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 School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering


John and Mary Brock Endow School Chair (page 2) Ravi Kane Joins ChBE as Betty Chair/GRA Eminent Scholar (page 4) Engineered Biosystems Building Opens (page 5)

A Message from Contents 2

John and Mary Brock Endow School Chair


ChBE Welcomes Ravi Kane and Anant Paravastu


Engineered Biosystems Building Opens Industry Outreach


In the Lab


Faculty News


Alumni Spotlight: David Carlton


Alumni Awards/News


AIChE Meeting


Silas Memorial

Think Big. Solve Big.


Greetings from the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE). Our program continues to grow and excel, and this magazine highlights some of the people and activities that make our School special. Our undergraduate program is one of the largest chemical engineering programs in the U.S., and our students’ accomplishments create many opportunities for them throughout industry and in top graduate programs. This fall, we welcomed more than 200 freshmen to Georgia Tech who have chosen ChBE as their major (50 percent of whom are women students). Our PhD program is also one of the largest in the U.S. This fall, we welcomed 46 new PhD students, who will participate in the broad range of research led by ChBE faculty. In the past two years, we have had nine PhD students receive pres-

tigious NSF Graduate Fellowships. As you can read in later pages, we are delighted to welcome two new faculty members to ChBE: Ravi Kane from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Anant Paravastu from Florida State University. Multiple faculty members have recently received significant honors. For example, Ajit Yoganathan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering—a wonderful recognition of his many contributions through the years. In addition, Ravi Kane and Mark Prausnitz have been appointed to endowed chairs, and Chris Jones and Hang Lu have been appointed to endowed professorships. These endowed positions, and other related news you can read about in later pages, highlight the extremely generous gifts that we have received from a range of alumni and friends. If you visit Atlanta, please drop by to visit the School. It is always a pleasure to see our alumni and friends and to learn about your successes. We would also be thrilled to show you Georgia Tech’s new Engineering Biosystems Building while you are here.

About ChBE Established in 1901, the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) is one of eight Schools in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Ranked among the top 10 engineering programs in the nation for both its graduate and undergraduate programs by U.S. News & World Report, ChBE is one of the oldest

and most diverse programs in the country. The mission of ChBE is to provide students with the intellectual basis to be educated citizens, to prepare them for successful careers, and to advance the science and technology that form the basis of chemical and biomolecular engineering.


4 strategic research areas: energy & sustainability biotechnology complex systems materials & nanotechnology

9 #6 Best Undergraduate ChBE Programs


- U.S. News & World Report



faculty members hold major editorial positions with technical journals

Students 1066 undergraduates 213 graduate students

America’s Best Public Universities - U.S. News & World Report

PhD students were awarded National Science Foundation fellowships in 2014 and 2015

• 24 MS and 189 PhD


Faculty & Staff

Best Graduate ChBE Programs - U.S. News & World Report


35 core faculty members (8 women) 10 affiliated faculty • 15 NSF CAREER Award winners • 10 AIChE Fellows • 7 NAE members

3 academic professionals 49 postdoctoral researchers 26 staff members

among U.S. Chemical Engineering departments in Taiwan National University’s “Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities”

More than 75% of ChBE undergraduates receive industrial experience before graduation, and 60% of ChBE undergraduates participate in research.



