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Professor Chris Macosko has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

This honor is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice and who have demonstrated unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.

The election citation for Macosko reads, "For the invention, development, and dissemination of new methods of reactive polymer processing and rheological property measurement."

Chris joins other CEMS Department and NAE members Rutherford Aris, Ted Davis, Lanny Schmidt, and L.E. Scriven. Total U.S. membership in NAE is currently 2,027, with 157 foreign associates. There are 163 current U.S. members in the chemical engineering discipline.

Professor Wolfgang Frühwald (right), President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, presents the Humboldt Research Award for Senior US Scientists to Jeff Derby in Bonn, Germany on June 22, 2000.

Professor Jeff Derby received the Humboldt Research Award for Senior US Scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 150 Humboldt Research Awards annually to foreign scholars with internationally recognized academic qualifications. The award is intended as a lifelong tribute to the past academic accomplishments of award winners. Furthermore, award winners are invited to carry out research projects of their own choice in Germany in cooperation with German specialist colleagues for periods of between six months and one year. Professor Derby spent the summer and a portion of the fall semester, while on a single semester leave, of 2000 at the Materials Science Institute at the University of Erlangen, Germany.

The citation read at the awards ceremony stated, "Prof. Jeffrey Derby is an outstanding researcher. He is advancing the exciting field of computational materials research, blending physics, chemistry, and engineering with the tools of applied mathematics and supercomputing and applying these elements to outstanding issues in materials science. Of special interest to Derby and his host, Prof. Dr. Georg Müller, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg, is the large-scale simulation of continuum transport during the growth of single crystals, such as silicon, which are of vital importance to the electronics industry."

Jeff joins his CEMS colleagues Barry Carter and Lanny Schmidt, who are past recipients of this award.

Professor Timothy Lodge has been chosen as the next editor of Macromolecules by the American Chemical Society.

He officially took charge of the content of the biweekly journal on Jan 1 2001, succeeding Dr. Robert W. Lenz of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The journal, which covers various aspects of synthetic chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer properties, and theory, is "very highly regarded, very successful", according to Tim. He hopes to extend the journal's appeal by recruiting associate editors in areas of growing research interest, and by adding some overseas representatives to the editorial team.
(Chemical & Engineering News, Vol 78, Num 43, pg 80, article by Sophie Wilkinson)

The University of Minnesota CEMS was well represented at the Materials Research Society Spring 2001 Meeting this April in San Francisco.

For more information on the MRS meeting, click here.

A list of U of Minnesota authors and titles

Professor Morton M. Denn (Ph.D. 1964 [Aris]) and Professor W. Harmon Ray (Ph.D. 1966 [Aris]) received Honorary Doctor of Science degrees on Thursday March 29, 2001.

The Honorary Doctor of Science degree is the highest degree conferred by the University of Minnesota. The event began at the Weisman Art Museum with presentations by Professor Denn “An Optimal Path from Complex Processes to Complex Systems” and Professor Ray “The Minnesota Experience – Great Preparation for an Exciting Career”. An awards ceremony was held after the seminars. The Honorary Doctor of Science degrees were conferred upon Professors Denn and Ray by Dr. Christine Maziar, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School and Regent William Hogan II. A reception and dinner attended by faculty, staff and special visitors was held that evening. Morton Denn’s wife Vivienne Roumani-Denn and some of Professor Denn’s former students from Berkeley, Bob Shipman (3M), Doug Devens (3M), his wife Jennifer Raeder-Devens (3M), Caroline Ylitalo (3M), her husband David Ylitalo (3M) and David Giles (University of Minnesota) were at the dinner. Professor Ray’s family: his wife, Nell; his sons (Greg, Jonathan and Steven) and daughter-in-laws (Martha Woofter, Robin Ray and Jody Ray plus one week old grandson Benjamin) were present. Ray and Mary Johnson and Les and Joan Krogh also attended the dinner. A grand time was had by all!

Regent William E. Hogan II, Vice President and Dean, Christine Maziar, Professor and Head Frank Bates, Professor W. Harmon Ray, Professor Morton Denn, Professor and Regents’ Professor Emeritus Rutherford Aris.

Shirley Tabis (right) celebrates 25 years in CEMS. Also shown are her husband, Dave, and Goldy Gopher.

A celebration in honor of Shirley Tabis’ 25 years of service in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science was held on Friday April 6, 2001.

Departmental faculty and staff helped Shirley celebrate her anniversary. Special guests included Professor Emeritus Herb Isbin, Shirley’s husband Dave Tabis, and a special appearance from Goldy Gopher. Professor Isbin was one of the first Professors who worked with Shirley. On a personal note, Shirley and Dave will also be celebrating 25 years of marriage in June. Thank you Shirley for 25 years of dedication!

Professor Xu-Ming Xie will join the department as a Piercy Professor beginning mid-May. Professor Xie is a faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department at Tsinghua University in China.

The genesis of Professor's Xie's appointment goes back to last September, when Professor Frank Bates visited Beijing. Discussions with Professor Liu Zheng (Head of the Chemical Engineering at Tsinghua University) about collaborative research opportunities between the departments, and subsequent interactions with Professor Xie evolved into the yearlong visit to our department. Dr. Xie will work on polymer materials and physical chemistry with the faculty, postdocs, and students in the Polymer program.

Please extend a warm welcome to Dr. Xie.

We welcome Yiannis Kaznessis to the faculty in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Dr. Kaznessis obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1999.

He has been involved over the last two years in a joint post-doctoral program with the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan and Pfizer, Inc. His research interest is mathematical modeling proteins using molecular simulations and structural bioinformatics. For more information, follow the link below.

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Dr. Yiannis Kaznessis

Jim Chelikowsky

Jim Chelikowsky won the MRS David Turnbull Lectureship. The Turnbull Lectureship recognizes the career of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to understanding materials phenomena and properties through research, writing and lecturing.

Jim was also named an Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor this spring. This professorship acknowledges Jim’s outstanding contributions to research, excellence in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and commitment to the Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota. Jim joins CEMS faculty Edward Cussler and Lanny Schmidt in this honor.

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Tim Lodge was selected as a Distinguished McKnight University Professor. The quality of Tim’s teaching, his research, and his involvement in the University community contributed to this award. Fellow faculty members Frank Bates, Wei-Shou Hu and Mike Ward proudly welcome Tim into their ranks as Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

Tim Lodge

Alon McCormick

Alon McCormick is the current Neal and Shirley Amundson Professor. The professorship was created out of a generous endowment established by Neal and Shirley Amundson over a decade ago, with recent fortification, this chair will be awarded on a rotating (3-5 year) basis to a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to research, teaching, and service in the spirit exemplified by the Chief.

Professor Alon McCormick, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemical Engineering (DUS), who has dedicated himself to the betterment of the department for nearly 15 years is the first recipient of this chair. The annual funds provided by the Amundson endowment are available to the chair holder for discretionary spending.

For the first time since its establishment, the rotating Shell Chair has been awarded to two outstanding faculty members who are still in the formative period of their careers. Lorraine Francis, Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) in Materials Science and Prodromos Daoutidis, Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in Chemical Engineering will share the entire dispersement from the Shell endowment created over 15 years ago. These funds are intended to enhance the research programs of the recipients.

Assistant Professor Chris Leighton has been named the Ray and Mary Johnson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

Endowed in the mid-1980’s, this chair generally is directed at new faculty members at the earliest stages of their academic careers. Chris Leighton, who joined the department in January of this year, brings fresh insights and creativity to the subject of magnetic materials. The generous gift provided by the Johnson’s, who still reside in the Twin Cities, was instrumental in providing the support necessary to hire and nurture our new colleague.

All CEMS alumni are welcome to attend the annual reception at the AIChE meeting. The reception is on Tuesday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Crystal Ballrooms 1 and 2 at the Reno Hilton 2500 E. 2nd Street, Reno NV. See you there!

Professor Arvind Varma

Arvind Varma is the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Center for Molecularly Engineered Materials at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Varma?s research interests are in synthesis of advanced materials, and chemical and catalytic reaction engineering. He plans to complete an invited review paper on the influence of gravity on combustion synthesis of advanced materials, a few research proposals, learn more about nanostructured materials, and interact with the many outstanding faculty and students in the department. Of course, he also looks forward to reminiscing about the great times he had here as a graduate student, spending late nights and early mornings with punch cards at the computing center, and when he met his wife Karen and got married. Karen will be joining him during his sabbatical.

