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Department News

A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota, including CEMS Professors Lorraine Francis and C. Daniel Frisbie, has its sights set on treating the symptoms of tinnitus, the first in a line of neurological disorders — without the need for surgery. These experts, ranging from computer engineers to apparel designers, are working together to develop a groundbreaking new technology—thin, wearable electronics that attach to the skin and deliver low electric currents to specific regions of the brain and decrease symptoms of brain disorders. The project is part of MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy), a $36 million biennial investment by the state of Minnesota that aims to solve grand challenges.
Chris Kim, the project's lead principle investigator, needed the help of Francis and Frisbie to create complex circuits that carefully synchronize multiple nodes that all fire at different times. For the device to work as a wearable patch, researchers not only need to design thin, flexible electronics, but also an efficient method of making them. The team aims to refine a method called “roll-to-roll” printing that can produce flexible electronics more quickly and efficiently than the standard, time-consuming method of laying electrical components down in multiple layers.
This article first appeared in Inquiry, a publication of the University of Minnesota's Office of the Vice President for Research.


Chemical engineering post-doctoral scholar Alex Paulsen's recent article on supported metal catalysts for tunable cellulose pyrolysis to biofuels was featured on the cover of Catalysis Science & Technology. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy - Early Career program within Basic Energy Sciences, the research provides the first proof-of-concept that high temperature chemistry of lignocellulosic materials can be directed via catalysts to valuable fuel molecules. The key advance was the demonstration of supported Palladium as a selective decarbonylation catalyst within cellulose at 500 deg C while maintaining high overall fuel yield. Paulsen works under the direction of CEMS Associate Professor Paul Dauenhauer.


Professor Satish Kumar recently assumed the position of President of the International Society of Coating Science and Technology (ISCST). Kumar will hold this position for two years. He previously served as ISCST Vice President for the Americas, a position he was elected to in 2012. ISCST is a technical society formed by an international group of academic and industrial scientists and engineers to foster fundamental understanding of liquid-applied coating processes. ISCST serves as an interface between scholarly research and industrial practice: both are welcome but it is the interplay between the two that makes ISCST unique. Approximately two-thirds of current ISCST members are from industry, with the remainder coming from other places such as academia and national laboratories.


Professor Edward L. Cussler will present the 66th Institute Lecture in a special session at the AIChE Annual Meeting on November 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Cussler will focus his remarks on "The Future of the Lecture" by describing both traditional elements and new alternatives to deliver lectures more effectively. The AIChE Institute Lecturer Award is given to a distinguished member of AIChE. Previous award recipients with ties to the Department include Frank Bates (2012), Andreas Acrivos (2000), and Rutherford Aris (1997).


Professor C. Daniel Frisbie has been appointed as Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) effective July 1, 2014. Regents Professor Frank S. Bates previously served in that role for 15 years. Frisbie, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, has been a faculty member in CEMS since 1994 and served as a Director of Graduate Studies for Materials Science and Engineering from 2004 to 2013. Congratulations Dan!


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