John and Mary Brock Endow School Chair Georgia Tech. They have focused their philanthropy on ChBE, intercollegiate athletics, and biomedical engineering. And since 2010, they have provided indispensable leadership as co-chairs of Campaign Georgia Tech, working tirelessly to advance the philanthropic cause of the Institute. “This is a special opportunity that means so much to me,” Brock says. “To be able to make this commitment to the School that nurtured my love of engineering, equipped me with the tools I needed to succeed, and provided opportunities I never would have dreamed of—it truly is an honor.” SURPASSING GOALS That it was also the gift that “To be able to make this commitment to the School that nurtured brought ChBE and the College of my love of engineering, equipped me with the tools I needed to succeed, and provided opportunities I never would have dreamed of— Engineering past their Campaign totals was icing on the cake. it is an honor.” “John and I have been watching - John Brock, BS ChE 1970, MS ChE 1971, Chairman and CEO of as Schools and Colleges get closer Coca-Cola Enterprises and closer to their goals, and then ChBE School Chair David Sholl. Under any circumstances, exceed them, and we were happy “This chair will be instrumental to join in the excitement that comes endowing a school chair is an in maintaining and improving extraordinary investment in with that measure of success,” Georgia Tech’s future. But there are ChBE’s position as one of the explains Mary Brock. world’s elite programs.” moments when it is much more. “But we are not done yet. We The John F. Brock III School Mary Rockett Brock, honorary still have a few months left in this alumna, and John F. Brock III (ChE Chair will significantly enhance Campaign, and there is not a single ChBE’s ability to recruit and retain unit that is resting on its laurels. 1970, MS ChE 1971) have established an endowed school chair in preeminent senior faculty memThis is Georgia Tech. We plan on the School of Chemical and Biomo- bers to this leadership position for finishing strong.” lecular Engineering (ChBE). generations to come. It will also John Brock’s extensive Their $2.5 million commitment provide discretionary resources involvement with Tech includes pushed the School as well as the for the school chair to meet chang- appointments on multiple boards, ing needs and to take maximum College past their Campaign including the Georgia Tech advantage of new opportunities as Foundation and the Georgia Tech fundraising goals — $45 million they arise. and $480 million, respectively. Advisory Board. “John and Mary’s generosity In 2013, he received the J.M. to Georgia Tech in general and LONG-RUNNING SUPPORT Pettit Distinguished Service For more than four decades, to Chemical and Biomolecular Award, and in 1996 he was Engineering in particular has been the Brocks have provided transfor- named a College of Engineering mative and visionary support to incredible,” says Professor and Distinguished Alumnus. 2


“John’s career success is a wonderful example of the observation that an engineering degree from Georgia Tech can lead anywhere.” - ChBE School Chair David Sholl

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS After graduating from Tech, Brock joined Procter & Gamble as a project engineer in product development. He went on to Cadbury Schweppes and Interbrew, where he led the merger resulting in the creation of InBev, the largest brewer in the world by volume. In 2006, Brock was named president and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, and he was soon elected chairman of the board. Recently, Brock was named CEO of Coca-Cola European Partners, a newly created company resulting from the merger of

Coca-Cola Enterprises with two European subsidiaries. As Sholl notes, “John’s career success is a wonderful example of the observation that an engineering degree from Georgia Tech can lead anywhere.” Mary Rockett Brock earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in science education from Miami University of Ohio. A philanthropist, active community leader, and passionate advocate for women’s sports, she is a co-owner of the Women’s National Basketball Association team the Atlanta Dream.

Giving Opportunities To inquire about making a gift in support of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, contact: Donna Peyton Director of Development 404-894-0987

School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering School Chair: David Sholl

Campaign Georgia Tech

Main Office: (404) 894-1838

The $1.5 billion effort will enable the Institute to define the technological research university of the 21st century

Chair’s Office: (404) 894-2867

John and Mary Brock’s $2.5 million endowment of a school chair pushed both Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and the College of Engineering past their campaign goals.

ü ü

$480 million

College of Engineering Goal

$45 Million ChBE Goal

Undergraduate Program: (404) 894-2865 Graduate Program: (404) 894-2877 Communications: Brad Dixon, magazine editor (404) 385-2299 Magazine Committee: Julie Champion, Michael Filler, Dennis Hess, Athanasios Nenes, Donna Peyton, Elsa Copyright 2015 • Georgia Institute Reichmanis, David Sholl, of Technology School of Chemical & and Jacqueline Snedeker Biomolecular Engineering

Copyright 2014 • Georgia Institute 2015, Georgia of & ofCopyright Technology School of Institute Chemical Technology, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Biomolecular Engineering



Ravi Kane Joins ChBE as Betty Chair

Researching the interface of biotechnology and nanotechnology

Ravi Kane has joined ChBE as a professor and holder of the Garry Betty/V Foundation Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar in Cancer Nanotechnology. “Ravi is a wonderfully creative and effective researcher, and we are thrilled to have him join us at Georgia Tech,” says ChBE School Chair David Sholl. Previously, Kane served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic

Institute, where he was head of the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering and held the P.K. Lashmet Professorship. Holding master’s and doctoral degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kane focuses his research on the interface of biotechnology and nanotechnology. His research group is designing nanoscale polyvalent therapeutics and working on the molecular engineering of biosurfaces and nanostructures. The Kane group is also interested in using protein engineering, nanotechnology, and other tools to combat cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, influenza, and antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Having contributed to more than 125 scientific publications, Kane has received numerous honors throughout his career. In 2004, MIT’s Technology Review named him one of the top 100 young innovators in the world.

