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ChBE news





Dame Julia S. Higgins Delivers the 21st Annual Ashton Cary Lecture ChBE proudly welcomed Professor and Dame Julia S. Higgins as the 21st Annual Ashton Cary Lecturer when she presented The Responsibility of Being a Scientist at the beginning of the spring semester. Dr. Higgins is the Director of the Graduate School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Imperial College, London and a professor of Polymer Science in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She also serves as Foreign Secretary and Vice President of the Royal Society. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford, Dr. Higgins focused her research on the application of scattering techniques, notably neutron scattering, to the understanding of polymer behavior. She has enjoyed a distinguished career beginning with her appointment to the academic staff at Imperial College in 1976. She was named Professor in 1989 and served as Dean of the City and Guilds College (Engineering faculty) from 1993 to 1997. Currently, Dr. Higgins is the Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, a Trustee of the National Gallery and the Daphne Jackson Trust, a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy

of Engineering, and a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Higgins was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2002 and a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2003. Dr. Higgins’ lecture explored the various responsibilities of being a scientist in the modern world. She identified the issues surrounding the role of society as the key problem in the responsible science debate, noting that although society funds science indirectly through tax payments and public ownership of shares and investments, society has little control over the applications of science. She said that this relationship is “a mismatch of risk and control, and scientists need to encourage debate on serious scientific questions so that society’s views can inform both political and commercial decisions being made in its name.” “Scientists have an absolute responsibility not only to do their science well but also to be open to the judgment and opinions of the community in whose name and at whose expense they are doing it,” Dr. Higgins said. She said that open communication is the absolute key to removing the mystery that surrounds science for many

members of the nonscientific community. All scientists have the responsibility to engage at an appropriate level in the dialogue developing between science and society. She offered this advice to all scientists: “Only by entering a real dialogue – admitting the risks as well as hailing the potential benefits of new knowledge – will we as scientists maintain the respect and trust of society, and restore it where it has been damaged.”

Painting Celebrates Tech’s Past, Inspires Future For noted Charlotte, N.C., artist Peggy Simmons, the commission for a painting to hang in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering was a labor of love. She met her husband, Jim Simmons, Text ‘66, MS Text ‘67, on campus 45 years ago. “Georgia Tech means a lot to us, because it was there for us as we were married and provided a springboard for whatever success we’ve had together in life,” said Jim Simmons, a member of the ChBE External Advisory Board. Titled “Reflecting a Georgia Tech Life: The Past Inspiring the Future,” the painting features the spanning windows of the Ford ES&T Building’s Gossage Atrium, which mirrors imaginary reflections of several key Institute buildings located on other areas of the campus. “The ES&T Building, especially with the big windows in the atrium area, just caught my attention,” Peggy Simmons said. “It represents the future and it has a great reflection. Therefore, I had my idea – the reflection of the foundations of Georgia Tech and the future.” She said the painting illustrates “Jim’s Georgia Tech life reflected in the building where he continues to inspire the future graduates of this institution.” Unveiled on April 24, the painting adorns a wall in the seminar room named for Jim Simmons’ parents, J. Harry and Myrtice Simmons.

From left: Jim and Peggy Simmons, Professor and James F. Simmons Faculty Fellow J. Carson Meredith, and School Chair Ronald Rousseau gather around the commissioned painting during its dedication and installation in the Simmons Conference Room. A photograph of Mr. Simmons’ parents, for whom the room is named, adorns the wall in the background.

The painting was commissioned by School Chair Ronald Rousseau who said, “I asked Peggy if she would do something for us that would have meaning, not just because it came from her, but because it would elevate our environment; it would elevate the atmosphere and, through that, elevate the kind of thinking that goes on in this room.”

Message from the Chair Recent curriculum revisions have caused us to think about some of the characteristics we seek to develop in our students. Without question, almost anyone asked would say that we want our graduates to be competent in the modern aspects of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. In fact, most of the time and effort associated with formal instruction is devoted to ensuring that ChBE students know how to work with mass and energy balances, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and so forth. A graduate without competence cannot perform the tasks expected of a chemical engineer, and so it is right that so much effort is spent developing that characteristic. But there is growing awareness of the importance of other characteristics, some of which are interrelated and all of which assume competence, that we should work to inculcate in our students. These include creativity, integrity, leadership, teamwork, initiative, global perspective, and confidence. To illustrate why these are important, I would like to tell you about my recent experience in visiting with one of our graduates. The story actually begins with me trying to put together a presentation for a group of


