Spring 2020

Departmental Seminars

 

January 6, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Carlos Rinaldi
University of Florida 

Nanoparticles are of interest in a variety of biomedical applications that take advantage of their small size and unique properties. Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles are one class of nanomaterials that respond to externally applied magnetic fields due to their superparamagnetism, enabling applications in targeted and externally triggered drug delivery, magnetic actuation of cell surface receptors, nanoscale heat delivery, and imaging applications. In all these applications, the nanoparticles must navigate biological fluids, which are often composed of a complex, crowded, and confined aqueous mixture of biomacromolecules and salts, bounded by cell membranes and other tissue components. Design of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications would benefit from fundamental understanding of their diffusive behavior in biological fluids. However, traditional techniques to characterize colloid diffusion often fail in biological environments due to the presence of nanoscale biomolecules, cell debris, and cells. In this talk I will summarize our work on evaluating diffusion of nanoparticles in polymer solutions and biological fluids through dynamic magnetic susceptibility (DMS) measurements and x-ray photocorrelation spectroscopy (XPCS). DMS measurements take advantage of the balance between magnetic and hydrodynamic torques on magnetically blocked nanoparticles subjected to alternating magnetic fields. The frequency spectrum of the nanoparticle response is analyzed quantitatively to calculate their rotational diffusion coefficient. The measurement relies on magnetic signals, does not require optic access, and provides reliable measurements even complex fluid environments. XPCS measurements analyze the dynamic scattering of x-rays by suspended colloids to calculate their translational diffusion coefficient. Results for diffusion of polymer grafted nanoparticles in polymer solutions, hyaluronic acid solutions, and in synovial fluid will be presented.

January 13, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Jean Goodwin
North Carolina State University

Communicating their expert knowledge is emerging as a key task for every 21st century scientist and engineer. It’s vital for good decision-making on all sorts of personal and policy questions. And it’s key in maintaining the place of expertise in our society more generally. But you don’t necessarily get much training in communicating with the public, and you may be among the quarter of the population who fear public speaking more than death!

This presentation will focus on the core thinking and planning skills you will need to build science communication into your future career, whatever path you take. We’ll discuss the answers that communication research provides to the three key questions:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What are my goals?
  • Where can I get HELP!!!

February 3, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Peter Cummings
Vanderbilt University
Gubbins Lecture

Molecular simulation plays an important role in many sub-fields of chemical engineering, just as it does in science and engineering in general. Soft matter systems (those easily deformed at room temperature – e.g., liquids, polymers, foams, gels, colloids, and most biological materials) are ubiquitous in chemical engineering, but they pose particular computational challenges since the differences in potential energy between distant configurations are on the same order as the thermal motion, requiring time and/or ensemble-averaged data to be collected over long simulation trajectories for property evaluation. Furthemore, performing a molecular simulation of a soft matter system involves multiple steps, which have traditionally been performed by researchers in a “bespoke” fashion. The result is that many soft matter simulations published in the literature are not reproducible based on the information provided in the publication, and large-scale screening (as envisaged in the Materials Genome Initiative) of soft materials systems is a formidable challenge.

To address the issues of reproducibility and computational screening capability, we have been developing the Molecular Simulation and Design Framework (MoSDeF) software suite, including the open­source mBuild (https://github.com/mosdef­hub/mbuild) and Foyer (https://github.com/mosdef­hub/foyer) packages. We will introduce MoSDeF and its capabilities in this presentation. We will also illustrate how, by combining with the Glotzer group’s Signac­flow workflow manager (https://bitbucket.org/glotzer/signac­flow), we have facilitated screening of soft matter systems over chemical/structural parameter spaces.

We will report results for two timely applications: lubrication of nanoscale devices featuring surfaces functionalized by monolayers in sliding contact, and understanding diffusion of ionic liquids in organic solvents (related to energy storage devices). In both cases, automation of the simulation through use of the MoSDeF tools enables screening and reproducibility.