Since then, his numerous honors have included an American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Young Investigator Award, and the American Chemical Society’s Biochemical Technology Division Young Investigator Award. In 2013, he was elected to the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering College of Fellows. About the Bettys Kane’s Chair was endowed by the family of Charles Garrett “Garry” Betty (BS ChE 1979). Inducted into the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame, Betty was president/CEO of the Internet service provider EarthLink from 1996 until his death in 2007. Garry Betty’s wife, Kathy, received the 2013 College of Engineering’s Dean’s Appreciation Award for her continual support of Tech.

Welcome: New Faculty Member Anant Paravastu Anant Paravastu has joined ChBE as an associate professor. Previously on the faculty of Florida State University and Florida A&M University, Paravastu specializes in the use of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for structural characterization of selfassembled proteins. Protein self-assembly into nanostructured filaments leads to plaque formation that is the pathological hallmark of amyloid diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type-II diabetes). 4

In addition to understanding the mechanisms of protein aggregation diseases, Paravastu’s research group is interested in engineering protein self-assembly

for fabrication of artificial extracellular matrices, and for integration of self-assembled protein structures into hybrid nanostructured materials and nanoelectronic devices. Paravastu, who holds a a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2011. In 2014, he and other researchers won a $1.67 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a specific protein in the body believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease.


EBB Creates Research Neighborhoods Opened in September 2015, the Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) is extending Georgia Tech’s vision for interdisciplinary research, addressing many of today’s great challenges in biomedical science and human health. EBB has been designed around the concept of “research neighborhoods,” each with a specific focus, bringing together faculty from a variety of disciplines to share not only state-of-the-art laboratories, but also common spaces that will nurture the informal collaborations and conversations that can lead to new ideas and solutions. The 220,000-square-foot building integrates faculty and students from the Colleges of Computing, Sciences, and Engineering (including ChBE). Collaborative partners include Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “Disease is not simple,” says College of Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart. “To understand it and to address it, we must quantify, analyze, and manipulate the cellular logic of life. The research neighborhoods have been designed and programmed to facilitate this vision.” ChBE faculty members based in EBB include

“The facility will integrate biosciences, bioengineering, and biotechnology with the goal of dramatically improving the human condition.” - Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson

Andreas Bommarius, Julie Champion, Ravi Kane, Hang Lu, and Mark Styczynski.

Industry Outreach: Sankar Nair Building Corporate Relationships As ChBE’s new associate chair for industry outreach, Professor Sankar Nair is developing relationships with industry representatives in order to formalize partnerships and maximize the relevance of the School’s research in addressing real-world challenges. “I believe that the ingenuity, expertise, and capabilities of ChBE researchers offer a range of attractive opportunities to technologyoriented companies,” says Nair, who began in the role in early 2015. ChBE School Chair and Professor David Sholl says, “ChBE is already a leader in industryrelevant and industry-sponsored

research. Sankar’s efforts are broadening the range of industrial partners we work with as we continue to develop technologies that solve pressing industrial problems and prepare our graduate students for leadership positions in industry R&D.” Nair and Sholl have already had detailed discussions and visits with more than 20 largeand mid-size companies. These efforts have led to negotiations on R&D collaborations, the hir“Although ChBE has had longing of ChBE students as industrial standing collaborations with several chemical and petroleum R&D interns, and attracting more companies, there is great companies to the ChBE graduate potential to broaden outreach to a research symposium. wider range of companies.” CHBE.GATECH.EDU


in the lab Pollen Grains for Intestinal Diagnostics Thanks to a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Professor J. Carson Meredith is pursuing a global health research project that will focus on developing a rapid and low-cost diagnostic for childhood intestinal diseases. His project involves a novel,

low-cost method to test the health of the intestinal mucus lining in children by using both natural and synthetic pollen particles. If the mucus layer is damaged by disease, it won’t function as well, and endemic gastrointestinal diseases can result. “Pollen grains are covered