campus development officers that described the evolution of Chemical Engineering. In the presentation I had a slide illustrating our discipline’s contributions in the development of the world’s energy and chemical enterprises. On the slide was a photograph showing the impressive structure of the Hoover/Diana Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It wasn’t two weeks later that I was in Deci Autin’s (ChE ‘80) ExxonMobil office in Houston, and there on the wall was a much larger version of the same photograph. It turns out that she was the technical and start-up manager of the platform’s operation. Deci was back in Houston temporarily from her new assignment as manager of deepwater oil and gas development projects in Nigeria, and I was fortunate that her calendar had placed her in Houston during the time of my visit. She was so enthusiastic about her work that I was ready to sign up for a tour of duty on the project! Imagine Deci doing the kind of work she’s doing without a global perspective or integrity or leadership or any of the other characteristics mentioned above: I can’t, and I bet you can’t either.

External Advisory Board Profile Gerri Dickerson, ‘78 — Inspirational and Inspired Gerri Gerri Dickerson’s enthusiasm for science and education is unequivocal. The St. Louis native’s passion was inspired at an early age with the gift of a chemistry set. From there her path was directed towards the success she has achieved today. “I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with reactions and observing the results of combining various chemicals. As a result, general and organic chemistry were my favorite subjects,” she says. Gerri’s affinity for chemistry led her to pursue not one, but two undergraduate degrees in science. In 1978, she simultaneously earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in natural science from Spelman College through the Dual Degree Engineering Program. Gerri says that participating in the program was a wonderful experience. “I had the best of both worlds – a Spelman liberal arts education coupled with a focused technical education from Tech. While my parents and high school studies provided me with an excellent foundation for my education and adulthood, my college years really propelled me to the next level,” she says. And they propelled her quite far. Gerri’s professional successes have been considerable, beginning immediately after college when she began working as a process engineer for The Coca-Cola Company. Next, she worked for the Kinetics Consulting Group and Carlson Associates before joining CH2M HILL as a process engineer in 1991. Since that time, she has served the company in several roles and was named Vice President and Area Manager in 2002. In 2003, Gerri became the Southeast’s director for staff growth and development, and in 2005 assumed local leadership of the Environmental Business

Group. As Vice President and Area Manager, she oversees a multimillion dollar Georgia operation and manages an office of 365 employees. Gerri is responsible for growing and diversifying the business, creating a positive local brand, and advancing and advocating benchmark client service. CH2M HILL provides full service engineering, consulting, construction, and operations to public, private, and federal clients and has 18,000 employees and 200 offices worldwide. In addition to her impressive career history, Gerri is also active in the community. She has served as CH2M HILL’s College Relations Ambassador to Tech and Spelman, and serves on the CH2M HILL’s Board of Directors’ Workforce and Diversity Subcommittee, ChBE’s External Advisory Board, the Board of Directors for the Regional Leadership Forum, the League of Women Voter’s Board of Directors, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors. In 2005, Gerri was inducted into Tech’s College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni.

Dual Degree Program The Dual Degree Program continues today, and several students from Spelman and other Atlanta-area colleges enroll each year. Dr. Sue Ann Bidstrup Allen, Associate Chair for Student Initiatives and Executive Assistant to the President, oversees ChBE’s students enrolled in the program and works to encourage increased participation. Gerri Dickerson recommends the program and offers this reflection: “Spelman provided me with a strong sense of community and growth experiences that allowed me to blossom into the well-rounded person that I am today. Georgia Tech provided me with the strong technical education that gave me the competitive edge that I needed to compete in the marketplace. As a result of my experiences at both of these institutions, I matured into a woman with a very strong sense of self and the confidence to take on the technical challenges that were imminent.”

John Brock, ‘70, M.S. ‘71, Named Head of Coca-Cola Enterprises John Brock, ‘70, M.S. ‘71, has been named CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world’s largest bottler of Coke products, to lead the company into a new era focused on “topline growth.” An industry veteran, John is the first “outsider” to take the helm of CCE. He was CEO of InBev, the largest brewer in the world by volume, until January 2006. John has had more than twenty-five years of experience in the global beverages industry, including as COO of Cadbury Schweppes. John’s demonstrated success in the industry made him the ideal choice to take the lead at CCE. Among his numerous accomplish-

ments, John led Interbrew to achieve unit volume growth rates two to three times that of the global brewing industry and led the development of InBev’s first Global Citizenship Report, detailing the company’s performance in terms of social responsibility. Lowry F. Kline, who has served as chairman of CCE since April 2000, says “John’s global operations, marketing, and brand experience make him uniquely suited to address today’s complex marketplace dynamics. His insight and strategic leadership, honed over almost three decades of managing international companies, has made him one of the most respect-

ed leaders in the beverage industry.” A member of Georgia Tech’s Advisory Board, John is also a director of the Campbell Soup Company and served as director (non-executive) of Reed Elsevier in London from 1999 to 2005.