BIO

Dr. Peter T. Cummings is the John R. Hall Professor of Chemical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He also holds the position of Associate Dean for Research in the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. For 20 years (1994-2013), he was associated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) at levels of effort ranging from 40 to 50%, most recently (2007-2013) as the chief scientist of ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS). His research interests include statistical mechanics, molecular simulation, computational materials science, computational and theoretical nanoscience, and computational biology. He is the author of over 400 refereed journal publications and the recipient of many awards, including the 1998 Alpha Chi Sigma award, the 2010 AIChE Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering, the 2012 Yeram S. Touloukian Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the 2013 John Prausnitz award, and the 2018 Foundations of Molecular Modeling and Simulation Founder’s Medal. He has been elected fellow of the American Physical Society, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Royal Society of Chemistry of the United Kingdom.

February 4, 2020
10:00 AM
Room 123, BTEC
Dr. Peter Cummings
Vanderbilt University
Gubbins Lecture

In order to be self-sufficient with relatively constant energy output, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, require that energy be stored during periods of high energy production so that it can be available during periods of low or zero energy production. Among the many choices for energy storage devices, electrical double layer capacitors (EDLCs), also called supercapacitors, are attracting considerable attention. Supercapacitors store electrical energy via ion electrosorption directly in the EDLs at the electrolyte-electrode interface, suggesting that such liquid-solid interfaces play a dominant role in the underlying energy storage mechanism and the resulting device performance. Because electrical energy in supercapacitors is stored based on physical phenomena rather than chemical reaction (as in batteries), supercapacitors have fast rates of charge/discharge and a virtually limitless number of charge cycles (unlike batteries, which are often limited to 104 or less cycles). Much of the goal of supercapacitor research is aimed at increasing the amount of energy stored (energy density is the strong point in favor of batteries), which in turn focuses attention on the electrolyte, the nature of the electrode, and the electrode-electrolyte interactions.

To date, ionic liquids (ILs) have become emerging candidates for electrolytes used in supercapacitors, due to their exceptionally wide electrochemical window, excellent thermal stability, nonvolatility, and relatively inert nature; meanwhile carbons are the most widely used electrode materials in supercapacitors, due to their high specific surface area, good electrical conductivity, chemical stability in a variety of electrolytes, and relatively low cost. To improve the energy density and the transport properties of the charge carriers in supercapacitors, carbons have been developed in diverse forms such as activated carbons, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), onion-like carbons (OLCs), carbode- derived carbons and graphene. Using molecular modeling combined with molecular experimental probes, such as SAXS, SANS, NMR, and AFM, we report on some of our investigations into the interfacial phenomena occurring between the IL electrolytes and electrodes of varying geometries to understand the energy storage mechanism of supercapacitors that rely on EDLs established at IL-electrode interfaces. In more recent work, we have been focusing on improving the dynamics of supercapacitors; in particular, we have been evaluating the role of organic solvents in increasing the diffusivity, and hence conductivity, of ionic liquid-based electrolytes, and we will report results based on computational screening of solvents using the Molecular Simulation Design Framework (MoSDeF).

BIO

Dr. Peter T. Cummings is the John R. Hall Professor of Chemical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He also holds the position of Associate Dean for Research in the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. For 20 years (1994-2013), he was associated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) at levels of effort ranging from 40 to 50%, most recently (2007-2013) as the chief scientist of ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS). His research interests include statistical mechanics, molecular simulation, computational materials science, computational and theoretical nanoscience, and computational biology. He is the author of over 400 refereed journal publications and the recipient of many awards, including the 1998 Alpha Chi Sigma award, the 2010 AIChE Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering, the 2012 Yeram S. Touloukian Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the 2013 John Prausnitz award, and the 2018 Foundations of Molecular Modeling and Simulation Founder’s Medal. He has been elected fellow of the American Physical Society, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Royal Society of Chemistry of the United Kingdom.