Controlling Heat as Waves “It’s now a very cool thing to understand heat,” says Assistant Professor Martin Maldovan. In his single-author paper published in Nature Materials – “Phonon wave interference and thermal bandgap materials” – he describes recent developments and predicts future advances in using interference effects in phonon waves to control heat transport in materials. “If you can make heat behave as a wave and have interference while controlling how far it moves, you could basically control all the properties behind heat transport,” Maldovan says. “This would be a completely new way to understand and manipulate heat.”


with unique nanoscale spines that I believe will make them excellent but inexpensive sensors of mucus function,” Meredith explains.

Microneedles for Vaccine Delivery The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $2.5 million in grants to advance work led by Regents’ Professor Mark Prausnitz to develop dissolvable microneedle patches for polio immunization. The patches will be studied to evaluate their potential role as part of the worldwide efforts to eradicate polio. Georgia Tech’s first-ever clinical trial was begun in July 2015 to assess the use of microneedle patches in vaccinating against influenza.

Methane Storage: Maxed Out A new multi-organization study suggests that, when it comes to storing methane for natural gas using nanoporous materials, the current methods are as good as it gets. Because of its low energy density, natural gas has to be compressed or liquefied, which makes it difficult to integrate into vehicles. A potential solution is to store natural gas inside materials with nano-sized pores. However, after simulating more than 650,000 designs for nanoporous materials, the researchers propose that the best candidates have already been designed. Conducted by researchers including Professor and ChBE School Chair David Sholl and graduate student Jeff Camp, the study appeared in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.


ChBE Team Develops New, More Stable Foam Lightweight foams used in the construction of buildings, automobiles, and airplanes are key materials in the push for sustainability and energy efficiency. But producing lightweight foams that are stable is a big challenge. However, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new type of foam – called capillary foam – that solves many stability challenges. Their research shows that the combined presence of particles and a small amount of oil in water-based foams can lead to exceptional foam stability when

neither the particles nor the oil alone can stabilize the foams. “It’s very difficult to stabilize foams, and we want foams that are stable for months or years,” says Professor Sven Behrens, the study’s co-author. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the research was published in Angewandte Chemie. The new capillary foams were developed by graduate student

Study Shows Human-made Pollutants Influence Tree Emissions Certain emissions from cars and coal-fired power plants promote processes that transform naturally occurring emissions from trees into organic aerosols that can affect climate, air quality, and human health, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers, including ChBE Assistant Professor Sally Ng (pictured) and Professor Athanasios Nenes, found that sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides directly and substantially mediate the formation of aerosols from the volatile organic compounds produced by trees. “This finding is good news for pollution control. If we are able to further reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, we will decrease not only sulfate aerosols, but also organic aerosols,,” Ng says.

Yi Zhang (pictured), who is coadvised by Behrens and Professor J. Carson Meredith.

Reducing Health Impact of Electric Power Generation By combining information about power plant operation with real-time air quality predictions, researchers have created a new way to minimize the human health effects of air pollution resulting from electric-power generating facilities. The Air Pollutant Optimization Model, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a new approach for reducing the health effects of ozone and fine particulate pollution. By helping to reduce both health impacts and generating costs, the researchers’ model may provide a new tool for utility companies seeking to meet air quality standards, complementing traditional capital-intensive emission controls. “For the first time, we have integrated the capability for rapidly predicting air quality into the electricity system operation model,” says Professor Athanasios Nenes, whose study collaborators include Professor Matthew Realff. “This is really all about ‘smart generation,’” Nenes adds.



faculty news Julie Champion •

Elected as an American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Materials Engineering & Sciences Division director for 2014-16 Awarded Georgia Tech’s 2015 Junior Faculty Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