Nanoparticles Facilitate Chemical Separations Adapted from an article by John Toon, Research News & Publications Office, Georgia Tech Using the unique properties of new nanometer-scale magnetic particles, ChBE Associate Professor Christopher Jones, along with research collaborators, Postdocs Nam T. S. Phan and Joseph V. Nguyen, and Ph.D. Candidate Christopher S. Gill, have for the first time separated for reuse two different catalysts from a multistep chemical reaction done in a single vessel. By combining the new magnetic separation process with traditional gravity-driven separation, the technique could lead to more efficient production of specialty chemicals – and a reduction in waste normally produced by separation processes. “We have developed a way to do multiple reactions in a single vessel while being able to recover the catalysts in pure form for reuse,” explained Dr. Jones. “By doing the reactions in a single vessel, we can cut out two or three separation steps to provide both an economic advan-

Photo by Gary Meek

Nanoscale magnetic particles allow separations in one-pot multi-step chemical reactions tage and an environmentally benign process.” Separations using magnetic catalysts have been limited by a tendency of the nanoparticles to clump together, which dramatically reduces their catalytic activity. To overcome this problem, researchers used nanometer-scale magnetic particles that are so small (5 to 20 nanometers in diameter) that they no longer exhibit a net magnetic attraction in the absence of a magnetic field. But these superparamagnetic nanoparticles, developed by the research group of Z. John Zhang in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, are attracted to an external magnetic source, providing a mechanism for separating them in pure form from the reaction vessel. To reduce the number of separations required, researchers have developed “one-pot” processes in which multiple reactions take place without intermediate separation. However, separations still must be done at the end of the combined reaction steps. This

Post-doctoral researcher Nam Phan (left) and graduate student Christopher Gill study the separation of magnetic nanoparticle catalysts from polymeric resin catalysts. The magnetic nanoparticles are easily manipulated with magnets as small as a simple kitchen magnet.

new technique would allow more than one catalyst to be recovered and reused at the end of the onepot reactions. Dr. Jones envisions the new process being used in the specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industries, which produce relatively small volumes of high-value chemicals. Supported by an exploratory research grant from the National Science Foundation and by Georgia Tech internal research

funding, the project demonstrates how the unique properties of nanometer-scale materials can find real-world applications. “Here, nanotechnology allows us to do something that is commercially relevant and environmentally benign,” Dr. Jones said. “The understanding of magnetic properties at the nanoscale allowed us to put a magnetic catalyst and a nonmagnetic catalyst together, do a reaction, and then separate them.”

The College of Engineering held its annual Alumni Awards Reception in fall 2005, inducting new members who exemplify the essence of Georgia Tech – a strong technological foundation, a competitive spirit, and a drive for excellence. Selection is based upon their accomplishments, as well as their dedication to their professions, their communities, and especially to Tech. ChBE welcomed alumni John Hunter, ‘69, into the Engineering Hall of Fame; Gerri Dickerson, ‘78, and Roger Kearns, ‘86, into the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni; and Kellye Hafner, Ph.D. ‘96, and Vandana Vishnu, Ph.D. ‘95, into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni. A complete list of ChBE members from 1994 to the present is available online at From left: Vandana Vishnu, Roger Kearns, Kellye Hafner, School Chair Ronald Rousseau, Gerri Dickerson, and Provost Jean-Lou Chameau. John Hunter is not pictured.