February 10, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Tony Ye Hu
Tulane University

Dr. Hu’s research team focuses on developing and validating integrated nanotechnique- based strategies to identify novel biomarkers in non-invasive or minimally invasive clinical samples and to translate these findings into clinical assays that provide information suitable for personalized medicine approaches. The laboratory’s goal is to fill critical gaps that persist in early disease detection, prognostic evaluation, and the real-time monitoring of treatment responses for several important infectious and chronic diseases, including tuberculosis and many cancers, in order to improve patient outcomes.

BIO

Dr. Tony Hu received his MS in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2004, and PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2009, both from the University of Texas at Austin. He then completed postdoctoral training in nanomedicine at the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center at Houston before his first faculty appointment in 2011. Dr. Hu is currently the Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation in the School of Medicine, Tulane University. He is also the director of the Center of Cellular and Molecular Diagnosis. Dr. Hu previously served as professor at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics and at ASU’s School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. His research focuses on developing and validating highly sensitive blood tests that rely on nanotechnology-based strategies to find previously undetectable biomarkers of diseases.

February 17, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Aaron Wheeler
University of Toronto

Microfluidics has been promoted for decades as being a potential solution to the problem of needing portable analysis systems that can be operated outside of the laboratory or in other hard-to-reach settings. There are a handful of compelling examples of this type of portable analysis (in academia and industry), but to date there has been more talk than action towards this important goal. In this presentation, I will review my research group’s work with digital microfluidics, a technique in which droplets of reagents are manipulated on open surfaces (without channels or walls). I will feature stories about the deployment of our digital microfluidic systems into two (very different kinds of) hard-to-reach settings. Finally, I will make the case that technologies like microfluidics can have greatest impact (in both easy- and hard-to-reach settings) when they are available to the widest pool of users, and will describe some (small) efforts toward this goal from my own research group.

BIO

Aaron Wheeler completed his PhD in Chemistry working with Dick Zare at Stanford University in 2003. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, Wheeler moved to Canada in 2005 to join the faculty at the University of Toronto, where he is the Tier-1 Canada Research Chair in Microfluidic Bioanalysis. Wheeler is an associate editor for the influential journal, Lab on a Chip, and is a recent recipient of the Lab on a Chip Pioneers of Miniaturization award.

February 24, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Franklin Goldsmith
Brown University

Detailed chemical kinetic mechanisms play an increasingly important role in reaction engineering. In this seminar, I will discuss some of the challenges associated with large, complex mechanisms, and how we address those challenges. Two specific cases will be highlighted. The first case focuses on the fate of fuel-bound nitrogen in low-temperature combustion. Low-temperature compression-ignition engines represent a new class of internal combustion engines that could meet stringent fuel economy and emissions requirements. These engines often rely additives to improve their performance, but the emissions implications of those additives are poorly understood. The second case focuses on high-temperature catalysis and the problems associated with developing a thermodynamically consistent mechanism for homogeneously/heterogeneously coupled systems. We will present software that we have developed, RMG-Cat, that automatically explores reaction pathways on a catalytic surface, but only retains the most important reactions. We focus on catalytic combustion of methane on platinum as a case study.

BIO

Dr. Franklin Goldsmith joined the School of Engineering at Brown University in January, 2014. His research focuses on theoretical, computational, and experimental methods in chemical kinetics. Most of the Goldsmith Group’s work is in combustion chemistry, but the group also is active in heterogeneous catalysis, energetic materials, propellants, and atmospheric chemistry. Goldsmith received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina, a B.S. in both Chemical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mathematics in Freiburg, Germany. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Goldsmith spent two years in Berlin as an Alexander von Humboldt Scholar in Inorganic Chemistry at the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, followed by one year as an Argonne Director’s Fellow in Theoretical Chemistry at Argonne National Laboratory.