Ronald Chance Won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Green Chemistry Award (Climate Change category) as the executive vice president of Algenol (recognized for developing blue-green algae to produce ethanol and other fuels) John Crittenden Won the National Water Research Institute’s Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for research excellence Charles Eckert Won Sigma Xi’s 2015 Monie A. Ferst Award (for inspiring students to excel in research) Michael Filler Won the AIChE Outstanding Faculty Award for ChBE Chris Jones • Named a fellow, American Chemical Society • Named a fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science/Section on Chemistry

Chris Luettgen Named professor of the practice in ChBE, associate director of Pulp and Paper at the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI), and director of the Undergraduate Pulp & Paper Program

Sally Ng • Elected as an AIChE Environmental Division director for 2015-17 • Principal Investigator for a team that won a $700,000 Major Instrumentation Grant from the NSF (for a gas-particle, highresolution mass spectrometer) Sandra Pettit Won a Fellow Grade Award from the Society of Women Engineers

Pamela Peralta-Yahya Won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (category: Advanced Automation and Microfluidic Technologies for Engineering Biology)

Mark Prausnitz Named a fellow, National Academy of Inventors Elsa Reichmanis Named a member, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Rights Carsten Sievers Named editor of Applied Catalysis A: General Jacqueline Snedeker Received a Phillips 66 grant as director of the Technical Communications Program (featured in a Phillips 66 video)

Krista Walton Won the Rising Star Award from the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society.

Hang Lu Named a fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Sankar Nair and Chris Jones Won the Georgia Tech Sigma Xi Best Faculty Paper Award for “Interfacial Microfluidic Processing of Metal-Organic Framework Hollow Fiber Membranes,” published in Science Athanasios Nenes Named a Cullen-Peck Fellow, Georgia Tech College of Sciences

ChBE Wins 2015 CCR Safety Award The Council for Chemical Research (CCR) selected the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering to receive the 2015 CCR University Safety Award. Established in 2014, this award is presented annually to an academic department which has demonstrated significant progress in creating a culture of safety in chemical research.


Major Distinction:

Ajit Yoganathan Elected to NAE Professor Ajit P. Yoganathan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering—one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Yoganathan, who holds faculty appointments in ChBE and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), was elected for his contributions to improvements in the biomechanics of prosthetic heart valves and development of heart repair devices. His research deals with experimental and computational fluid mechanics as it pertains to artificial heart valves, left and right sides of the heart, and congenital heart diseases. His work involves the use

of laser Doppler velocimetry, digital particle image velocimetry, and Doppler ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging to non-invasively study and quantify blood flow patterns in the cardiovascular system. “Ajit is one of the finest scholars in the field of biomedical engineering,” says Ravi Bellamkonda, chair of the Department of BME. “The impact he has had in combining mathematical modeling with experimental validation on improving heart valve performance can be measured only by our ability to measure the value of saved lives.”

Elected for his contributions to improving the biomechanics of prosthetic heart valves and developing heart repair devices.

Love Chair and Professorships Awarded “Their research is truly changing the world.” - ChBE School Chair David Sholl

Mark Prausnitz

Three ChBE faculty members have been appointed to prestigious endowed positions made possible by the generosity of the family of the late J. Erskine Love Jr. Regents’ Professor Mark Prausnitz has been awarded the J. Erskine Love Jr. Chair in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, a position previously held by Professor Chuck Eckert until his retirement in 2014. Professors Chris Jones and Hang Lu have both been awarded Love Family Professorships.

“These positions are just part of an amazing legacy of generosity to Georgia Tech by the Love family, which now includes multiple endowed positions in ChBE and in other units on campus, as well as many other contributions,” says ChBE School Chair David Sholl. “Mark, Hang, and Chris all

Chris Jones

exemplify the ChBE aim to ‘Think Big, Solve Big.’ Their research is truly changing the world. “It is wonderful to be able to honor their past and future accomplishments with these prestigious endowed positions.” Long-time Tech supporter J. Erskine Love Jr. (ME 1949) received the Georgia Tech Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon alumni of the Institute.