Geoff D. Moggridge will join the department in November as a Piercy Professor. Dr. Moggridge has been a lecturer since 1995 at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

His research interest is in the area of structured materials, specifically detergent structure, anatase precipitation, carbon adsorbents, silver bullets for Zebra mussels and chemical product design. There are two areas of research he would like to develop during his time in Minnesota. The first is barrier membranes work in collaboration with Professor Ed Cussler. The applications he has in mind are oxygen barriers for polymer electronics, odor barriers, and a water-soluble water barrier for detergents. He is interested in producing reactive barrier membranes using equilibrium reactions, perhaps including adsorbents such as carbon. The second area is to explore the possibility of using diblock copolymers as precursors for controlled pore size mesoporous materials in collaboration with Marc Hillmyer (Chemistry) and Frank Bates. He has done some preliminary experiments in Cambridge using diblock samples prepared in Minnesota and the use for ozonolysis looks promising. He also hopes to make some useful contacts for his zebra mussel project while residing in the Great Lakes/Mississippi area.

Dr. Geoff Moggridge

Lee Raymond after accepting his honorary Doctor of Laws degree

Lee Raymond (Ph.D., 1963) CEO and President of ExxonMobil, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 16, 2001. Mark G. Yudof, President of the University of Minnesota and the Honorable Patricia B. Spence, Former Chair of the University of Minnesota, Board of Regents conferred the degree.

H. Ted Davis, Dean of the Institute of Technology and Frank S. Bates, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science spoke briefly. Lee Raymond presented his remarks on “Science and Technology: Today’s Foundation; Tomorrow’s Path” to an enthusiastic audience of faculty, alumni and members of the business community from Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Robert T. Tranquillo, a faculty member in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and the Head of the Biomedical Engineering Department, has been awarded a 2002 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship.

The purpose of the McKnight University Professorship is to acknowledge the most outstanding mid-career faculty at the University of Minnesota. Recipients are honored with the title Distinguished McKnight University Professor, which they will hold for as long as they remain at the University of Minnesota, along with an award of $100,000 to be expended over five years. Professor Tranquillo joins other departmental Distinguished McKnight Professors Frank S. Bates, Wei-Shou Hu, Timothy P. Lodge and Michael D. Ward.

Professor Robert Tranquillo

Dr. Ed Cussler

Edward L. Cussler won the 2001 Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The award recognizes distinguished and continuing contributions to chemical engineering education.

Ed Cussler was also the winner of the 2002 American Chemical Society Award in Separations Science and Technology sponsored by IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. and Millipore Corporation. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied research directed to separations science and technology. Ed will present a lecture at the annual Division of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Symposium.

William W. Gerberich was elevated to Fellow of the conference at the 10th International Conference on Fracture, December 2-7, 2001. Since 1965 the conference, held every four years, has selected five Fellows who have contributed to the field worldwide through scholar publications and impact.

Dr. William Gerberich

Dr. Ken Keller

Kenneth H. Keller was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by the Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering section of the AAAS. Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for their efforts to advance science or its applications.

Christopher J. Palmstrøm was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for his original work on metallic compound/compound semiconductor heterostructures and thin film interfacial analysis.

The APS Fellowship Program recognizes members who have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, have made significant contributions in the application of physics to science and technology, to teaching physics, or service and participation in the activities of the Society. Only one-half of one percent of the APS membership are awarded this honor annually.

Dr. Chris Palmstrøm

H. Ted Davis

A symposium was held in honor of H.Ted Davis on May 31-June 1, 2002.

The attendees raced go-carts at ProKart Racing on Friday evening May 31. On June 1 the festivities started with a barbeque before the symposium. The symposium "Our Model of Excellence" was held on Saturday afternoon. The speakers included: LannySchmidt (CEMS, recruited to the University of Minnesota with Ted’s assistance, 1965); Eric Kaler, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of Engineering, Universityof Delaware (Ph.D., 1982, University of Minnesota); Kyle Vanderlick, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University (Ph.D.,1988, Universityof Minnesota); John Weaver, Professor and Head of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois (CEMS faculty, 1982-1999); Robert Tranquillo, Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota (CEMS faculty 1988-present; Head BME 1999-present) and Frank Bates, Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota (CEMS faculty 1989-present; Head 1999-present). The talks mixed technical research discussions with humorous memories of the speaker’s experiences with Ted Davis. The festivities concluded with a dinner at Columbia Golf Club Manor in the evening. See the link for more information and pictures!

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Frank S. Bates, Edward L. Cussler and Kenneth H. Keller were elected to the National Academy of Engineering for 2002. Frank Bates was chosen “For important contributions on the phase behavior of polymer blends, particularly block co-polymers.” Ed Cussler was selected “For pioneering research on membrane transport in chemical and biochemical separation, and for inspiring teaching.” Ken Keller was nominated “For leadership in applying quantitative engineering analysis to vascular transport and artificial organ design and in public policy”. They join fellow NAE members Rutherford Aris, H. Ted Davis, Chris Macosko, Lanny Schmidt and L. E. Scriven.

Back l to r: Christopher Macosko, Kenneth Keller, L. E. Scriven and Frank S. Bates. Front l to r: Edward L. Cussler, H. Ted Davis and Lanny Schmidt. Rutherford Aris, not pictured.

Lanny Schmidt

Lanny D. Schmidt is now a Regents Professor. The Regents Professorship is the University’s highest honor of faculty excellence. The professorship is bestowed for “accomplishments in teaching, scholarship or creative work that have contributed to the University and to the public good”. A $10,000 annual stipend is provided for each Regents Professor. We are proud to have three of the twenty possible Regents Professors in the University: H. Ted Davis and L. E. “Skip” Scriven and Lanny D. Schmidt, as well as Rutherford Aris who is a Regents Professor Emeritus, and Neal Amundson (U. Houston) who was formerly a Regents Professor.

Professor D. Fennell Evans retired in May after being with the department since 1980. Fennell was the Director of the Center for Interfacial Engineering from 1987 to 1999. He contributed significantly to the reputation of the University through his scholarly leadership in the field of interfacial phenomena and surfactant microstructures. Fennell will be spending his retirement in the D.C. area.

D. Fennell Evans

Bev Harren, Frank Bates and Sue Wermager

On June 21, the CEMS faculty and staff had a celebration in honor of Bev Harren and Sue Wermager. Bev has been with the department for 25 years. Sue has worked in the department for 27 years. Congratulations!

We are proud to announce that Frank Bates, Ed Cussler, and Ken Keller were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C. in October 2002. Frank, Ed and Ken were joined at the induction ceremony by our other NAE faculty H. Ted Davis, Chris Macosko and Lanny Schmidt.

Frank Bates was chosen “For important contributions on the phase behavior of polymer blends, particularly block co-polymers.” Ed Cussler was selected “For pioneering research on membrane transport in chemical and biochemical separation, and for inspiring teaching.” Ken Keller was nominated “For leadership in applying quantitative engineering analysis to vascular transport and artificial organ design and in public policy”.

Clockwise from top left: Chris Macosko, Frank Bates, H. Ted Davis, Kenneth Keller, Lanny Schmidt and Edward Cussler

Donald Wright (Chair of the University of Minnesota Foundation) with Dottie, Wendell and Laura Manske

Wendell (’49 BSChE) and Dottie Manske made a $102,500 gift to establish the Wendell and Dottie Manske Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund will be used to support an undergraduate student’s full tuition during their junior year. The endowed scholarship will be awarded annually to a student based on academic merit and financial need.

Wendell’s motivation for establishing the endowment was that it allowed him to “give back” to the department and the University for the excellent education he received, which played a major role in his successful life.

Wendell and Dottie were inducted into the President’s Club during a private reception, given in their honor, prior to the President’s Club holiday party on December 9, 2002. Accompanying them to the event was their daughter, Laura Manske, with whom Wendell enjoys a partnership in their business, IntroTech, Inc.

The Rheological Measurements short course will be on June 8-13, 2003. Please contact David Giles at 612-625-0880 for more information or go to the website

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The Cell and Tissue Reactor Engineering short course will be held on June 9 through 12, 2003. Check out the website or call 612-626-7630

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The Coating Process Fundamentals short course will be held on June 23-25, 2003. For more information call Phil Jensen, 612-625-9075 or go to the website

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Shelley R. Gilliss, a graduate student with Professor C. Barry Carter, was selected to receive an MSA Presidential Student Award. She will receive the award at the Awards Ceremony on August 4, 2003 at the MSA Presidential Happenings session of the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2003 meeting in San Antonio, TX.

Chris Perrey, a graduate student in Professor C. Barry Carter's research group, will receive the Microbeam Analysis Society Distinguished Scholar Award. The award will be presented to him at the Microscopy and Microanalysis meeting in August 2003. Professor Carter said "This is an honor for you, our group and the department."

