chemical engineering students work to turn leftover wood into new biofuel
When most people see a pile of sawdust, their instinct is to grab a broom to sweep up the mess, but a group of senior chemical engineering students is hoping to turn those brown leftovers green. The team, including Emily Buhle, Joseph Richard Kostenski, Corey Lawrence, and Mathew Wagener, is working to make a biodiesel fuel blend using woodchips and sawdust put through a process called gasification, which turns organic or fossil fuel-based materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. Their goal is to create a renewable fuel source that is profitable and avoids an ethical issue that is attached to currently used biofuels derived from food crops such as corn or soybeans. They have been running scenarios on…
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Chem E car
UIC chemical engineering students take on Chem-E-Car challenge
A University of Illinois at Chicago team of chemical engineering students are using their education, technical skills, determination, and a little help from a kitchen utensil to build a chemically-powered car from scratch. The five dedicated students have been hard at work since last summer to create a car for the 2019 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Chem-E-Car Competition. The annual event challenges students to create a car that can carry a weight up to 500 grams and travel a precise distance on a rectangular course within two minutes. The competition challenges students to control how far the car travels by calculating the exact amount of reactants needed for chemical reactions to power the car, as well as to…
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2D Nano Gel
UIC Chemical Engineering PhD candidate receives NSF-Graduate Fellowship to study 2D nanomaterial gels, inks
University of Illinois at Chicago PhD candidate Deisy Cristina Carvalho Fernandes is breaking through different dimensions with her research on gels and inks made of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials. To further her work, Carvalho Fernandes recently flew across the Atlantic Ocean to start the second half of a research fellowship in France, where she is working with a unique three-dimensional (3D) printer. The three-month stint in France is the second part of her National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) program, which included a first stint from September 2018 through December 2018, and the second started in March and will end in early June. Carvalho Fernandes is working with University of Bordeaux Professor Philippe Poulin in the Centre de Recherche…
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UIC professor looks to the future of electrochemical water treatment
Despite being necessary for life, water is often not valued as a precious resource until it is in short supply or contaminated. Increasing global population, climate change and crumbling water infrastructure have all threaten this life-sustaining resource and have prompted a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher to look at a new, more flexible water treatment model that can adapt to this uncertain environment. UIC Chemical Engineering Department Associate Professor Brian Chaplin recently published a review article in Accounts of Chemical Research. In his review, Chaplin looked at the advantages electrochemical methods offer over existing water treatment technologies and specific challenges the novel technique faces for broad adoption. The work was published as a part of a special issue entitled…
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UIC chemical engineering researchers work on graphene-semiconductor’s ‘surface junction’ leads to emerging photovoltaics field
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are hopeful their groundbreaking research with the thinnest possible material on the planet will have an immense impact on solar energy harvesting and help jumpstart a two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterial revolution in the field of photovoltaics. Sanjay Behura, research assistant professor with UIC’s Department of Chemical Engineering, Vikas Berry, head of the chemical engineering department, and colleagues published an article in Nature Photonics that reviewed their work on the surface junction in solar cells made with a 2D layer of graphene placed on top of a bulk three-dimensional (3D) semiconductor. Berry said the paper discusses how ultrathin, 2D nanomaterials are helping to revolutionize photovoltaic systems that use light to create energy. In traditional systems, the…
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PhD candidate Alireza Ahmadian Yazdi with professor Jie Xu
PhD candidate gaining industry experience via NSF INTERN grant
By David Staudacher, UIC PhD candidate Alireza Ahmadian Yazdi has taken his studies outside the laboratory and into the working world. The College of Engineering student jumped at the opportunity to take on a five-month internship at California-based Beckman Coulter, a leading company in biomedical instruments. Ahmadian Yazdi, who is working on his PhD under the direction of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Assistant Professor Jie Xu in the Microfluidics Laboratory and being co-advised by Associate Professor Vikas Berry in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UIC, was awarded a $55,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) INTERN program to pursue the unique opportunity that started in January and runs through May. This grant was a supplement to the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center award for…
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artificial leaf
UIC professor’s artificial leaf makes waves as new way to lower greenhouse gases
New research from the University of Illinois at Chicago has proposed a novel design for artificial leaves that would be at least 10 times more efficient than their natural counterparts at transforming carbon dioxide into fuel. The research, from Meenesh Singh, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the UIC College of Engineering, and his colleague Aditya Prajapati, a graduate student in his lab, has made a splash in the media since being published earlier this month in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. Singh and Prajapati proposed encapsulating a traditional artificial leaf inside a transparent, semi-permeable membrane capsule made of a quaternary ammonium resin and filled with water. This capsule would allow the leaves to function outside of the…
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2018

2017

Artificial Leaf with Active Flow Published on the Front Cover of Sustainable Energy & Fuels
The electrochemical performance of three different types of membrane-containing electrolyte-flow schemes for solar-driven water splitting has been studied quantitatively using 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional multi-physics models. The Nernstian potential loss associated with pH gradients at the electrode surfaces, the resistive loss between the cathode and anode, the product-gas crossovers, and the required pumping energy in all three schemes have been evaluated as a function of the operational current density, the flow rates for the electrolyte, and the physical dimensions of the devices.
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Said Al-Hallaj with Thermal battery prototype
Photo of Vikas Berry (left) and Ankit Mehta

