AIChE Student Chapter Members at the 2021 AIChE National Meeting

AIChE Student Chapter LogoOur AIChE student chapter members have a long history of attendance and participation at AIChE national meetings. Following last year’s pandemic-driven hiatus, chapter members made their presence known at the in-person 2021 AIChE National Meeting in Boston.

Their activities and accomplishments include:

Alexis Voulgaropoulos won the First Place Award in the Technical Presentation Competition for her presentation, Effects of early geometric confinement on the transcriptomic profile of human cerebral organoids. Alexis’s research advisor is Dr. Albert Keung.

Andrew Berley won a Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award. He finished his sophomore year with the highest GPA in his class.

Zac Gill received a Freshman Recognition Award. The award recognizes a freshman year student who has been an active Chapter member.

The ChemE Cube™ Team (Mariam Shah, Tran Nguyen, Mitchell Haselow and Jared Haselow) won the Overall Second Place Award and the Entrepreneurship Award in the inaugural ChemE Cube competition. Dr. Kim Roberts, the student chapter advisor, also advised the Cube team throughout the competition.

Launched in 2020 by the RAPID Manufacturing Institute®, ChemE Cube is an annual student competition where undergraduate university teams design, build, and demonstrate a 1 cubic foot plant that produces a chemical product defined in the annual problem statement (which changes each year). Teams compete based on cube performance via a head-to-head duel and promote their technology through a 3-minute ad, a poster, and a 20-minute ‘shark tank’ style pitch to a panel of mock investors.

This year, to pilot the ChemE Cube program, six university teams were tasked with creating a modular, on-demand surface water treatment mini-plant that can purify at least 25 liters of surface water per day while meeting relevant drinking water standards. Crucially, the cubes had to be able to be built and deployed as part of a humanitarian effort or built using artisanal factories as part of an enterprise solution to poverty.

ASC Student Workshop: Emily Spero, Alexis Voulgaropoulos and Abigail Cordiner presented Leveraging Existing Resources to Increase Involvement and Benefit Membership as a workshop for interested student chapters.

National Student Poster Competition Presenters:

Ramya Balasubramanian, Validation of Microbial Source Tracking Methods to Identify Hosts of Fecal Contamination and Pathogen Presence In Source and Stored Drinking Water in Urban Kenya, advised by Dr. Angela Harris, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.

Daniel Haller, Inducible Directed Evolution (IDE) for Complex Phenotypes in Bacteria, advised by Dr. Nathan Crook.

Sean Sullivan, A Cell-Free Pipeline for Rapidly Imprinting Complex Methylation Patterns on DNA to Enhance Plasmid Transformation in Bacteria, advised by Dr. Nathan Crook.

Financial and logistical support for travel to the conference from the College of Engineering Engineer Your Experience fund allowed significantly more CBE student chapter members to attend than most other schools’ chapters were able to muster.

Finally, the chapter earned a 2020-2021 AIChE Outstanding Student Chapter Award. This is the chapter’s 26th Outstanding Student Chapter Award, the 23rd award in the past 25 years and the 11th year in a row they have received the award. Dr. Deborah Grubbe (2021 AIChE President) and CBE faculty member Dr. Christine Grant (2022 AIChE President) were there to present the award.

Most of the content for this article was provided by Dr. Kim Roberts, the chapter advisor. Adam Helsel is the Chapter’s Industry Liaison.

Congratulations to student chapter members for your collective efforts and to all the meeting attendees!