Category Archives: Chemical and Biological Engineering

News and Updates from Chemical and Biological Engineering. For more news and information about the department, please visit:
http://engineering.tufts.edu/chbe

Asatekin Wins NSF CAREER Award

Ayse Asatekin, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Assistant Professor Ayse Asatekin received an NSF CAREER Award for her proposal to engineer novel membranes with new capabilities by designing polymers that self-assemble to form nanostructures. Membrane filtration is energy efficient, simple, scalable, and a key technology for generating clean, safe water and for preventing water pollution. Asatekin’s research focuses on controlling the pore size of a novel family of membranes with high flux, exceptional fouling resistance, and sharp size-based selectivity, prepared by coating zwitterion-containing amphiphilic copolymers on porous supports.

Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Delivers Doraiswami Lecture at Iowa State

Andy Hillier, CBE chair (right), presents a commemorative Doraiswami plaque to Flytzani-Stephanopoulos.

Andy Hillier, CBE chair (right), presents a commemorative Doraiswami plaque to Flytzani-Stephanopoulos.

Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos delivered the L.K. Doraiswamy Honor Lecturer at Iowa State University College of Engineering.

The L.K. Doraiswamy Honor Lectureship in Chemical Engineering selects one internationally recognized scientist or engineer each year to present lectures at Iowa State University and at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India, the home of Doraiswami. The late Dr. Doraiswami was a faculty member of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State from 1989 to 2011 and was an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering.

Flytzani-Stephanopoulos presented “Heterogeneous Catalyst Design at the Single Atom Limit: A Diverse Reaction Landscape.” Her pioneering research work focuses on understanding metal-metal and metal-oxide interactions at the atomic scale to guide processes for hydrogen and chemical production, and to maximize yields of desired products while using only trace amounts of expensive metals.

Pennell Comments on Metabolomics Methods and the ‘Exposome’ in CE&N

Kurt D. Pennell

In an article in Chemical and Engineering News, Professor and Chair Kurt Pennell commented on how research in metabolomics methods can help address the “exposome”: the sum of environmental exposures a person experiences from conception until death. “Pennell’s goal is to relate exposome information to genetic information. In one study, his group is collaborating with researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston to relate chemical exposure and whole-genome sequencing of mothers and children with autism spectrum disorder.”

Tufts Names 2015 Summer Scholars

Tufts Summer Scholars program announced the 2015 Summer Scholars.

The Tufts Summer Scholars Program is funded by the Office of the Provost and by generous gifts from: Mr. Andrew Bendetson in honor of Laura and Martin Bendetson; Steven J. Eliopoulos A89 and Joyce J. Eliopoulos; Mr. George and Ms. Susan Kokulis; Mr. John L. Kokulis; Ms. Ashleigh Nelson; and the Board of Trustees in honor of former Chairman, Mr. Nathan Gantcher.

The Program is also supported by the Schwartz-Paddock Family Fellowships in the Visual and Performing Arts, the Helen and Werner Lob Student Research Fund in Economics, the Hopkins Summer Scholar Fund, and the Christopher Columbus Discovery Summer Scholarships for research spanning disciplinary boundaries. Summer Scholars is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Congratulations to all our engineering summer scholars!

Biomedical Engineering

Elim Na will work with Professor David Kaplan on his project on the “Evaluation of Silk Fibroin Stabilization of Doxorubicin and Vincristine.”

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Sylvia Lustig will work with Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos on her project on the “The Selectivity and Efficiency of Various Single Atom Metal Alloys as Catalysts for the Dehydrogenation of Methanol.”

Mechanical Engineering

Kevin Ligonde will work with Associate Professor Robert White on a project to “Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transducers for Mars Anemometry.”

Computer Science

Avita Sharma will work with Professor Soha Hassoun on a project on “Who is Doing What? Functional Matching between Metabolites and Genomics for Bacterial Pathways.”

Caleb Helbling will work with Professor Kathleen Fisher on a project to “Resequence: A Global Fine Grained Software Repository.”

Collins Sirmah will work with Assistant Professor Ben Shapiro on his project to “Peer Based Learning in Distributed and Parallel Computing Among High School Students.”

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Pengxiang (Jerry) Hu will work with Associate Professor Sameer Sonkusale on a project to “Study and Build Instrumentation for Saliva Diagnostics.” Peter Wu will work with Professor Jeffrey Hopwood on his project to “Improve Vintage Synthesizers for Increased Temperature Based Pitch Stability.”

Engineering Physics

Matthew Eakle will work with Professor Peggy Cebe on a project to “Understanding the Interactions Between Liquid Crystals and Carbon Nanotubes.”

 

Lee and Georgakoudi Named AIMBE Fellows

Kyongbum Lee

Kyongbum Lee

Professor and Chair of the department Kyongbum Lee was inducted to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

Lee was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for outstanding contributions at the interface of biochemical and biomedical engineering through integrated modeling and experimental studies on cellular metabolism.

Irene Georgakoudi

Irene Georgakoudi

Associate Professor Irene Georgakoudi (BME) was nominated, reviewed, and elected by the AIMBE College of Fellows for outstanding contributions to the development of label-free optical methods for cancer diagnosis and tissue engineering applications.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. The most accomplished and distinguished engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs, comprise the College of Fellows.

AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research, and innovation. AIMBE Fellows have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation and many also are members of the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Tufts Softball One Win from NCAA Finals

Allyson Fournier, ChBE 15

Senior CF Michelle Cooprider went 4 for 4 with four runs scored and two rbis as the top-ranked Tufts Softball team earned an 8-0 five-inning victory over WPI in game one of the NCAA Championship Super Regionals Thursday at Spicer Field.

Softball Championship ChBE Senior Allyson Fournier pitched a three-hit shutout for the Jumbos, who are now one win away from making their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Finals.

Fournier improved to 29-0 with the win, striking out 11 along the way. The Jumbos extended their NCAA Division III record winning streak to 47 games while improving to 45-0 this season. WPI dropped to 34-10.

New Catalysts May Provide Path to Low-Cost Production of Future Fuels

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

New catalysts designed by Tufts University School of Engineering researchers and collaborators from other university and national laboratories have the potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels, such as hydrogen. The catalysts, composed of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to sodium or potassium atoms and supported by a wholly unique structure comprised of non-reactive silica materials, demonstrate comparable activity and stability with current catalysts used in producing highly purified hydrogen.

The work, which appears in Science Express, points to new avenues for producing single-site supported gold catalysts that could produce high-grade hydrogen for cleaner energy use in fuel-cell powered devices, including vehicles.

“In the face of precious metals scarcity and exorbitant fuel-processing costs, these systems are promising in the search for sustainable global energy solutions,” says senior author Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability.

The paper appeared in the November 27 edition of Science Express. (doi:10.1126/science.1260526). This research is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant # DE-FG02-05ER15730.

Image from Science Express, Nov 27

Faculty Receive NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grants

semiconductor

Advanced semiconductor made in the Vandervelde REAP lab.

John A. and Dorothy M. Adams Faculty Development Professor Tom Vandervelde received a $1M grant for equipment crucial in the development of solar cells, infrared cameras, high-speed (100+GHz) circuits, lasers, and LED lighting. He received a Major Research Instrumentation award from the National Science Foundation to build a multi-chamber molecular beam epitaxy system, which enables the creation of novel semiconductor materials and devices.

Associate Professor and Chair Kyongbum Lee and colleagues in the Department of Biomedical Engineering received a $338K grant for the acquisitions of a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) system for a range of metabolomics and proteomics applications. Mass spectrometry has emerged as the technology of choice for workflows seeking to identify, detect, and/or quantify metabolites and other small molecules as well as proteins and peptides in complex biological samples.

Prof Panzer Explains Solar Energy Storage Options

Assistant Professor Matthew Panzer of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering wrote an “Ask the Expert” piece for TuftsNow on how options for storing solar energy.

Solar cells, also known as photovoltaics, convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photo: © Elena Elisseeva/DepositPhoto

“When the sun shines, we can store the electricity generated by solar cells or steam-driven turbines by using batteries (technically energy stored as electrochemical potential) or supercapacitors (energy stored in an electric field, due to the spatial separation of positive and negative charges). Then we can release electrical energy when it is cloudy or at night.

There are at least two other ways to store solar energy for use later. First, the thermal energy of concentrated sunlight can be stored in the heat capacity of a molten salt (the liquid form of an ionic compound like sodium chloride) at a high temperature. When electricity is needed later, heat is transferred from the molten salt to water, using a heat exchanger to generate steam to drive a turbine.”

This story first appeared in TuftsNow, May 13, 2013.