March 2, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Gregory Hudalla
University of Florida

The coordinated assembly of biomolecules throughout the natural world provides a fascinating blueprint to design new materials for biomedicine and biotechnology. Our research program employs simple molecular assembly motifs, namely coiled-coil peptide scaffolds and beta-sheet peptide nanofibers, to organize proteins and carbohydrates into precise supramolecular architectures. In one application, we develop recombinant fusion “assembly tags” to install enzymes into peptide nanofibers that entangle into injectable hydrogels. In a second application, we develop a strategy to create nanofibers with tailored composition of carbohydrates as the basis for synthetic mimics of extracellular matrix glycoproteins. The utility of this technology is illustrated by creating nanofibers that can modulate the activity of galectins, a family of carbohydrate-binding extracellular signaling proteins, as well as mimic the barrier function of mucins. More recently, we’ve shown that tailoring glycosylation of peptide nanofibers can encode hierarchical order by stabilizing weak carbohydrate-carbohydrate interactions. In a third application, we are developing strategies to anchor biotherapeutics, such as anti-inflammatory enzymes, to specific tissue locations by engineering them to bind to abundant cell surface and extracellular matrix carbohydrates. Finally, we are creating a cell signaling rheostat by employing coiled-coil scaffolds to kinetically trap protein ligands in assemblies with precisely defined numbers of signaling subunits. Together, these approaches demonstrate the enormous potential of molecular assembly to advance the capabilities of biomaterials and biotherapeutics finding increasing use in medical and biotechnology applications.

BIO

Dr. Hudalla received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004, a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 2006, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 2010. Dr. Hudalla was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University from 2010-2013 through support from an NIH National Research Service Award. Dr. Hudalla is currently an Associate Professor and a University Term Professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida, where he has been since 2013. Dr. Hudalla’s research program develops biotherapeutics and biomaterials with new or improved functional properties via molecular engineering and self-assembly. Dr. Hudalla has authored more than 25 papers, is co-editor of the book “Mimicking the Extracellular Matrix: The Intersection of Matrix Biology and Biomaterials”, and holds 2 US patents, with another 10 currently pending. Dr. Hudalla has received the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Young Innovator award, the Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigator award, a National Science Foundation RAISE award, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Trailblazer award, the National Science Foundation Career award, the University of Wisconsin Alumni Early Career Achievement award, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award.

March 5, 2020
11:00 AM
Room 123, BTEC
Dr. Millicent Sullivan
University of Delaware

A wealth of potential therapeutic opportunities remains untapped within cells. For example, DNA delivered to the nucleus can interact with the native nuclear machinery to stimulate cellular production of essentially any protein of interest, whereas short interfering RNA (siRNA) delivered to the cytosol can initiate gene silencing (and the corresponding lack of protein production). Because of the exquisite specificity of these processes and the fundamental role for proteins in biology, nucleic acid medicines have unparalleled potential to modulate tissue regeneration and cure a wide range of devastating diseases, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and infectious diseases, yet no nucleic acid products are currently marketed. Meanwhile, various intracellular organelles are also the therapeutic targets for numerous small molecule medicines such as chemotherapies, but poorly controlled delivery regimens often cause severe side effects, multi-drug resistance phenotypes, and in some cases, a complete lack of efficacy.

Our group addresses challenges in therapeutic delivery by coupling principles in molecular design, molecular self-assembly, and chemical reaction kinetics with principles of cell and extracellular matrix (ECM) biology and the cell-material interface. In particular, soft materials (e.g. polymers and peptides) exhibit enormous chemical and mechanical tunability and have been self- assembled by our group and others into a versatile array of gene and drug-loaded nanostructures. We are particularly interested in developing nature-inspired approaches to harness native gene delivery and regulation mechanisms, and to actively control self-assembly vs. disassembly in gene and drug-loaded structures. We develop and use nanoscale materials to understand and probe cellular “unit ops,” with long-term applications including targeted drug delivery for prostate and breast cancer, and gene therapy for wound and tissue repair.