2016

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Associate Prof. Gang Cheng joins the department
Dr. Gang Cheng, PhD from University of Washington Seattle (2009) joins the Chemical Engineering Faculty as an Associate Professor with tenure. Prior to this appointment at UIC, Dr. Cheng was an Associate Professor and Assistant Professor at the University of Akron. Dr. Cheng was also an adjunct professor of Integrative Medical Sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Dr. Cheng’s group is engaged in multidisciplinary research (polymeric materials, biosensing, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and electrochemistry) centered on zwitterionic polyelectrolytes by exploring the connections between new polymer chemistry/physics and applications. Over the past seven years, Dr. Cheng’s group has made significant contributions to the field of biomaterials by designing and studying novel zwitterionic polyelectrolytes for drug delivery, biosensing and antimicrobial coatings. The…
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Assistant Prof. Shafigh Mehraeen joins the department
Dr. Shafigh Mehraeen, PhD from Stanford University (2011) joins the Chemical Engineering Faculty as an Assistant Professor. Prior to this appointment at UIC, Dr. Mehraeen was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. After two-year postdoctoral career at the Center for Organic Electronics in Georgia Institute of Technology, he received the MIT postdoctoral fellowship and worked in the Chemistry Department at MIT since then. His research has focused on developing new methods to explore dynamics of directed self-assembly of sub-10 nm particles with single particle positioning resolution, predict the role of donor-acceptor interfacial properties on charge generation and energy losses in organic solar cells, and explain the impact of materials disorder on charge transport properties of organic semiconductors. Dr. Mehraeen has authored…
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Assistant Prof. Meenesh Singh joins the department
Dr. Meenesh R. Singh joins the Department of Chemical Engineering as an Assistant Professor and will be the director of the Materials and Systems Engineering Lab (MaSEL) at UIC. Prior to his appointment at UIC, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis with a joint affiliation to UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.Dr. Singh obtained his B.E degree in chemical engineering from Sardar Patel University in 2005, M.Tech degree in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2008 and Ph.D is chemical engineering from Purdue University in 2013. His doctoral research at Purdue University was under the guidance of Prof. D. Ramkrishna, where he developed novel computational and experimental tools to study…
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Associate Prof. Ying Liu named as 2015 UIC Researcher and Scholar of the Year
Associate Professor Ying Liu was named Recipient of a 2015 UIC Researcher and Scholar of the Year Award by The U.I.C. Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR). "These honors recognize and celebrate the efforts and commitment of individuals who are advancing knowledge in their area of research and scholarship. Dr. Liu was one of four UIC early career researchers to receive the Rising Star award.
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Student Organizations- AICHE
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2015

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Assistant Prof. Vivek Sharma receives the Distinguished Young Rheologist Award
Assistant Professor Vivek Sharma receives the Distinguished Young Rheologist Award from TA Instruments. This award, which includes an instrument grant is bestowed on a promising young researcher nominated by an international panel of the most established and respected academic researchers from the Society of Rheology.
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Industryday
Our first Annual Industry Day
The Department of Chemical Engineering had its first Annual Industry Day on 23rd Oct 2015 with great engagement between students and the industry.
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Assistant Prof. Sangil Kim joins the department
The Department of Chemical Engineering welcomes Dr. Sangil Kim, who joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor. Prior to his appointment at UIC, he was a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and an adjunct research faculty at the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Chemical Engineer and South Carolina educator Michael D. Amiridis named UIC Chancellor/Vice President
Chemical Engineer and South Carolina educator Michael D. Amiridis named UIC Chancellor/Vice President. Before serving as the Executive Vice President for academic affairs and Provost at the University of South Carolina, Amiridis was the Dean of South Carolina’s College of Engineering and Computing from 2006 to 2009, and served as the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 2002 to 2006. Dr. Amiridis earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His research interests focus on the synthesis and catalytic characterization of bimetallic nanoparticles with controlled composition and architecture. He has won several awards for his academic work including the…
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Associate Prof. Vikas Berry‘s research group’s latest paper gets featured in Washington Post, Wall Street Journal
Associate Professor Vikas Berry's research group's latest paper published in Scientific Reports (Mar 2015) gets featured in Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (R&D Section), EE-Times, Motherboard and several other news portals. Topic: Electron transport through graphene quantum dots interfaced with a single spore: A Cyborg Nano-Electro-Robotic-Device (NERD). Vikas Berry and Sanjay Behura (postdoctoral fellow in the group) also published a paper in ACS Nano on non-degenerate doping of 2D semiconductors.
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Associate Professor Vikas Berry joins the Department
Associate Professor Vikas Berry joins the Department of Chemical Engineering. Berry Research Lab studies the electrical, structural, and chemical properties of innovatively designed nano- and bio- materials to enable the development of the next-generation-applications in biomedicine, electronics and nano mechanics.
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