Professor William Gerberich's research was highlighted in the Business Section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on March 27, 2003.

Dr. Michael Tsapastis will join the department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science as a Professor this summer. Michael's areas of research expertise include reaction engineering, separations, and materials synthesis, a portfolio that bridges traditional and current thrusts in the department.

Michael is an academic grandson, with a Ph.D. from Caltech earned under the supervision of George Gavalas. (Professor Gavalas completed his M.S. in 1962 and his Ph.D. in 1964 in Chemical Engineering from Minnesota).

We look forward to welcoming Dr. Tsapatsis to the department this summer!

Professor Efie Kokkoli, will join the department as an Assistant Professor. Efie compliments our research and teaching efforts in biomedical and macromolecular science and engineering. Efie received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
We are looking forward to having her on board!

We will have a new Assistant Professor, Jennifer Maynard, late summer 2003. She is currently completing a postdoctoral assignment at Stanford University and the affiliated Veterans Administration. Jennifer will strengthen our biochemical engineering effort with modern tools and concepts related to immune response and related phenomena. She is uniquely trained, with a B.S. in biology from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Chris Macosko will be the 2004 recipient of the E.C. Bingham Medal awarded by the Society of Rheology (SoR). The Bingham Medal is given to one who has made outstanding contributions to the field of rheology. Chris will receive the Bingham Medal at the SoR meeting in Lubbock,TX on February 14-16, 2005. Congratulations, Chris!

You are cordially invited for lively conversation and refreshments at the second annual Homecoming All-Class Gathering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

    Date: Friday, October 22, 2004
    Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Place: 182 Amundson Hall

Beer, wine and snacks will be served. Alumni, spouses, significant others and guests are welcome. Please join us!

    RSVP by Monday, October 11, 2004:

    Julie Murphy
    Phone: 612-625-4356
    Jennifer Payne-Pogatchnik
    Phone: 612-626-9501

Join IT dean H. Ted Davis and department head Frank Bates for a special IT alumni event in Houston, TX. The casual, fun-filled evening will include a “U of M-style” cookout beginning at 4:30 p.m., followed by an exciting game between the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies. Watch your mailbox for a formal invitation in August. We look forward to seeing you at Houston’s Minute Maid Park!

Questions? Contact Jennifer Pogatchnick in the IT dean’s office at 800-587-3884 or

We are holding an informal reunion of Materials Science grad students who were in grad school during the 60s and 70s.

    The location is at the home of Bob and Beverly Sundahl

    322 E. Tonto Drive
    Phoenix AZ 85044
    (480) 893-6637

    Friday, Nov 12, 2004
    Arrival in the afternoon
    Evening mixer

    Saturday, Nov 13, 2004
    Open morning for recovery, any sightseeing for AZ newbees
    Afternoon/Evening Reunion celebration
    Sunday, Nov 14 through Tuesday Nov 16, 2004
    A three day trip to the Grand Canyon, if you are interested.

If anybody would like to join the festivities please let me know Bob Sundahl, 3322 E. Tonto Drive, Phoenix AZ 85044 , (480) 893-6637,

CEMS will host a reception at the AIChE Meeting in Austin, TX on Tuesday, November 9, 2004. The reception will be from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Hilton Hotel, Austin in Salon D 4th Floor. Questions? Contact Julie Prince 612-625-0382.

Regents Professor Lanny Schmidt was one of the 2004 Scientific American 50 Award Research Leaders. He was nominated for his work in energy, specifically for his work in "developing the first chemical reactor that produces hydrogen from renewable fuel".

The nominees are chosen by Scientific American magazine's Board of Editors who put together a list of scientists who "exhibited outstanding technology leadership in the realms of research, business and policymaking in 2003-04".

Take a look at the complete article in most recent issue of Scientific American.

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Chris Macosko will receive the Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, at the 77th Annual Meeting in Lubbock, TX, in February 2005. This award is given once a year, and recognized as the highest honor in the world for rheological research. As if that weren’t enough, Chris and past student Rui Zhao will receive the Society of Rheology Publication Award for 2004 at the same meeting.

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Xiaoxia Sheng, Taesung Jung, Jeffrey A. Wesson, Michael D. Ward have a paper "Adhesion at calcium oxalate crystal surfaces and the effect of urinary constituents" in the Proceedings of the Nataional Academy of Sciences. Xiaoxia is now a postdoc at MIT; Taesung Jung was a Brain Korea-21 visiting student, and Jeff Wesson is a collaborator at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Note: This paper was preceded by one in Langmuir, which also featured the work as a cover. Taesung Jung was the first author on that paper.

Abstract: Kidney stones, aggregates of microcrystals, most commonly contain calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) as the primary constituent. The aggregation of COM microcrystals and their attachment to epithelial cells are thought to involve adhesion at COM crystal surfaces, mediated by anionic molecules or urinary macromolecules. Identification of the most important functional group-crystal face adhesive combinations is crucial to understanding the stability of COM aggregates and the strength of their attachments to epithelial cell surfaces under flow in the renal tubules of the kidney. Here, we describe direct measurements of adhesion forces, by atomic force microscopy, between various functional groups and select faces of COM crystals immersed in aqueous media. Tip-immobilized carboxylate and amidinium groups displayed the largest adhesion forces, and the adhesive strength of the COM crystal faces decreased in the order (100) > () > (010), demonstrating that adhesion is sensitive to the structure and composition of crystal faces. The influence of citrate and certain urinary proteins on adhesion was examined, and it was curious that osteopontin, a suspected regulator of stone formation, increased the adhesion force between a carboxylate tip and the (100) crystal face. This behavior was unique among the various combinations of additives and COM crystal faces examined here. Collectively, the force measurements demonstrate that adhesion of functional groups and binding of soluble additives, including urinary macromolecules, to COM crystal surfaces are highly specific in nature, suggesting a path toward a better understanding of kidney stone disease and the eventual design of therapeutic agents.

Reference: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2005, 102, 267-272.

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F. Rodrigo Molina, a senior chemical engineering undergraduate student, won first place at the 2005 National Research Competition during the SHPE, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, national conference in January 2005.

Rodrigo presented his research on the "Design of Bioreactor for Atrazine Removal." He worked with Professor Larry Wackett (Biotechnology Institute), and Professor Michael Semmens (Civil Engineering.) from the University of Minnesota.

Rodrigo also won first place in APEXES (Academic Programs for Excellence in Engineering and Science) Fall 2004 Technical Presentation Competition, which prepared me for the national competition.

In addition, he is a Colonial Dames scholar. He received this honor for his academic achievements and continue community services with the Latino community in Minnesota. The Colonial Dames foundation pays for his education.

He has also won two Undergraduate Research Opportunity grants (UROP) awards in the University to continue doing research in Biotechnology.

He was the VP of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers chapter in the University 2004-05.

We are proud to have such an accomplished undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science!

In the 2005 IT Week Banquet and Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Plumb Bob, on Thursday, April 14th, at the Campus Club in Coffman Union Rodrigo Molina recieved the 2005 IT Student of the Year award. The IT Student of the Year is selected by the IT Student Board.

In addition, Rodrigo was selected to be the keynote speaker in the annual end of the year celebration banquet of the Academic Programs for Excellence in Engineering and Science (APEXES). The focus of Rodrigo's address was the state of minorities in education, and their challenges and successes. In addition, it was also acknowledged that APEXES does an outstanding job of promoting academic excellence in engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics.

Renata Wentzcovitch was nominated a Fellow of the American Physical Society. “Each year, no more than one-half of one percent of the then current membership of the Society are recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow in the American Physical Society.” The presentation will be given at the annual APS meeting in the Division of Materials Physics.

Renata was nominated "For computational tools for, and valuable preditions (sic) of, structure and properties of earth minerals and exotic oxides, especially at high pressure and temperature." Congratulations, Renata!

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Julia Deneen, graduate student advised by C. Barry Carter, has made it to the MRS Awards for the Spring meeting! The MRS Meeting is April 17 - 21 in San Francisco, CA. The final will be very tough since we can see that the other finalists are at UC Berkeley, Caltech, Northwestern, Harvard, Cambridge, KAIST, Columbia and MIT but making it to the Finals is a great achievement.

Julia Deneen was awarded both an MRS Best Poster Award and a Silver Graduate Student Award for her work entitled "Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of the Mechanical Behavior of Nanoscale Materials" at the MRS 2006 Spring Meeting. The poster award was selected from all the posters presented at the meeting on the basis of the poster's technical content, appearance, graphic excellence, and presentation quality. Julia received a $500 cash prize and her poster was on display throughout the meeting. For the Graduate Student Award, finalists are chosen based on their outstanding performance in the conduct of the project and promise for future substantial achievement in materials research. The award consists of complimentary conference registration, an award certificate, and another cash prize.