Focus on Research: Energy

Rachel Chen

Richard E. Smalley, a gifted chemist who shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery of buckyballs and helped pioneer the field of nanotechnology, died last fall at the age of 62. His contributions to science endure as a legacy forming the groundwork for solving one of the world’s most pervasive problems: energy. In his article “Future Global Energy Prosperity: The Terawatt Challenge,” Dr. Smalley wrote: “Energy is not just ‘any old issue.’ I have often asked audiences to name the most critical problems we will have to confront as we go through this century. In every case, after a bit of discussion, [they] have agreed that energy is the single most important issue we face. Why is energy always preeminent? When we look at a prioritized list of the top 10 problems, with energy at the top, we can see how energy is the key to solving all of the rest of the problems – from water to population: 1. Energy, 2. Water, 3. Food, 4. Environment, 5. Poverty, 6. Terrorism and war, 7. Disease, 8. Education, 9. Democracy, 10. Population.” What does this mean to Chemical Engineers? Not only are the top four problems at the very heart of what Chemical Engineers do, it could be argued that the profession has a role to play in addressing most of these ten concerns through traditional methods and innovative applications. At Georgia Tech, ChBE professors are collaborating with other scientists through a campus-wide energy initiative and through numerous other research projects. The three profiles on this page illustrate some of the recent energy-related research being conducted in the School.

Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant renewable energy feedstock. It can be transformed, by enzyme and microbial technology, into ethanol to displace up to 85% gasoline. Bioethanol can offer a near-term relief from the United States’ dependence on foreign oil as it is readily distributed through the existing transportation-fuel infrastructure and may be used by current-generation vehicles. Supplementing bioethanol for gasoline could positively impact the environment by increasing the efficiency of combustion and lowering particle emissions. Cellulosic ethanol technology, however, has not been commercialized due to the recalcitrance of crystalline cellulose to enzymatic depolymerization. Dr. Chen’s group is addressing this critical barrier by developing novel enzyme systems that enhance the catalytic efficiency by orders of magnitude. Through metabolic engineering, the group is also developing novel ethanologen microbes that reduce the requirement for hydrolyzing enzymes. In addition, partnering with C2Biofuel through Tech’s Strategic Energy Initiative, the group is working toward a commercialization of lignocellulosic ethanol technology. Besides bioethanol, Dr. Chen’s biomolecular engineering research has another intersection with energy production: the Microbial Fuel Cell. Collaborating with Dr. Fuller and Dr. Pierson (Civil Engineering), the group is harnessing the microbial catalytic power for electricity generation, targeting remote sensing, undersea applications, and biomass utilizations.

William Koros

Thomas Fuller

Dr. Koros does research on advanced materials for membranes to promote energy efficiency and barriers for improved packaging. He recently developed crosslinkable glassy materials that can be used with aggressive liquid or high-activity vapor feeds. Even beyond purely polymeric media, Dr. Koros is pursuing a new generation of membranes in collaboration with several other faculty at Georgia Tech. This work involves hybrid materials and uses a combination of polymer and molecular sieve carbons or zeolites to form advanced membranes. The hybrid approach relies upon the attractive processing and mechanical properties of polymers and the molecular sieving capabilities of selective fillers. By tailoring the sieve and polymer types and carefully engineering the interfacial contact between the phases, an enormous array of new opportunities becomes possible. These materials are opening a new cycle of innovation in the membrane field aimed at energy-efficient separation of similar-sized molecules such as propane and propylene and of nitrogen from methane in natural gas. Such difficult separations, which were previously impractical, are now being pursued actively.

Providing energy to meet the demands of a rising world population and growing economic development is difficult – providing this energy without adversely affecting the environment and ensuring the availability of affordable power is a historic challenge for the 21st century. There are multiple technical paths that should be pursued, but it is clear that storage and conversion of energy through chemical transformations, and therefore Chemical Engineering, are at the core. In order to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a carbon-free energy carrier is desired. This need is particularly important for transportation applications where capture of CO2 is more complex. There are two principal energy carrier candidates, hydrogen and electricity. Dr. Fuller’s research is focused on low temperature fuel cells because they efficiently convert between hydrogen and electricity. More specifically, his research addresses durability challenges with proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and innovative hybrid systems. Two of the largest barriers to commercialization of fuel cells for transportation are the relatively high capital cost of fuel-cell and hybrid systems, and the lower durability relative to internal combustion engines. Through a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of degradation, one can better develop new, lower-cost and more durable materials as well as identify system solutions to mitigate the degradation phenomena.





Preparing High School Students for a Future in Research ChBE Alumna Jessica Bartling, ’01, spearheads an innovative program tific research is more than the tried and true demonstrations usually seen in high school laboratories. Student participant Ben Sattin comments that in “AP Chemistry, everything just somehow worked, but in reality, that’s just not the case. It takes time and patience.” Another student, Dana Philen, encourages her peers to participate in research because “it is a great way to find out if science is the field for you.”

