Department Head Welcome Letter Fall 2020
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Greetings and best regards from UIC chemical engineering. Given that we have few opportunities to get together this year, I hope this email will update you on the research we have underway, the adaptations we are pursuing to ensure high-quality student learning, and some recent successes of our students and alumni. I look forward to learning what is going on in your departments as well.
I am pleased to announce that we welcomed a new faculty member this fall: Associate Professor Anh Ngo, who joins us from Argonne National Laboratory. He works in the area of theoretical and computational materials science and already has built several research collaborations with department faculty.
Like many engineering departments, UIC chemical engineering took an unexpected research turn this spring as we joined the collective effort to find solutions to the challenges posed by COVID-19. We are working on developing new COVID-19 detection mechanisms, designing COV-2 vaccine delivery systems, building advanced mask membranes, and inventing new types of sanitizing products. I am intrigued and encouraged by the work that many chemical engineering faculty around the world are doing to combat the virus.
We are fortunate that our productivity has remained high. Our total research funding increased by 16 percent over last year, and we saw at 24-percent increase in research publications. On the student side, our undergraduate Chem-E-Car team placed seventh in the national AIChE competition, and several of our doctoral students’ work has garnered attention from the research community and industry. As a department, we are committed to supporting students and faculty members of all backgrounds and to help diversify the chemical engineering field. We formed a diversity committee this year to formalize that work.
If you would like to be in touch about research collaborations or any other cross-university partnerships, I encourage you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish you all a healthy and rewarding remainder of the fall semester.
Vikas Berry, PhD