Hang Lu



alumni spotlight DAVID CARLTON (BS ChE 1979) Engineer with a Medical Mission For a baby developing inside the womb, the last weeks before birth are crucial. Babies born too early enter the world at a great disadvantage. And caring for prematurely born infants—defined as having arrived at 37 weeks of gestation or sooner—is an immensely delicate and complicated mission. In Atlanta, a prominent leader of this mission is Dr. David Carlton (BS ChE 1979), head of Emory University’s neonatal-perinatal medicine division. In addition to caring for preemies and babies born with undeveloped organs and other complications, Carlton oversees a cooperative of neonatal intensive care involving Emory, Grady Hospital, and Children’s “I think the encouragement Healthcare of Atlanta. to explore is one of the greatest features of the What would surprise people Georgia Tech environment.” most about these infants? that if they had avoided x or y, their More than people think, babies baby wouldn’t have been born prein the ICU do well. They have a maturely. They blame themselves. resilience about them that’s a little We reassure them, though, that this counterintuitive when you see how is not something they’ve triggered small they are. They might weigh or caused. Premature birth in 2015 only two pounds, but the vast ma- is not preventable, at least not in jority will survive. I’m pleasantly the sense that some other medical surprised by their inborn nature conditions are preventable. and their willingness to fight. How does a chemical engiWhy are premature births so neering major become head of a common? sophisticated neonatal intensive care unit? We really don’t know. It’s the focus of a lot of scientific interest After graduation, I was looking right now. There’s not one domiat jobs with several oil companies, nant thing that causes it — and as well as a position at Oak Ridge rarely is it something the mother National Laboratory. But I also did herself. Lots of mothers think began considering alternative uses


of my Georgia Tech education. My thoughts turned to becoming a doctor. So I decided to go to medical school at Emory and enjoyed every minute of it. Do you see parallels between engineering and the practice of medicine? You could say so about physiology, obviously, and that was an interest of mine. But what’s really important is the larger preparation Georgia Tech provides. It’s an education that prepares you to do anything you want. I think the encouragement to explore is one of the greatest features of the Georgia Tech environment.


2015 CoE Alumni Awards Three graduates of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering were honored at the Georgia Tech College of Engineering Alumni Awards in April 2015. They are: • John E. Nobles, ChE 1974, who was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. He is the retired group president and board member of Burns & McDonnell. • John T. Hammond, ChE 1972, MS IE 1975, Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He is president and chief executive officer of Hammond Electronics. • Arthur D. Barfield, ChBE 2011, Council of Outstanding Young Alumni. He works as a project engineer for 3M.

John E. Nobles (above)

John T. Hammond (above center), with College of Engineering Dean Gary S. May (left) and Georgia Tech President Emeritus G. Wayne Clough

Arthur D. Barfield (left)

alumni news & updates Decie Autin, ChE 1980, is a new member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Board of Trustees. A project executive with ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas, she is also a member of the Strategic Energy Institute’s Advisory Board. Donald B. Bivens, MS 1963, PhD 1966, is the 2015 chair of the research administration committee of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and AirConditioning Engineers. Shannon Capps, PhD 2012, will begin a faculty position in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University in fall 2016. Louis Darrouzet, BS 2005, is vice president of business development at cycleWood Solutions, a startup biodegradable and compostable plastics company. Hugh R. Gaston, BS 1998, was promoted to vice president of operations of Acumen

Physician Services, which develops and delivers intuitive software tools to assist nephrologists in the practice of medicine. Paula T. Hammond, MS 1988, was named the new head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the first woman and person of color appointed to the post. Lee Hanson, BS 1984, founder of the Hanson Group, developed the Guardian Cap, a soft-shell cover for football helmets that reduces the impact of collisions by 33 percent to prevent concussions. More than 300 teams have adopted the cap, and 20,000 players now wear one. Richard Moore, PhD 2011, accepted a civil servant position at NASA Langley. These highly coveted positions are given to only a small fraction of NASA employees who are considered strategically important to NASA's mission and goals. Moore got this position after serving in a two-year postdoctoral position at NASA.

Max Nguyen, BS 2014, was granted a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship opportunity to work at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois, in summer 2015. He is now a master’s student at Cornell University. Vicky Polashock, BS 1990, PhD 1995, was recognized by Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine for her leadership of the Georgia Tech North Metro alumni network. She has “brought new, young leaders to the group, led improvements to the network’s scholarship activities and created new events while enhancing established ones,” the magazine noted. Naechul Shin, PhD 2013, has accepted a faculty position in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Inha University in Incheon, South Korea.