BIO

Dr. Millicent Sullivan is a Professor and Associate Chair in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware, and a Joint Professor in Biomedical Engineering at UD. Sullivan graduated from Princeton University with a B.S.E. degree in Chemical Engineering and a Certificate in Engineering Biology in 1998. Subsequently, she attended Carnegie Mellon University as a Clare Boothe Luce Graduate Fellow, where she earned her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering with Professor Todd Przybycien in 2003. As a Ruth L. Kirchstein NIH postdoctoral fellow, Sullivan worked with Professor E. Helene Sage in the Matrix Biology/Hope Heart Program of the Benaroya Research Institute. In 2006, Sullivan moved to the University of Delaware.

March 16, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Ali Mohraz
University of California, Irvine

Particle sequestration at the interface of immiscible fluids has been known for more than a century, and exploited in the formulation of solid-stabilized (Pickering-Ramsden) emulsions for drug delivery, oil recovery, food, and personal care products, to name a few. More recently, new classes of multiphase mixtures have emerged that exploit interfacial colloid jamming, bridging, ordering, and aggregation, for self-assembly of complex higher-order structures from colloidal building blocks, such as bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels (bijels), and bridged emulsion gels. The multiphase nature of these mixtures combined with their distinct microstructural characteristics make them excellent candidates for template-based synthesis of composite materials with unique, and highly tunable morphology at the nano- to micrometer scales. Our group has led the efforts in developing bijel processing techniques and utilizing bijel-based materials in widespread applications ranging from electrochemical energy storage to regenerative biomaterials. However, to expand these capabilities into a robust materials synthesis platform, the factors that mediate the mechanical stability and processability of these multiphase mixtures must be better understood. In this talk, I will review the fundamentals and recent developments in colloidal self-assembly at fluid interfaces, present the bijel processing route that we have pioneered to synthesize a new class of materials with highly unique microstructures, and discuss the applications of our technology in electrochemical energy conversion and storage, tissue engineering, and scaffolds for cell delivery. Finally, I will discuss our ongoing efforts to better understand the link between the microstructure, rheology, and processability of this new class of soft materials.

BIO

Ali Mohraz received his BSc, ME, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Azad University, The City College of New York, and The University of Michigan, respectively, and his postdoctoral training at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He is currently Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomoelcular Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Mohraz’s primary research interests are in colloid science and complex fluids engineering, including colloidal assembly at fluid interfaces and nonlinear rheology of soft materials.

March 17, 2020
11:00 AM
Room 123, BTEC
Dr. Sindee Simon
Texas Tech University

The behavior of materials confined at the nanoscale has been of considerable interest over the past several decades, especially changes in the glass transition temperature (Tg) and/or melting point (Tm). Less well studied are the effects of nanoconfinement on polymerization kinetics and thermodynamics. Our recent focus has been on understanding how nanoconfinement influences various classes of polymerizations, including the step growth reactions of thermosetting resins, the free radical reaction of various methacrylates, and the ring-opening polymerization of dicyclopentadiene. We find that changes in reaction rates under confinement can generally be explained by a competition between changes in local packing, diffusivity, and surface effects. The result is generally, but not always, an acceleration of the rate of the nanoconfined polymerization. In addition, nanoconfinement influences the chain length, PDI, and tacticity of the synthesized polymer, making confinement a potental tool for controlling synthetic outcomes. Finally, in the case of equilibrium polymerizations, nanoconfinement influences the monomer/polymer equilibrium shifting it back towards monomer, and this effect can be exploited to determine the entropy loss on confining a chain and to test scaling theories in the literature concerning confinement entropy.

BIO

Prof. Sindee L. Simon obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Yale University in 1983 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Princeton University in 1992. She is currently Horn Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech University, where she served as Department Chair from 2012-19. Among her awards, Dr. Simon’s polymers research was recently recognized by her being named the recipient of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ 2019 International Award, the highest award bestowed upon an SPE member. She is a Fellow of SPE, AIChE, APS, and the North American Thermal Analysis Society. In addition, as an undergraduate she was team captain and an All-American swimmer at Yale. Her school record in the 200-yard backstroke went unbroken for 12 years.

March 19, 2020
11:00 AM
Room 123, BTEC
Dr. Jan Genzer
NC State University

During my presentation, I will take you on a brief voyage to the “Flatland “(i.e., 2D) and “Highlands” (i.e., 3D) in soft materials. Specifically, we will discuss key attributes of soft material surfaces through selected case studies from research efforts carried out in the Genzer group on this topic. We will commence by discussing the self-assembly and forced assembly of oligomeric precursors at flat solid surfaces. We will document that comprehending the self-assembly of organic precursors in 2D may have important implications on many fields of science and technology and can even be employed to verify dynamics in other diverse (and seemingly unrelated) physical phenomena and social processes reflecting the population dynamics of humans and other organisms. We will then travel to the soft material 3D space and discuss simple methodologies leading to the formation of complex surface assemblies comprising surface-tethered polymers with continuous variation of physicochemical pro erties (e.g., molecular weight, grafting density, chemical composition). We will demonstrate how these grafted “gradient surfaces” can be employed to control the spatial distribution of nanosized adsorbates, i.e., nanoparticles and proteins, and administer the proliferation of living cells on the surfaces. We will illustrate how flexible silicone elastomers can be employed to tailor the surface grafting density of oligomers or polymers, create responsive surfaces with tailored response rate and characteristics, generate topographically corrugated surfaces comprising multidimensional cascades of wrinkles, or fabricate flexible color-changing sheets based on photochromic compounds. We will also provide a brief synopsis of our research efforts aimed at solving “real-world” problems, i.e., combating marine fouling, removal of volatile organic compounds, toxins, and heavy metals from contaminated water, creating self-cleaning coatings, and others.

BIO

Jan Genzer received his “Engineer” (Dipl.-Ing.) degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Chemistry & Technology in Prague, The Czech Republic, in 1989. In 1991 he moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Professor Russ Composto, receiving the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Materials Science & Engineering in 1996. After two post-doctoral stints with Professor Ed Kramer first at Cornell University (1996-1997) and later at the University of California at Santa Barbara (1997-1998), Genzer joined the faculty of chemical engineering at NC State University as an Assistant Professor in fall 1998. He is currently the S. Frank & Doris Culberson Distinguished Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at NC State University.

March 23, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Ethan Lippmann
Vanderbilt University

Neurological disease imposes a significant socioeconomic burden, and the incidence of neurological disease is expected to rise concurrently with increases in worldwide life expectancy. However, no disease-modifying therapies are currently available for any acute or chronic neurodegenerative conditions, and the number of failed clinical trials in this space continues to grow. Some of these failures may be attributed to insufficient knowledge of the underlying mechanisms for disease onset and progression, a lack of robust model systems to appropriately test therapeutics, and an inability to deliver drugs to the diseased brain in appreciable doses. With these issues in mind, our research group is generally focused on using engineering strategies to model, understand, and ultimately treat neurodegeneration, with a particular emphasis on diseases that afflict the cerebrovascular interface. In
this talk, I will highlight some of our lab’s recent progress, including our efforts to: (1) build improved in vitro models of the vascularized brain using human induced pluripotent stem cells; (2) understand blood-brain barrier function using targeted and high throughput approaches; (3) develop improved methods for isolating nucleic acid aptamers, with applications in molecular targeting and drug delivery.

BIO

Dr. Ethan Lippmann received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006 and his doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow in Biomedical Engineering at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and then transitioned to a tenure-track assistant professorship in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt University in 2015, where he currently resides. Ethan’s research program generally focuses on modeling, understanding, and treating neurodegeneration, with a particular emphasis on the cerebrovascular interface. In recognition of his recent research efforts, he has received a NARSAD Young Investigator Award (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation), a Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), and a CAREER Award (NSF). He has also received a departmental award (ChBE Award for Excellence in Teaching) in recognition of his contributions to undergraduate education.