From left: Dr. Jessica Bartling with the four students who participated in the inaugural Independent Scientific Research Course at Woodward Academy: Dana Philen, Ben Sattin, Michael Kramarz, and Michael Rubin.

Jessica Bartling, Ph.D. ‘01, has taken her research and engineering training in a unique direction. As a chemistry teacher at Atlantaarea independent school Woodward Academy, she has developed an innovative program that provides high school students with the opportunity to participate in college-level research. The Independent Scientific Research (ISR) course was introduced this year for the first time at Woodward. The program concept had been a topic of discussion for a number of years but did not become a reality until Jessica volunteered to spearhead the program, which is open to highly motivated seniors with a strong interest in science. As part of the ISR course, Jessica requires each student to identify an outside research mentor, develop a research proposal, collect and analyze data, and report findings through written and oral reports. Students must also participate in various high school science competitions.


Each of the four students who participated in the program worked in university labs last summer and then continued his or her project at Woodward throughout the school year with frequent visits to the university labs. They investigated a variety of topics, ranging from bioremediation to quantum physics. The university mentors were from Emory and Tech, including ChBE’s Paul Kohl and Dennis Hess. Jessica says that the mentors were “crucial throughout the process in assisting the students in their investigations.” One of the most unique qualities of the program is that it allows the students to participate in scientific research at a level far surpassing traditional high school curriculum, even the breadth explored in advance placement courses. They participate in realtime experiments along with professors, graduate students, and other university researchers. From their experience, the ISR students have learned that scien-

Already the program has been successful for the students and the greater scientific community. Not only are the students learning invaluable research skills, they are also winning awards, publishing in professional journals, and filing patent applications. Ben, who worked with Dr. Kohl, was selected as one of three semifinalists from Georgia in the Intel Science Talent Search based upon his research paper entitled “The Feasibility of a CarbonateConducting Membrane for Fuel Cell Use.” He also won first place overall at the Georgia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and second place in the Engineering Division at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Additionally, Ben and Dr. Kohl filed a provisional patent for his work. These accomplishments are impressive for a junior researcher, making it easy to forget that Ben accomplished all this before graduating from high school this spring. The list of accolades continues for the other student participants. A paper that Dana contributed to was recently accepted and pub-

lished in the Journal of Chemical Physics, and the two other students are currently authoring papers for submission to academic journals. Anand Nallathambi, the student paired with Dr. Hess, was not enrolled in the ISR course for credit. However, he will be returning to work with Dr. Hess again this summer and has been accepted by Tech for enrollment this fall. Anand says he plans to pursue a degree in engineering. After a successful first year, Jessica is enthusiastic about the program and has already received 20 applications for next year. Although final selection into the program is based upon each student’s written proposal, the level of interest in the program is clearly growing. As additional proof of the program’s success, Jessica says that the ISR program is spreading into other departments at Woodward, “creating an entire community where knowledge is not just absorbed, it is created.” Sadly, Jessica will be leaving Atlanta to move to Germany with her husband, Karsten Bartling, who will complete his Ph.D. in ChBE from Tech this fall. Jessica will remain at Woodward until December to oversee the program’s transition to the leadership of Dr. Tom Rounds. Dr. Rounds received his Ph.D. from MIT and has years of experience in both industry and academics. He looks forward to overseeing the ISR program and to continuing the collaboration established with ChBE professors and other members of the Tech research community.

ChBE undergraduate student Andrew Marin was one of three Tech students selected as a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Named in honor of the former Arizona senator, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The award covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year for up to two years. The scholarships are awarded nationwide, and this is the first year that Tech has had three winners. Andrew, a sophomore from Plano, Texas, says that he can’t remember a time when he hasn’t been interested in engineering. “It’s very handson. I like seeing things develop from an idea to an application – that’s very satisfying,” said Andrew. When Andrew is not busy playing soccer or competing in a triathlon, he’s working on tunable solvents with ChBE professors Charles Eckert and Charles Liotta. He participated in the development of these solvents in which key properties can be rapidly changed. This advancement could streamline the processing of chemicals such as those used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. Assistant Professor Victor Breedveld received two distinguished awards. He was named a recipient of a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that supports junior faculty within the context of their overall career development. It combines in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality. Dr. Breedveld was also named a recipient of the CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes educational innovations, connections between research and teaching, and impact on student lives, among other qualities characteristic of teaching excellence. Assistant Professor Martha Gallivan has been selected as a Faculty Fellow for the 2006 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the program “Chemical Physics of Materials and Interfaces at the Nanoscale.” She was one of a small number selected from almost 300 applicants. She will be collaborating with Dr. Donald Dorsey, who heads the Sensor Materials research branch at the Air Force Research Lab, to research and conduct feasibility studies on AIGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor devices in an effort to determine the lifetime of these high performance transistors.