For more alumni news and updates, please visit



AIChE Annual Meeting Highlights

More than 1,800 students attended AIChE’s 2014 Annual Student Conference. The student recruiting fair, held on campus, drew more than 70 exhibitors.

ChBE welcomed the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting to Atlanta Nov. 16-21, 2014. This was the first time the organization’s highestprofile and best-attended conference had been held in Atlanta. AIChE’s Annual Meeting is the premier educational forum for chemical engineers. More than 1,800 students attended the 2014 Annual Student Conference, making it the largest AIChE student conference ever. Key events of the student Cconference were held at Georgia Tech— the first time these events have taken place on a campus. For example, ChBE hosted the student conference’s recruiting fair, which featured more

AIChE’s Undergraduate Chem-E-Car Competition In AIChE’s popular Chem-E-Car Competition, undergraduate student groups from many institutions designed and built cars powered by chemical energy sources. The cars had to travel a designated distance carrying a specified load. The Georgia Tech Chem-E-Car team (pictured right) was awarded the 2014 Best Use of Biological Reaction to Power Car award in the competition, which was won overall by the University of Utah team. Advised by Professor Cliff Henderson, Georgia Tech’s team included Victoria Falk, Kellie Heom, Jonathan Pang, Hale Schwerin, Jonathan Slater, Keller Smith, and Jason Wu. The competition was held in Georgia Tech’s Ken Byers Tennis Complex.



than 70 exhibitors from companies and highereducation institutions. ChBE also held an evening banquet in the Ford Environmental Science and Technology building for academic department heads and other leaders in the field. For two days before the AIChE Annual Meeting got under way, ChBE held a weekend workshop for graduate students. The Graduate Student Workshop on Entrepreneurship and Creativity was led by members of Georgia Tech’s VentureLab business incubator. AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 45,000 members from more than 100 countries.

Georgia Tech Students Win Awards at AIChE Meeting Seven ChBE undergraduates (pictured at right) were winners in the AIChE Undergraduate Student Poster Competition at the 2014 Annual Meeting. They included Ashten Fralick, Miraj Desai, Daniel Nicoloso, Emily Tucker, Virginia Collier, Daniel Puleri, and Yundi Jiang (left to right).

Taylor Newsom, past Georgia Tech AIChE Student Chapter president (pictured above left), accepted the award for Outstanding Student Chapter from ChBE Professor Cliff Henderson, chair of the AIChE Student Chapter Committee. The Tech chapter is recognized virtually every year with this award.

Saujan Sivaram, PhD 2015, won the first-place Graduate Student Award for Area 8E (Electronics and Photonics) at the AIChE Annual Meeting. One of seven finalists invited to present their research at a special session of the meeting, Sivaram gave a talk titled “Elucidating the Chemical Origin Underlying Stable Semiconductor Nanowire Growth.” Formerly a member of the Filler Lab, Sivaram applied

for the award in May 2014, providing a summary of his research accomplishments.

Alumnus, Longtime Supporter C.J. ‘Pete’ Silas Dies C.J. “Pete” Silas, a Georgia Tech chemical engineering graduate (ChE 1953) and longtime supporter of the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, died on Dec. 16, 2014. He was 82. Silas, a former chairman and CEO of Phillips Petroleum Co., is the namesake of ChBE’s Phillips 66 C.J. “Pete” Silas

Program in Ethics and Leadership. This annual lecture recognizes Silas’ outstanding professional achievements and commitment to doing business in an ethical, responsible manner. “Pete was a wonderful friend to Georgia Tech and the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering,” says Ronald Rousseau, former ChBE School Chair and holder of the

Cecil J. “Pete” Silas Chair, which was established with a donation from Silas. “He was a superb athlete and a gifted leader of one of the world’s great energy companies and countless other organizations,” Rousseau says. “I feel fortunate to have known him as a friend and to hold the endowed chair named in his honor. I am sure the entire Georgia Tech family joins me in extending sympathies to his family, especially to his wife, Theo.”



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Georgia Tech's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering's 2015 Magazine

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Georgia Tech's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering's 2015 Magazine