The AIChE Chem-E-Car from the University of Minnesota won "Most Creative Drivetrain", was second place in the poster competition and of course placed first in the Car Competition. This particular car was special because it created from scratch in about 2 months and had never competed in a competition before.

The car was powered by a baking soda and vinegar reaction. The gas produced from the reaction created pressure in a closd vessel, and this power was harnessed by connecting it to a piston, whish was then attatched to the car's axel. The car was required to travel 60 feet and stop. After the first run, it was 4 feet away from the 60 feet mark. Then, a few modifications were made to the amounts of reactants added to the vessel, and after the second run the car was zero inches away from the 60 feet mark.

The competition was held at Purdue University in West Lafeyette, Indiana on April 1st. Our team traveled to Purdue for the weekend of March 31st to April 2nd. People involved on the team were Brett Heffelbower, Andrew Larson, Nate Craig, Mike Welch, Jon Seppelt, Ryan Miller, Josh Allen, Kyle Hubbs, Jenna Van Dellen, Matt Rauschke, Greg Hangii, Zack Wilcock, Justin Woo, and Elizabeth Borguson.

Ken Keller will be the Director of the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna Center in Italy. Ken will begin his new position in August, 2006. The Bologna Center offers an interdisciplinary program of studies, with an emphasis on European studies, international economics, politics and history.

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Professor Jeffrey Derby has been invited to give a week-long series of lectures at the Institut für Kristallzüchtung, or Institute of Crystal Growth, in Berlin, Germany. The work of the Institute of Crystal Growth (IKZ) is devoted to the growth of crystalline materials from basic research up to technological realization. It was founded in 1992, following a recommendation of the "Wissenschaftsrat" of the Federal Republic of Germany. The mission of the Institute is to perform basic and applied research in the fields of growth, characterization and processing of crystalline matter and to fulfil service tasks for partners and customers in industry and science. Derby will give five lectures, from June 26-30, 2006, based on general topics and his research programs, under the overall title of "Crystal growth from the melt and solution phases --- physico-chemical basics and modeling."

Joel Bell, a fourth year PhD candidate working with Professor Chris Macosko, will present two papers at the Polymer Processing Society’s international meeting in Yamagata, Japan. The papers are titled "Cocontinuous Polymer Blends: Effect of Block Copolymer on Morphology” and "Imaging of Cocontinuous Polymer Blends."

Cocontinuous morphologies are formed by the interpenetration of two immiscible polymers. Due to their enhanced interfacial area and unique combination of properties, they are used commercially to enhance conductivity, mechanical, absorption, and processing performance of polymers. Yet, cocontinuous blends haven’t been studied to a great degree and offer a fertile area for research. The right combination of mixing flows, component properties, and concentration needed to generate fine interconnected morphology are still to be discovered. A fundamental problem is that cocontinuous blends are inherently unstable as interfacial tension fights to coarsen the morphology. It has been shown that adding a small amount (1% by weight) optimal diblock copolymer (bcp) decreased the initial pore size and nearly stopped coarsening during annealing in PS/PE cocontinuous blends. It appears that the bcp acts to lower the interfacial tension and hinders coarsening. These results along with the effect bcp has on the range of cocontinuity will be discussed at the upcoming PPS conference.

Two dimensional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been used to characterize the polymer blends, but in collaboration with Professor Jung Ho Je’s group at Pohang University (POSTECH), South Korea, Bell and coworkers have also developed a novel synchrotron x-ray microtomography method to visualize cocontinuous morphologies in 3D (similar to a “CAT-scan” used for biological imaging). This new tool gives the ability to characterize cocontinuous morphologies in 3D without extracting or staining one of the phases. The technique was used to measure the surface area and changes in pore size during annealing of 50/50 PS/PE blends. Results will also be discussed at the upcoming PPS conference.

Lanny Schmidt was the Julian C. Smith Lecturer at Cornell University School of Chemical and Biomelecular Engineering on April 10 and 11th. Lanny discussed topics on renewable energy. His first presentation was on “Does Renewable Energy Make Sense? An Engineering Perspective”. The second talk discussed “Hydrogen and Chemicals from Fossil and Renewable Fuels by Authothermal Reforming”.

The annual two-day Julian C. Smith lecture series was established by the class of 1962, other friends and colleagues, to honor Professor Smith for his commitment and vision in promoting academic research in the department, and for his service as a member of the faculty and as director from 1965 to 1981 in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University.

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Kevin Dorfman is the recipient of a 2006 Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award. His area of interest is a new microfluidic separation technique, "dynamic gel electrophoresis," that will be developed to resolve supercoiled DNA and other structured biomolecules. Congratulations Kevin!

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Michael Tspatsis gave the Robert W. Vaughan Lecture, at the California Institute of Technology on April 20, 2006. The Vaughan lectures “honor distinguished young scientists in any of the fields of chemical engineering, chemical physics or applied physics.”

He also gave the D.B. Robinson Distinguished Speaker Lectures at the University of Alberta, Canada in April 2006. The D.B. Robinson Lectures are presented by internationally celebrated experts in the field of chemical and materials engineering. These lectures were named in honor of Dr. Donald Baker Robinson enriching the scholarly activities in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta.

Michael will be giving two more lectures this fall: the Van Ness Lectures at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in October; and the Merck Sharp and Dohme Lectures at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez in November.

All of these lectures were on the topic of molecular sieve thin film technology for separations and energy applications.

At the Gordon Research Conference on Thin Film and Small Scale Mechanical Behavior, Megan Cordill won a Best Poster Award for her poster entitled "Quasi-Static and Dynamic Dislocation Events in Nanocontacts of (001) Nickel." The conference was held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and was attended by 170 researchers from the United States, Europe and Asia. At the conference 150 posters were presented by graduate students, postdoctoral students and professors. Six poster awards were given out over the week long conference. Awards were decided by the conference attendees. Megan is starting her fourth year in Professor Gerberich's research group.

Ed Cussler received the 2006 Gerhold Award. The award was presented at the recent Separations Division dinner held during the AIChE Annual Meeting. The award recognizes an individual's outstanding contribution in research, development, or in the application of chemical separations technology. Ed received a plaque, $3,000, and travel.

“In the separations community, Professor Edward L. Cussler has arguably developed more novel ideas for separations science and technology than anyone. The breadth of his contributions is stunning, ranging from fundamental scientific advances in diffusion theory, through hollow fiber membrane separators, to separations based on hydrogels.”

“Professor Cussler's greatest contribution has probably been to the understanding of diffusion, which controls many separation rates. In numerous publications and books, he has laid theoretical foundations and analyzed transport processes in ways that are much more understandable than those previously available.”

Julia Nowak was selected as a recipient of the Graduate Excellence in Materials Science (GEMS) Award from the American Ceramic Society for her work on "Lattice Defects in Nanoparticles." Julia is one of ten students chosen to receive the award. Selection is based on the scientific and academic accomplishment of the student and the quality of the research presented at the MS&T meeting in October. The award consists of a certificate and a $100 cash prize.

Julia Nowak was recently awarded a Young Scientist Scholarship by the International Federation of Societies for Microscopy (IFSM).The scholarship, for young scientists from countries other than Japan, was funded in part by the KAZATO foundation (JEOL Ltd.). The award consists of JPY 110,000 in support for travel to the 16th International Microscopy Congress (IMC16) in Sapporo, Japan. Julia presented her work on "Dynamic Studies in the TEM: In-Situ Compression of Nanoparticles" at the meeting.

Benjamin Richter was awarded the Marshall R. Cleland - Radiation Dynamics Inc. 2006 Student Travel Grant Award from the Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards (CIRMS). He received a plaque & $1000 Travel Grant to give talk at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD. His talk was entitled "Characterizing a Novel Low Voltage Pulsed Electron Beam: Challenges in Dosimetry".

Prodromos Daoutidis gave an invited talk in the CAST Plenary session in the 2006 Annual AIChE meeting. It was on joint work with his student Michael Baldea (currently at Praxair) and Antonio Araujo and Sigurd Skogestad from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, entitled: Integrated Process Networks: Nonlinear Control Design for Optimality and Dynamic Performance.

Michael Tsapatsis gave the 2006 Van Ness Award Lectures at RPI (October 11 and 12) and Merck Sharp and Dohme 2006 Lectures at UPR Mayaguez.

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David Norris has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). "Election to Fellowship in the American Physical Society is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership. Election to APS Fellowship is recognition by one's peers of significant contributions to physics." The presentation will be given at the annual APS meeting in the Division of Condensed Matter Physics (DCMP). David was nominated "for fundamental contributions and pioneering investigations in the areas of growth of doped nanocrystals and growth of photonic crystals based on self-assembly."

Congratulations, David!

Jessica Hilton won the 2006 AVS Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award­ She received it at the AVS meeting in San Francisco November 13-17.

The Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award was established in 1989, in the spirit of Nellie Yeoh Whetten, to recognize and encourage excellence by women in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. A fund to support the award was established by Timothy J. Whetten, friends and family of Nellie Yeoh Whetten, and AVS. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.

Third year CEMS graduate student Kurtis Leschkies was one of three students chosen to receive a scholarship awarded by the Particle Society of Minnesota. This scholarship is given to outstanding students whose research and interests focus on particle science and engineering. Kurtis is working on nanoparticle based quantum dot solar cells and is coadvised by Professors Norris and Aydil in CEMS and Professor Kortshagen from the Mechanical Engineering Department. The winners were selected based on their exemplary academic record and research in areas of particle science and engineering. The winners of the scholarship will receive $1000 and will be invited to present their research during a lunch meeting of the Particle Society membership in spring of 2007.

Chris Leighton had a recent paper in Physical Review Letters: "Exchange Bias as a Probe of the Incommensurate Spin-Density Wave in Epitaxial Fe/Cr(001) with J.S. Parker, L. Wang, K. A. Steiner, P.A. Crowell (Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 227206 (2006)).

Magnetism in metallic films and interfaces has been intensively studied since the discovery of Giant MagnetoResistance (GMR) in the late 1980’s. This effect enabled fabrication of high sensitivity magnetic field sensors for the read heads in magnetic hard disks, revolutionizing magnetic recording. GMR occurs in structures where an ultra-thin “non-magnetic” film is sandwiched between two magnets, Fe / Cr / Fe being a popular example. Although often ignored, the weak magnetism of the Cr film is fascinating in its own right. As in all magnets, this magnetism originates from the arrangement of the spin magnetic moments of the electrons. Cr has one of the most extraordinary spin arrangements that can be found in the entire periodic table. The spins form a structure that is referred to as an antiferromagnetic Incommensurate Spin Density Wave. As shown in the figure, this involves a periodic modulation of the Cr spin, with a wavelength that does not match (i.e. is incommensurate with) the atomic periodicity. Postdoc Jeff Parker, working with graduate student Lan Wang, undergraduate Kim Steiner, and Professors Leighton and Crowell have used a well-known effect in thin film magnetism to directly probe this spin structure even in very thin films where other techniques cannot be applied. The work is based on the concept of interfacial exchange coupling between neighboring layers, using an effect called exchange bias. Exchange bias is an easily measurable perturbation of the properties of a ferromagnetic film due to proximity to an antiferromagnet like Cr. Its great sensitivity to the interface spins in the antiferromagnet means that in Fe/Cr thin film layers one can use the exchange bias in the Fe to probe the spin arrangement in the Cr. In particular, the wavelength of the Cr spin density wave varies with temperature, leading to an oscillation in the Cr surface spin magnitude, and therefore an oscillation in the strength of the coupling to the Fe, with temperature. By measuring these oscillations they were able to determine, in a unique way, important and detailed information on the spin density wave, such as the extent of the wavelength change with temperature, and the critical temperatures at which the nature of the spin density wave changes. The experiment required not only the fabrication of high crystalline perfection epitaxial Fe/Cr films (with very smooth interfaces) but also measurement of the exchange coupling strength to very high accuracy due to the small magnitude of the oscillations.

Kevin Dorfman was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award for research on the "Dynamics of DNA during Electrophoresis in Artificial Sieving Matrices".  NSF bestows this award to support the early career-development activities of outstanding young faculty.  Professor Dorfman and his research group are going to use microfabrication to make very precise arrays of pillars for DNA separations.

These "artificial gels" promise to be much better than conventional gel electrophoresis of long DNA, reducing the separation time from hours to minutes and increasing the reproducibility. The problem is that, although there is now pretty good data for the interactions of long DNA and a single isolated obstacle, they do not have a good model for the dynamics of DNA as it moves through an array of many obstacles. They are going to observe these dynamics at the single-molecule level and then use coarse-graining techniques to develop models for the separation process. If successful, the project would yield design equations for the separation.

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Kevin Dorfman

Renata Wentzcovitch

Research from Renata Wentzcovitch and her group was highlighted in Eos. The article "Spin transition in Magnesiowüstite in Earth’s lower mantle" by T. Tsuchiya, R.M. Wentzcovitch, S. de Gironcoli appeared in Physical Review Letters in 2006.

Electronic spin is a quantum property of every electron, associated with its intrinsic angular momentum. The electronic structure of iron in minerals is generally such that valence electrons will more abundantly occupy different spatial orbitals and maintain the same spin than occupy the same spatial orbital and assume opposite spin, called ‘spin-paired.’ To the astonishment of mineral physicists, pressure-induced electronic spin-pairing that were predicted in iron nearly 50 years ago recently have been detected in ultrahigh-pressure experiments.

You can link to the complete article below.

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Jeff Derby will be giving two seminars this spring. The first is at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX in the Department of Chemical Engineering on March 9. The talk is on "Modeling the Interaction of Multiple Scales in Melt and Solution Crystal Growth."

Jeff will also be speaking at a Colloquium about Crystal Growth of Semiconductors and Optical Crystals. The colloquium is on the Occasion of the Official Retirement of Prof. Dr. H. C. Georg Müller, Fraunhofer Institute of Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) in Erlangen, Germany. Jeff's talk on May 4, 2007 is entitled "Virtual crystal growth -- a dream or reality?"

Jeff Derby

Frank Bates

Frank Bates gave the Berkeley Lectures in early March. He gave seminars on "Block Copolymer Phase Behavior: Can Theory Keep Pace?". The Berkeley Lectures in Chemical Engineering have been a proud tradition sponsored by the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley since 1985. The Berkeley Lecturer is an outstanding academic or industrial researcher who presents two lectures over a three day period of time.

Martin Kenward, a postdoc with Kevin Dorfman, won a supercomputing research scholarship from the MSI for the coming fiscal year (July-June). The title of the project is: "Biophysical mechanisms underlying DNAzyme catalysis." DNAzymes are short sequences of single-stranded DNA that act as catalysts when folded in the presence of a cofactor. The most promising DNAzyme, which catalyzes chain scission of mRNA at the start codon, has spawned an active area of clinical research. To date, all DNAzymes have been discovered in the laboratory by directed evolution. Current directed evolution techniques limit DNAzymes to approximately 20 bases, and changing a single base can reduce the catalytic rate by several orders of magnitude. Thus, relating a particular DNAzyme’s sequence to its structure (and fluctuations around that structure) is crucial to understanding their biochemistry, and will aid in the first-principles discovery of new, more powerful enzymes for biotechnology and clinical applications. The specific aim of this project is to correlate insights gained from statistical physics with available biochemical rate data in order to determine the structural features that give rise to stable, highly active DNAzymes.

Efie Kokkoli received a 2007 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.  The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award is based on research accomplishments and potential as well as teaching quality.  Efie is being honored for her research on biomimetic approaches for the design of materials and therapeutics.

Her group focuses on synthesizing and characterizing bioactive peptide-amphiphiles for the design of receptor targeted therapeutics. They attempt to compare and link measurements that address widely different length scales and dynamics, ranging from the single-molecule level all the way to the cell. Different peptide-amphiphiles designed in Efie's lab are further evaluated in their ability to provide targeting functionality to drug delivery systems. Biomimetic peptide-amphiphiles also hold promise for the creation of functional nanostructures and a future goal is to use them for templated materials synthesis.

Efie Kokkoli

Chris Leighton

Chris Leighton is the 2007 winner of the George W. Taylor Career Development Award. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to teaching by a candidate for tenure, and is bestowed by the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota. Prodromos Daoutidis won this award in 1998.

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Frank Bates, the Department Head of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science since 1999 and a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, was recently appointed as a Regents Professor by the University of Minnesota. This is the highest recognition that can be given to a faculty member by the University.

This position recognizes faculty who have made unique contributions to the quality of the University of Minnesota through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarship or creative work, and contributions to the public good. Frank is in good Departmental company in his new position, joining existing Regents Professors Ted Davis and Lanny Schmidt and past Regents Professors Rutherford Aris, Neal Amundson and Skip Scriven.

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Frank Bates

Prof. Yiannis Kaznessis

The National Science Foundation recently awarded CEMS faculty member Yiannis Kaznessis the NSF CAREER Award, one of its most prestigious awards for new faculty members.  The CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.  Yiannis will receive $400,000 in research funds over the next 5 years.  The topic for Yiannis' proposal was "Mathematics for Biological Engineering".

The current rapid expansion of biological knowledge offers a great opportunity to rationally engineer biological systems that respond to external signals. Indeed, the ambitious idea of engineering biological cells that function as miniature factories has given rise to a new, exciting field of research, synthetic biology.

The inherent complexity of living organisms warrants a quantitative perspective for rationalizing the construction of synthetic biosystems. Professor Kaznessis and his group focus on the development of statistical mechanical theories and accurate mathematical models of biomolecular events that provide insight into the dynamic behavior of biological systems. They also work on designing and experimenting with synthetic biological systems, such as protein devices, inducible gene networks and bio-logical AND gates, with applications in biofuels, biosensors and gene therapies.

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In a ceremony in France in November of 2007, Professor Ed Cussler was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nancy. The award notes in part that "...Ed has always had the talent to arouse the spirits by his impassioned talks, deploying systematically a profound originality, as much in its depth as in its form..." Cussler and the University of Nancy share a particular interest in the "still emerging thematic educational exercise, the engineering of products." The award summed Cussler's efforts in education as being "...a brilliant career, illustrating in an exemplary manner the richness and the synergy that can result from a subtle equilibrium between the functions of teaching and research."

The award also noted his work with the AIChE Journal as well as the Journal of Membrane Science, his authorship of 250 publications, 8 patents, and 5 texts as evidence of his being "...equally, and perhaps above all, a professor and communicator without peer."

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Prof. Ed Cussler

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has elected Renata Wentzcovitch as a Fellow. Each year only one in each thousand members is elected to this honor. An award ceremony for honorees will be held in May 2008 in Florida at the AGU Joint Assembly Meeting. The AGU describes itself as, "A worldwide scientific community that advances, through unselfish cooperation in research, the understanding of Earth and space for the benefit of humanity."

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Andrew Yeckel, senior research associate, has received a PROF.X2 Fellowship from the Fraunhofer Society of Germany. This program provides financial support for outstanding senior scientists from the U.S. to collaborate with scientists at one of the Fraunhofer's 56 research institutes in Germany. Dr. Yeckel is spending six months working in the Crystal Growth Laboratory at Fraunhofer Institute of Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) in Erlangen. The title of the project is, "Multiscale modeling of convective phenomena during directional solidification of solar silicon." Collaborators at the Crystal Growth Laboratory include its director, Dr. Jochen Friedrich, and chief of simulation, Dr. Thomas Jung.

Funding is also provided for Yeckel to travel within Germany to interact with scientists at other institutions, both academic and industrial. Planned visits include Schott, a manufacturer of advanced glass and photovoltaics; Deutsche Solar, a world leader in production of photovoltaic silicon; and the renowned Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ) in Berlin. Dr. Yeckel will return to CEMS in April to continue his collaboration with Jeff Derby.

IT Week/Engineers Week events (Feb. 17-23, 2008) include IT students voting for a number of "best" titles to be revealed during the activities. Eray Aydil was selected this year as "best professor in the Chemical Engineering & Materials Science program." Eray will be honored at the IT Awards and Recognition Banquet which salutes outstanding Institute of Technology faculty, teaching assistants, advisors and student organizations. Congratulations Eray!

Samia Ilias and Christine Balonek

Congratulations to Christine Balonek and Samia Ilias who were each awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship! The fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based degrees and is intended for students who are in the early stages of their graduate study. Christine is currently in her first year of graduate study in Lanny Schmidt's group. Samia started her first year of graduate study in Aditya Bhan's group just this last fall. Again, congratulations to each student on this significant achievement and our best wishes for much success in your research programs.

There are several visitors to meet and greet in the department. We currently have two Piercy Professors in house. Jayesh Bellare received his Ph.D. from the department in 1988. He is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. Some of his current research involves liposome and vesicle microreactors and electron microscopy of complex fluids. Check the link below for more information. Jayesh is sitting in Room 151d, and his phone is 5-1058. Our other Piercy Professor is Chris Floudas from Princeton University. He earned his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. Chris is an authority on mathematical modeling and optimization of complex systems at the macroscopic and microscopic level and has a research focus that includes chemical process synthesis and design as well as other areas of interest. Chris is on site now in Room 263, at phone number 6-0635. We have three visitors with us from France, too: Veronique Falk, Laurent Falk, and Laurent Marchal-Heussler. They are all faculty members at the University of Nancy in France. Veronique Falk and Laurent Marchal-Heussler are members of the group on Industrial Safety and Heterogeneous Particulate Systems (SISyPHe). Laurent Falk is head of the GPM group that studies Microstructured Process Engineering. While here they are monitoring Ed Cussler's class on product design and providing feedback on it. Veronique and Laurent Falk are in Room 443, at phone 5-1586, while Laurent Marchal-Heussler is in Room 437 at phone 5-9871. Please take advantage of the opportunity to meet and welcome each one of the above visitors! They are eager to meet CEMS faculty, staff and students.

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CEMS TAs were nominated by their instructors for outstanding service awards. Each winning student receives a $200 prize and a T-shirt. Their names also will appear on the Award Plaque in Rm. 150 Amundson. Congratulations go out to: Derek Stevens, CHEN 4006 Mass Transport and Separation Processes (Instructors:Prodromos Daoutidis and Efie Kokkoli) Manish Sharma, MATS 4013 Electrical and Magnetic Properties of Materials (Instructor: Russ Holmes) Aaron Beaber, MATS 4221 Materials Design and Performance (Instructor: Bill Gerberich) Christine Cardinal, MATS 4301W Materials Processing (Instructor: Lorraine Francis) Kurtis Leschkies, CHEN 4001 Material and Energy Balances (Instructor: Kevin Dorfman)

Congratulations are in order for the following CEMS students who have been awarded Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for 2008-09: Michael Behr, Janice Boercker, Kurtis Leschkies, Sudeep Maheshwari, Prashant Nagpal, Scott Roberts and Vassilios Sotiropoulos. The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship program gives outstanding final-year Ph.D. candidates the opportunity to complete the dissertation within the next academic year by devoting full-time effort to the research and writing of their dissertation. Candidates are nominated to an all-University competition by the Director of Graduate Studies in their respective program. Winners receive a fellowship stipend of $22,000 for the academic year. CEMS augments this fellowship so that students receive a total of $27,000.

Prof. Jeff Derby

Jeff Derby is one of four University of Minnesota faculty to receive the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship for 2008.  This title, along with a research grant, is awarded only to the University's highest-achieving full professors "whose work has brought great renown and prestige to the University of Minnesota," and is based on the level of their scholarly work, their standing in their field of research, the quality of their teaching and advising, and contributions to the community.

Jeff's research is pointed to the study of crystal growth, and has pioneered the use of computational models to understand crystal behaviours.  He is a past recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the American Association for Crystal Growth Young Author Award, the University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, and the Humboldt Research Award given by the German government’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Other CEMS faculty who have received this award in the past are:  Frank Bates, Wei-Shou Hu, Robert Tranquillo, and Timothy Lodge, who also holds an appointment in the Chemistry department.

Kevin Dorfman is one of 20 promising scientific researchers in the nation to receive the 2007 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.  He will receive an unrestricted research grant of $625,000 over five years.  His research concerns the use stochastic analysis of single-molecule dynamical data and bottom-up fabrication methods to facilitate the transition of DNA electrophoresis to routine use in biology and medicine.

"Each year the Packard Foundation is honored to support a cadre of innovative young scientists and engineers who are attacking some of the most important research questions of our time," said Lynn Orr, Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor at Stanford University, Foundation Trustee, and Chairman of the Fellowship Advisory Panel. "Their research, and the talented students who will work in their research groups, will continue to have a profound impact on the scientific community for years to come."

Chris Leighton has been named one of the 2007 McKnight Presidential Fellows. This university-wide award has been granted yearly since 2000 and is supported by the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chairs Fund. It is specifically targeted at the most promising faculty recently granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. The three years of funds provided as part of the award will be used to advance Chris' research program in magnetic materials.

From left to right: Jeff Derby--UMN, Peter Rudolph--IKZ, Berlin, Partha Dutta--RPI, and David Bliss--AFRL, at IWCGT-4 banquet.

