Spring 2021

Departmental Seminars

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January 11, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. William Koros
Georgia Tech
 McCabe Lecture 2020

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.

January 25, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Simon Rogers
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Modern society relies on soft materials, which are important for foods, consumer products, biological materials, and energy and environmental applications. The interactions that hold soft materials together are often comparable in magnitude to the thermal energy, making them especially susceptible to weak forces. In order to develop functional soft materials, they need to be processed far from equilibrium. Despite recent progress, we still do not understand how molecular-scale behavior informs macroscopic properties in these systems. Of particular interest is the transient nonlinear rheology, where stresses and deformations can induce massive molecular reorganizations that manifest as transformations in the macroscopic material properties. Transient conditions are encountered in most biological situations, and well as industrial flows including startup and cessation, which often dictate the success of a product or process.

One particularly interesting class of materials undergoes changes that transform their physical behavior from that of solids to that of liquids. These so-called yield stress fluids have been studied for over a hundred years, and still present significant scientific and engineering challenges. Yield stress fluids have a wide variety of microstructures, including filled polymer systems, colloidal glasses, and jammed microgels, and yet present a consistent rheology. Phenomena such as the overshoot in the loss modulus in a strain amplitude sweep, viscosity bifurcation and avalanches under stress-controlled tests, and the presence of apparent yield strains are all typical features of yield stress fluid rheology.

In this talk, I will present a rheological framework for understanding yield stress fluid rheology that is commensurate with recent rheo-SANS studies of self-assembled soft systems. The new approach describes responses in terms of instantaneous recoverable and unrecoverable strains that can be determined by iteratively performing constrained recovery steps during traditional rheological characterizations. I will show how the results of these new experiments elucidate the physics underlying yield stress fluid phenomena, and also provide insight into the phenomenon of mechanical memory observed in colloidal glasses, emulsions, and foams. The lessons learned from these experimental results have led to the development of a simple rheological model that accurately predicts yield stress fluid behavior across a wide range of situations. The new model does not contain features that have been considered crucial to understanding yield stress fluids, and yet does a better job of describing real behaviors than current state-of-the-art models.  Taken together, these studies are providing a rational route toward understanding and designing structure-property-processing relationships for yield stress fluids.

BIO

Simon A. Rogers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Rogers uses experimental and computational tools to understand and model advanced colloidal, polymeric, and self-assembled materials. He joined the department in 2015. He received his BSc in 2001, BSc (Hons) in 2002; and his PhD from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand in 2011. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Foundation for Research and Technology in Crete, the Jülich Research Center in Germany, and the Center for Neutron Research at the University of Delaware.

February 1, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. David Ollis
North Carolina State University

February 8, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Billy B. Bardin
Global Operations Technology Director – Dow Inc.

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 Digitalization Director for Dow Inc. He is responsible for ensuring the development of a well-integrated digital strategy to realize the vision of Digital Dow and the end to end connectivity necessary to make it a reality, including leadership for the Dow Operations Manufacturing 4.0 program. He leads efforts to explore, evaluate, and implement emerging and next generation digital technologies that are required to maintain and improve Dow’s competitive position. He also drives initiatives to ensure Dow’s workforce has the required skills, characteristics, and training to be digital ready. 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.

February 15, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Ethan Lippman
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. To address these issues, our research group applies biomolecular and biomedical engineering strategies to in vitro and in vivo investigations, with the goal of modeling, understanding, and ultimately treating neurodegeneration. In this talk, I will highlight subsets of recent progress in the lab, including our efforts to: (1) build next-generation models of the vascularized human brain in health and disease; (2) develop new strategies for blood-brain barrier molecular targeting, biosensing, and drug delivery by leveraging affinity reagent selection techniques.

BIO

Dr. 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 research efforts, he has received a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, a Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and a Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Young Innovator Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is also a two-time recipient of his department’s teaching award (ChBE Award for Excellence in Teaching) in recognition of his contributions to undergraduate education.