In March, Assistant Professor Athanasios Nenes and his research team participated in an expansive field campaign in Mexico City, along with 300 other scientists from around the world. The goal of the Megacities Impact on Regional and Global Environment (MIRAGE) program is to characterize the chemical/physical transformations and the ultimate fate of pollutants exported from urban areas, and to assess the current and future impacts of these exported pollutants on regional and global air quality, ecosystems, and climate. Assistant Professor Hang Lu’s research with C. elegans, a microscopic worm with only 302 neurons, has been featured in The New York Times, The Scientist, and on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute website. The featured research involves studies of C. elegans and their avoidance of toxic food in an effort to identify cellular mechanisms that have been maintained through evolution, which will allow scientists to better understand how learning occurs in other, more advanced organisms. In addition to the more than 75 awards given by the School at the annual Student Honors and Recognition Luncheon this spring, ChBE graduates and undergraduates are making impressions and racking up awards both on and off campus. Here is a sampling of their recent accomplishments: Christopher Russell – 2006 Michelin Fellowship and Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) Fellowship Ed Park – 2006 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Dawn Alford – 2006 Don Bratcher Human Relations Award given by the Office of the President Chris Young – 2006 Paper Industry Management Association (PIMA) Student of the Year Award Mallarie McCune – 2006 Slayton Evans Research Award given by the American Chemical Society Scholars Program Shara McClendon – 2006 fellow in the NASA-Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program (JPFP) sponsored by NASA and administered by the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP) Carrie Ripberger, Julie Hietpas, Rebecca Ugalde, Viktoriya Buchko, Megan Shenstone, Jessica Swearengen, Laura Nunez, Alicia Powers, Erin Rives, Kristina De Liso, Ashley Newton, and Cintia Nojima – 2006 Women in Engineering Awards given by the College of Engineering and sponsored by Alcoa, Atlanta Gas Light, Fluor, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, and Shell Jaeyun Sung – First place poster in the Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology undergraduate division and Benita Comeau – First place poster in the Materials Engineering and Science division given by AIChE during the 2005 annual meeting


Copyright 2006 • Georgia Institute of Technology • School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

ChBE’s Mark White Embarks on New Career tional retirement hobbies. Instead, Dr. White’s thoughts will remain focused on chemical engineering. In January, less than a month after his departure from Tech, he assumed the position of Director and Earnest W. Deavenport, Jr. Chair in the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University. Last fall the School bid farewell and best wishes to a dear friend and colleague. Professor Mark White, whose smiling face and invigorating teaching style made him a favorite among students, officially retired from Tech after 28 years of teaching. His retirement will not be filled with relaxing days of fishing, traveling, or other tradi-

For those who know him, it is not surprising that Dr. White would embark on a new career. His days at Tech were filled not only with teaching, service, and mentoring graduate students, but also as director of the Focused Research Program in Surface Science and Catalysis. He came to Tech in 1977, directly after receiving his P.h.D. from Rice University

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and had already worked as a research engineer at Amoco’s research center. Essentially, his passion for learning and teaching has not stopped since he first entered school. Dr. White will continue to hold several external positions he had while at Tech, including as a member of the National Science Foundation proposal-review panels and as a consultant for companies such as Dow Chemical and BP Amoco. Dr. White says that he is enjoying the challenges of heading a department and has quickly adjusted to life in Mississippi.

We Welcome Your Questions, Comments, or News: ChBE Newsletter: Josie Giles (404) 385-2299 Email: ChBE Development & Alumni News: Jenny Peterson (404) 894-0987 Email: Susan Hutcheson (404) 894-8475 Email: ChBE Program Information: ChBE Main Office (404) 894-1838 Email: Email:

Mark Your Calendar: HOMECOMING October 26-28 Milestone reunions are planned for the classes of ‘81, ‘66, and ‘56, along with the Old Gold celebration and the popular Buzz Bash for all other classes. Tech plays Miami in the Homecoming game. AIChE ANNUAL MEETING November 12-17 San Francisco Hilton San Francisco, California

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ChBE News—Spring 2006  
ChBE News—Spring 2006  

Newsletter from the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech.