Professors Milad Abolhasani and Stefano Menegatti have been selected as members of the inaugural cohort of NC State faculty members to receive Goodnight Early Career Innovator Awards.
The Goodnight Award supports early career faculty excellence and recognizes faculty whose scholarship “clearly and substantively contributes to innovation and advancement in STEM or STEM education.” The Award selection criteria specify that, “Nominees should show outstanding promise for future achievement and impact in STEM or STEM education. A strong nominee will have demonstrated superior scholarly achievement at an early career stage and will have a rigorous research agenda that speaks to the candidate’s potential to advance knowledge in STEM or STEM education…”
Prof. Abolhasani leads a diverse and dynamic research group that studies flow chemistry strategies tailored toward accelerated development and manufacturing of functional materials. To meet those goals, his research group studies fundamentals of process intensification and microscale transport phenomena using microreaction engineering concepts and principles of smart manufacturing.
He received his B.S. and M.A.Sc. degrees in mechanical engineering from Sharif University of Technology and the University of British Columbia, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining CBE, he was a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT.
Prof. Abolhasani has received numerous other awards and fellowships including an ACS-PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, and AIChE Futures, and Emerging Investigator recognitions from the journals Lab on a Chip, Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, and Journal of Flow Chemistry. In 2020, he was selected as a member of the 2020 class of AIChE 35 Under 35 award winners. The award honors “engineers under the age of 35 who have made significant contributions to the Institute and to the chemical engineering profession.”
Prof. Menegatti is a CBE graduate (Ph.D. ’13). His research group focuses on the use of peptides and peptide mimetics to develop new technologies for purifying labile, high-value therapeutics (recombinant proteins and stem cells), developing diagnostics and detecting biochemical threats, stimuli-controlled drug delivery, and studying the phase behavior of macromolecules in solution.
A native of Ferrara, Italy, he earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering at the Università di Bologna. After finishing his Ph.D. studies he completed a post-doctoral assignment at the University of California, Santa Barbara working under the supervision of Prof. Samir Mitragotri (now at Harvard University).
Prof. Menegatti rejoined the department as a faculty member in 2015 with a joint appointment in the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC). Since his return, he has garnered more than $25M in external research funding from federal agencies (NSF, NIH, and NIST) and global biopharmaceutical companies (Merck, Genentech, MilliporeSigma, CSL Behring, Johnson & Johnson, and KBI Biopharma). Prof. Menegatti, together with Prof. Ruben Carbonell and Dr. Gary Gilleskie (B.S. ’86), leads the AIM-Bio Research Institute, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (https://news.ncsu.edu/2019/08/future-of-biomanufacturing/).
His company, LigaTrap Technologies, commercializes the technology he developed at NCSU, supplying global drug manufacturers with adsorbents for protein purification. Prof. Menegatti is also a scholar of ancient and medieval philosophy, an antiquary, and a harpsichord player.
Both Profs. Abolhasani and Menegatti are recipients of National Science Foundation CAREER awards. Earlier in 2021 they were both selected as members of the 2020-2021 class of University Faculty Scholars and Prof. Menegatti received the 2021 ALCOA Foundation Research Achievement Award from the College of Engineering.
Congratulations to Professors Abolhasani and Menegatti for this honor and recognition of your professional accomplishments!