February 22, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Erich Muller
Imperial College London
 Gubbins Lecture 2021

March 1, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Ashutosh Chilkoti
Duke University

March 8, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Amay Bandodkar
North Carolina State University

Recent advances in materials, mechanics, and device architectures form the foundations for rapidly emerging classes of sensors and energy devices with mechanical characteristics that allow for conformal interfaces with the soft, curvilinear surfaces of the human body. While the field of tissue-integrated biophysical sensors exhibits commendable progress in capturing clinical quality thermal, kinematic, and electrophysiological information, the advancement of complementary biochemical sensors severely lags due to unique challenges associated with seamless integration of delicate biochemical receptors, transducing components, and suitable packaging materials. Similarly, the vast majority of demonstrated tissue-mounted energy storage and energy harvesting systems unfortunately rely on toxic components that substantially diminish their attractiveness in bio-related applications. In this talk, I will discuss non-traditional approaches to address some of these grand challenges. At their core lies a set of concepts, enabling materials, device architectures, and heterogeneous fabrication processes that lay the foundations for new classes of tissue-integrated biochemical sensors and biocompatible energy sources, with special applications in wearable sweat analysis and implantable neurochemical sensing. These devices result from an unconventional amalgamation of disparate technologies such as advanced microfluidics, biofuel cells, batteries, wireless electronics, optogenetics, colorimetrics, and electroanalytics, to impart unique, multi-functional capabilities.

BIO

Dr. Bandodkar is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State with affiliation to the ASSIST Center. His research interests include working at the interface of electronics, materials science, and biology to realize next-generation conformal sensors and energy devices with broad applications in wearables, implants, and distributed systems. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology – Banaras Hindu University (India) in 2011 and a PhD from the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California, San Diego in 2016. Thereafter he joined Northwestern University as a postdoctoral researcher (2016-2020). He is the recipient of the MRS Graduate Student Award, Metrohm Young Chemist Award, Siebel Scholars Award, Interdisciplinary Research Award, Seed Fund from von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center, and Undergraduate Research Publication Award.

March 22, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Michael Jewett
Northwestern University

March 29, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Joe de Simone
Stanford University
McCabe Lecture 2021

April 5, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Zachary W. Ulissi
Carnegie Mellon University

Machine learning accelerated catalyst discovery efforts has seen much progress in the last few years. Datasets of computational calculations have improved, models to connect surface structure with electronic structure or adsorption energies have gotten more sophisticated, and active learning exploration strategies are becoming routine in discovery efforts. However, there are several large challenges that remain: to date, models have had trouble generalizing to new materials or reaction intermediates and applying these methods requires significant training. I will review and discuss methods in my lab for high-throughput catalyst screening and on-line discovery of interesting materials, resulting in an optimized Cu-Al catalyst for CO2-to-ethylene conversion. I will then introduce the Open Catalyst Project and the Open Catalyst 2020 dataset, a collaborative project to span surface composition, structure, and chemistry and enable a new generation of deep machine learning models for catalysis, with initial results for state-of-the-art deep graph convolutional models. Finally, I will discuss on-going work to develop small ML models to accelerate routine calculations without requiring expert intervention.

BIO

Zachary Ulissi is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He works on the development and application of high-throughput computational methods in catalysis, machine learning models to predict their properties, and active learning methods to guide these systems. Applications include energy materials, CO2 utilization, fuel cell development, and additive manufacturing. He has been recognized nationally for his work including the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award and the AIChE 35-under-35 award among others.

April 12, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Tarit Mukhopadhyay
Merck
Ollis Lecture 2021

April 19, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Alán Aspuru-Guzik
University of Toronto

The world is facing several time-sensitive issues ranging from climate change to the rapid degradation of our climate, as well as the emergence of new diseases like COVID-19. We need to rethink the way we do science and think of it as a workflow that could be optimized. Where are the pain points that can be solved with automation, artificial intelligence, or better human practices? My group has been thinking about this question with an application to the design of organic optoelectronic materials. In this talk, I will discuss the progress in developing materials acceleration platforms, or self-driving labs for this purpose.

BIO

Alán Aspuru-Guzik’s research lies at the interface of computer science with chemistry and physics. He works in the integration of robotics, machine learning and high-throughput quantum chemistry for the development of materials acceleration platforms. These “self-driving laboratories¨ promise to accelerate the rate of scientific discovery, with applications to clean energy and optoelectronic materials. Alán also develops quantum computer algorithms for quantum machine learning and has pioneered quantum algorithms for the simulation of matter. He is jointly appointed as a Professor of Chemistry and Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Alán is a faculty member of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Previously, Alán was a full professor at Harvard University where he started his career in 2006. Alán is currently the Canada 150 Research Chair in Quantum Chemistry as well as a CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute. Amongst other awards, Alán is a recipient of the Google Focused Award in Quantum Computing, the MIT Technology Review 35 under 35, and the Sloan and Camille and Henry Dreyfus Fellowships. Alán is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. He is a co-founder of Zapata Computing and Kebotix, two early-stage ventures in quantum computing and self-driving laboratories respectively.

April 26, 2021
10:30 AM
Via Zoom
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili
Texas A&M University