Jeff Derby received the "Best Lecturer" award at the Fourth International Workshop on Crystal Growth Technology (IWCGT-4), which was held from May 18-25 in Beatenberg, Switzerland. Derby gave two invited presentations entitled, "Convection during bulk crystal growth: The good, the bad, and the ugly" and "Relating fundamentals to technology: Why crystal growth models need multi-scale approaches." This workshop is held every three years and involves a select group of scientists, industrial engineers and crystal growers from all over the world in the different fields of crystal growth. The program of of the workshop covers various topics in the field of bulk crystal growth, epitaxy and wafering of a variety of industrially important materials. Attendance is limited to ensure a fruitful exchange between industrial and scientific participants.

The workshop speakers presented an overview about the recent developments in the field of crystal fabrication and wafering and also addressed future challenges. The objective was to cover a broad range of topics related to the progress achieved in the field of industrial production of a variety of crystals including crystal machining. Specifically, IWCGT-4 focused on: Bulk growth, defect and homogeneity control, and process simulation of industrially important semiconductors like Si, GaAs, CdHgTe, CdZnTe, SiC, AlN, GaN, and diamond; Bulk growth of optical, Laser, NLO and scintillation crystals; Growth of Si and III-V compounds for solar cells; Liquid phase epitaxy of magneto-optic layers, of CdHgTe, and of GaN; Wafering of crystals (sawing, polishing, etching)

IWCGT-4 was jointly organized by Hans Scheel (formly of EPFL), Partha Dutta (RPI) and Jochen Friedrich (Fraunhofer IISB) under the auspices of the International Organization of Crystal Growth (IOCG). The workshop was held in Beatenberg, Switzerland at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level, from which one has a scenic view to the famous peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau of the Bernese Alps and to Interlaken and Lake Thoune.

Renata Wentzcovitch has received a prestigious Humboldt Research Award for her interdisciplinary work in materials science, mineral physics, and geophysics.  Award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards annually.

The Humboldt Research Award is sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation in Germany. The award is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in future.

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Renata Wentzcovitch

A gathering of international researchers, a number of which were former students, occurred at the IC4N Conference in Halkidiki, Greece, June 16-18. Professor Gerberich gave an invitied lecture, "Nanoscale Flow and Fracture Interdependence in Brittle Materials" in a multi-disciplinary symposium chaired by E.C. Aifantis and J.Ovid'ko. He was pleased to see a number of his former students and other University of Minnesota Alumni at a symposium in his honor, "Probing at the Nanoscale". This included Drs. William Mook at EMPA in Thun Switzerland, Megan Cordill at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Sadasivan Shankar at Intel, Santa Clara, David Bahr at Washington State, Elias Aifantis at Aristotle University, Neville Moody at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore and Dr. Ioannis Karapanagiotis At the ORMYLIA Art Diagnosis Center among others.

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Chris Leighton was recently selected as the "Emerging Leader Lecturer" at the University of California Santa Barbara Materials Department. Chris delivered a joint Materials Department / Materials Research Laboratory colloquium entitled "Tunable spin polarization in (Co,Fe)S2: Engineering half-metallic ferromagnets".

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Bill Gerberich will be presented with the 2009 TMS Fellow Award during the Awards Dinner of the Society on February 17, 2009 in San Francisco, during the 138th TMS Annual Meeting. This award is presented to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the practice of metallurgy or materials science and technology.

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Research results from Professor Jeff Derby's research group are featured in a showcase article in the current newsletter of Computational Engineering International (CEI), a commercial software company that develops cutting-edge visualization and animation software, and the CFD Review web site, a leading clearinghouse for the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) community. The article features several results from the thesis work of former graduate student, Dr. David Gasperino, who is currently employed by Cargill. The article, entitled "Minnesota Chemical Engineers Study Crystal Growth with Extreme Simulations" and written by Kara L. Gray of New Horizon Consulting, discusses how the visualization of complex data using Ensight, a CEI product, aids the understanding of crystal growth simulations. Both Gasperino and Senior Research Associate Dr. Andrew Yeckel are extensively quoted in the article. The CEI newsletter can be found at and the article at The CFD Review feature is found at, with the article at

An image and caption from the article: A 3D view of vortex shedding at the edges of the AFM cantilever; the red lines are vortex cores calculated by EnSight. Streamlines are seeded from these cores to show the nature of the vortex at this particular time step.

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From the article: A 3D view of vortex shedding at the edges of the AFM cantilever the red lines are vortex cores calculated by EnSight. Streamlines are seeded from these cores to show the nature of the vortex at this particular time step.

Andrew Jones

Chemical Engineering senior Andrew Jones was awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. The foundation was established in 1984 by the Mercury Seven astronauts. Al Worden, the command module pilot for the Apollo 15 moon mission and the chair of the foundation, visited the University of Minnesota to present the check to Andrew. Although Andrew has no plans to become an astronaut, said he was pleased with the selection because they are looking for the few students at the top who are going to make a difference.

Andrew is in the first semester of his senior year in Chemical Engineering, and plans to apply the scholarship towards graduate school next year. He is interested biofuels and renewable energy sources, and would like to focus on catalysis. Andrew has worked as an undergraduate researcher for Prof. Lanny Schmidt, and spent last summer at Dow's ETHOCEL plant. In addition, he spent one summer at Leeds University in England working on organic synthesis.

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Renata M. Wentzcovitch won “The Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan (short term)” from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  She will be associated primarily with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Department of Physics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, from October to December 2008.

Funded by a subsidy from the Japanese government, this fellowship program is to promote international cooperation and mutual understanding through scientific research. The program allows researchers employed at designated Japanese research institutions and laboratories to invite fellow researchers from other countries to Japan to participate in cooperative activities.

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Renata Wentzcovitch

Derby at the International Conference for Crystal Growth, Salt Lake City, in 2007.

Jeffrey J. Derby has been elected as President of the American Association for Crystal Growth for a three-year period from 2008 to 2011. The American Association for Crystal Growth (AACG) is a national, non-profit organization that is affiliated with the International Organization for Crystal Growth (IOCG). The purpose of AACG is to organize and support activities that serve the technical and professional interests of its approximately 600 members and the crystal growth community. The activities are designed to advance the theory and practice of crystal growth and epitaxy, crystal characterization, and applications by enhancing both the exchange of technical information and the professional stature of those engaged in crystal and epitaxial thin film growth research, development, and production.

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Professor H. Ted Davis is one of ten individuals included in the first class to be inducted into the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame. Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame honors Minnesotans whose achievements in science and technology have made a lasting impact not only to the state of Minnesota, but globally as well.

The MST Hall of Fame is the result of a collaboration between the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Dr. Davis is a former Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (1980 - 1995), former Dean of the Institute of Technology (1995 - 2005), and is currently Regents Professor in CEMS as well as is serving as the Director of the Biotechnology Institute. Among his many honors is membership in the National Academy of Sciences

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H. Ted Davis

Efie Kokkoli

Efie Kokkoli has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her work on "Design and Characterization of Aptamer-Amphiphiles for Selective Binding". The CAREER is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Efie proposes the design and characterization of a novel tool, "aptamer-amphiphiles", based on the expectation that by changing their structural segments one can control their morphology, surface chemistry, and function. A comprehensive characterization of secondary structure, amphiphilic and self-assembly properties, and the link between these properties and the engineering of targeted delivery vehicles is proposed by Efie for the first time. By choosing aptamers that bind to fractalkine as the model system, Efie�s work outlines a logical approach that can be applied to the future design of aptamer-amphiphiles that can functionalize nanoparticles and increase the particle�s specificity and affinity for fractalkine, thus having great therapeutic potential and significantly benefiting society.

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Madhukar Reddy, a graduate student in the department, was presented with the Young Scientist Award at the 36th Annual Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces. The conference was held the week of January 12th, 2009, in Santa Barbara. The award was presented by Nobel Laureate Herbert Kroemer (Physics, 2000). Madhukar was cited for his work leading to an understanding of surface reconstruction transformations occurring on the technologically important GaAs semiconductor surfaces, thus resolving a three-decade old puzzle. Congratulations Madhukar!

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During IT Week - Awards and Recognition Banquet, a special event that recognizes outstanding Institute of Technology faculty and teaching assistants as well as student organizations and their advisors, Efie Kokkoli was honored as the keynote speaker for this year’s banquet, and with an IT Professor Award in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department.

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The University of Minnesota Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science has entered into a partnership with the Petroleum Institute, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to establish the Abu Dhabi-Minnesota Institute for Research Excellence (ADMIRE). This $6.1 million grant over the next three years will promote joint research projects between the two institutions and foster the continued development of academic programs of the Petroleum Institute, specifically their programs in chemical engineering and materials science and engineering.