March 30, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. David Ollis
North Carolina State University

April 6, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Billy Bardin
The Dow Chemical Company

Digital tools and digitalization have been much hyped in the media and the discreet manufacturing industries as the definitive pathway to technology and productivity advancement.  While not all projected forecasts have come to fruition, there are lessons and technologies to be applied in the process industries that will improve safety, reliability, productivity, and ultimately profitability.  The combination of fundamental chemical engineering principles with advanced data analytics allows engineers and operators to develop greater insights into facility performance.  Advanced process control and real time optimization, while classically used in the process industries, are updated to include new sensor technologies and mathematical approaches that enhance performance and that allow real time optimizations across the enterprise, a production site, or a product value chain.  Robotic tools and mobile devices are allowing process operators to perform inspections, maintenance activities, and construction projects more efficiently and safely.  Novel materials and compact sensors are being developed to extend the range and capabilities of our robotic tools, encompassing new challenges for chemical engineers in this arena.  This talk will describe several examples of digitalization for chemical processes and how industry is looking to advance further as well as how digital skill development for new and experienced workers is required for the industry to be successful.

BIO

Billy B. Bardin is the Global Operations Technology Director for Dow.  His responsibilities include driving technology and innovation strategy within Manufacturing and Engineering and oversight of all commercial technologies as well as development of technical talent across operations.  He leads the Manufacturing 4.0 Program for Operations, enabling an end to end digital Dow.  Bardin began his career in 2000 with Union Carbide/Dow in South Charleston, W. Va., where he led alternative feedstock and catalytic process development programs.  He has held numerous global leadership roles in research, development, and manufacturing in which he has developed and commercialized technologies including new heterogeneous catalysis research capabilities, novel catalytic processes for feedstocks and derivative products, process technologies for improved olefins production, and advanced digital manufacturing capabilities, among others.  Bardin holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University, and a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a Registered, Professional Engineer (PE) with the W. V. State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers.  Bardin is an executive member and past Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and a member of the advisory boards for the Departments of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia and North Carolina State University.  He was elected to the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 2016.  He is a Fellow of the AIChE and holds board seats for the MxD and RAPID manufacturing institutes.  He was recently named as one of Smart Industry Magazines Top 50 Industrial Digital Transformation Leaders.

April 13, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Christina Tang
Virginia Commonwealth University

April 20, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 1011, EB1
Dr. Milo Koretsky
Oregon State University

April 27, 2020
10:30 AM
Room 2124, EB3
Dr. William Koros
Georgia Tech
 McCabe Lecture

New opportunities for chemical processing industries in so-called “upstream” and “downstream” hydrocarbon process sectors are emerging, thanks to now abundant natural gas resources.  Upstream processes refer to production of raw materials, while downstream processes refer to those closer to the end user or consumer.  Although current technology is effective in both sectors, it still relies primarily upon energy-intensive processes for key separations with large CO2 footprints. This presentation will explain why advanced polymer-derived membranes, in asymmetric hollow fiber forms, can provide significant positive changes across the separation spectrum to reduce energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions. I will consider practical approaches to achieve such changes based on a strategy that merges fundamental science and engineering principles to introduce such membranes into large-scale processes.

BIO

William J. Koros is the Roberto Goizueta Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Membranes at Georgia Tech.  He received his PhD from UT Austin and was a faculty member at NC State University from 1978-1984, and at UT Austin from 1984-2001.  Dr. Koros served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Membrane Science for 17 years from 1991-2008 and is currently Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Journal of Membrane Science.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 and is a Fellow of the AICHE and AAAS.  His research has been recognized by the AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, the AIChE Separation Division Gerhold Award, the William Walker Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Publications and as the 63rd Institute Lecturer for the AICHE.  In 2008, Dr. Koros received the Alan Michaels Award for Innovation in Membrane Science & Technology from the North American Membrane Society.   He has 38 US patents and more than 500 ISI Web of Science publications with over 28,000 citations and an h-index of 91.