A primary goal of the partnership is to establish thriving research projects with an emphasis on energy-related topics. Inter-institutional research groups have been established in the areas of hydrocarbon processing, modeling and simulation, polymer processing, and materials science. Recognizing that petroleum resources will play a vital role in the world's energy portfolio over the next decades, ADMIRE will be at the forefront of making the best use of these limited and increasingly precious resources, while also pursuing innovative projects in the search for energy alternatives of the future.

Through these research projects, faculty and student exchange programs will be established, so that both institutions may benefit from in-residence visits of graduate students, post-doctoral associates, and faculty. About 15 to 20 faculty and a comparable number of graduate students and post-docs from each institution will be involved in the research.

Another significant goal of the partnership is to broaden the interaction between the two programs in undergraduate and graduate education, curriculum development, faculty development, and accreditation activities.

The Petroleum Institute was created in 2001 with the goal of establishing itself as a world-class institution in engineering education and research in areas of significance to the oil and gas and the broader energy industries. Other university partners include the University of Maryland, Colorado School of Mines, Johannes Kepler Universitat Linz in Austria, and Montanuniversitat Loeben in Austria. The Petroleum Institute�s sponsors and affiliates include Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and four major international oil companies, including Shell and BP. The campus has modern instructional laboratories and classroom facilities and is now in the planning phase of three major research centers on its campus in Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi.

Prof. Jeffrey Derby will serve as the Director of ADMIRE. Connie Galt will serve as Assistant to the Director, and Prof. Ed Cussler will serve as Chair of the Academic Advisory Board. The points of contact in Abu Dhabi are Prof. Saleh Al Hashimi of the Chemical Engineering Program and Dr. Michael Ohadi, Provost and Acting President, of the Petroleum Institute.

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The July 31 issue of Science contains back-to-back articles from CEMS researchers. In the first article, the Tsapatsis group reports a method to eliminate defects from porous zeolite membranes that have applications in the filtration and separation of small molecules [1]. In the second article, the Norris group, in collaboration with the Oh group from Electrical and Computer Engineering, describes a simple technique to create ultrasmooth patterned metals for applications in plasmonics and metamaterials [2].

[1] J. Choi, H.-K. Jeong, M. A. Snyder, J. A. Stoeger, R. I. Masel, M. Tsapatsis, Science 325, 590 (2009). (link)
[2] P. Nagpal, N. C. Lindquist, S.-H. Oh, D. J. Norris, Science 325, 594 (2009). (link)

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Ultrasmooth silver bullseye
from Nagpal et al.

Yiannis Kaznessis

The Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) chose Professor Yiannis Kaznessis as the 2009 Outstanding Young Researcher. This award recognizes an individual under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the literature of chemical engineering computing and systems technology. The award will be presented to Professor Kaznessis at the AIChE fall meeting in Nashville, TN.

Assistant Professor Kevin Dorfman was selected as one of the recipients of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award for 2009. The goal of this program is to "identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions in academia" and "provide high-impact funding to these rising stars early in their careers in order to develop their research ideas in the context of Department of Defense (DoD) needs." The award provides two years of funding to support Dorfman's research on nanofluidic methods for manipulating and analyzing DNA.

The Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) of NSF announced the award of 20 grants in FY 2009, including eight on the topic of Hydrocarbons from Biomass (HyBi). One of the 8 HyBi awards was given to a team of 3 CEMS faculty (Bhan, Schmidt and Tsapatsis) and collaborators from Princeton (Floudas) and the University of Delaware (Vlachos).

The NSF announcement ( states: "Cooking up hydrocarbons in a unique “pot” The project “Conversion of Biomass to Fuels using Molecular Sieve Catalysts and Millisecond Contact Time Reactors” (0937706) will be led by Michael Tsapatsis of the University of Minnesota. He will collaborate with Aditya Bhan and Lanny Schmidt of the University of Minnesota, Christodoulos Floudas of Princeton University, and Dionisios Vlachos of the University of Delaware. The team’s daring research objective is to develop a fast, continuous, and scalable process for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels in only one “pot” — a stratified reactor. They will engineer both the biomass vaporization reaction and the catalytic reactions for removal of oxygen and for building larger, desired hydrocarbons to take place in the same reactor. The researchers believe that their recent advances in controlling thin-film catalysts and modeling reactions and reactor designs will enable them to produce hydrocarbons in this economically attractive way."

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Dr. Yonggang Yu, a student from the 2008 class of the Chemical Physics Program, won the 2009 Graduate Researach Award of the Rock and Mineral Physics Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union. Professor Renata Wentzcovitch served as his advisor. His work involved first principles calculations of thermodynamic phase boundaries in Earth-forming minerals that produce seismic velocity discontinuities in the Earth's mantle.

These predictive calculations helped to shed light on the origins of such seismic discontinuities and to pin down temperatures at depths where such discontinuities occur. He is currently a post-doc in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. He will receive this award in the AGU'09 Fall Meeting in December in San Francisco.

Yonggang Yu

Yonggang Yu

Dr. Yonggang Yu, a graduate student (2008 class) in the Chemical Physics Program who did his PhD thesis under the supervision of Renata Wentzcovitch, has won the 2009 Graduate Research Award of the Rock and Mineral Physics Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union. The title of his thesis was: "First principles studies of phase transitions in the Earth’s mantle". This work involved the prediction of thermodynamic phase boundaries in Earth forming minerals that produce seismic velocity discontinuities in the mantle. These calculations shed light on the origins of these seismic discontinuities and helped to pin down temperatures at depths where such discontinuities occur. He is currently a post-doc in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. He will receive this Award in the AGU’09 Fall Meeting in December in San Francisco.

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science said a final Good Bye to H. Ted Davis on October 17. The memorial function included an afternoon of talks and remembrances, and an evening dinner. Ted, who was the Head of CEMS for 15 years and the Dean of the Institute of Technology for 10 years, died of heart failure on May 17.

The memorial was attended by family, friends, and former students. Those who talked about Ted were:

  • Frank Bates, Regents Professor and current Head of CEMS
  • Current CEMS Faculty members Lanny Schmidt, Yiannis Kaznessis, Alon McCormick and Raul Caretta
  • Reinhard Strey, a close colleague from the Institut für Physikalische Chemie in Gernamy (presented by Frank Bates)
  • Former graduate students: Lloyd White (University of Minnesota)
    Ron Larson (University of Michigan)
    Jaye Magda (University of Utah)
    Jayesh Bellare (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay)
    Paul Van Tassel (Yale University)
    Doraiswami (Ramki) Ramkrishna (Harry Creighton Peffer Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University)

The evening dinner included additional remembrances from Steven Crouch, the current Dean of the Institute of Technology, and from Ted's son, Bill Davis.

H. Ted Davis

Eray Aydil was awarded the 2009 Plasma Prize of the AVS Plasma Science and Technology Division (PSTD) at the 56th International Symposium of the AVS in San Jose this week. The Plasma Prize is given each year to a researcher who has conducted outstanding research in science and technology of gas plasmas. It is the highest honour of the PSTD. Eray shared the award with Frank Chen, Professor Emeritus at the University of California Los Angeles. This was the first time, in the award's history, that two researchers were selected to receive the plasma prize. Eray said that "sharing the award with Frank, whose seminal papers and books I read when I was a graduate student, makes it even more special." Eray received the award for "pioneering work on the characterization of plasma species and their energy distributions in plasma assisted deposition and etching of materials."

Wei-Shou Hu received two very prestigious awards at the recent American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN. He was chosen for the Food, Pharmaceutical, and Bioengineering Division Award for his groundbreaking contributions in cell-culture engineering, genomics, liver-tissue engineering, and metabolic engineering. He was also presented with the Society for Biological Engineering Award for Excellence and Service for his work in founding the Consortium of CHO Cell Genomics.

Dr. Wei-Shou Hu

Renata Wentzcovitch

The Mineralogical Society of America has elected Professor Renata Wentzcovitch as a fellow of the Society.  This honor is granted to those who have been recognized for their outstanding contributions in the fields of mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry, and petrology.

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Prashant Nagpal won the Gold Student Award at the Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS). Nagpal was selected from among twenty-one finalists after his presentation on "Ultrasmooth Patterned Metals for Plasmonics and Metamaterials." The award, which was presented on December 2nd, includes a $400 prize and a plaque. Nagpal, who recently defended his Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the guidance of Prof. Norris, will soon depart CEMS to begin postdoctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Congratulations Prashant!

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Prashant Nagpal

Assistant Professor K. Andre Mkhoyan, was selected as one of the recipients of the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award for 2010. The award will support his research on the understanding of nano-scales holes in graphene oxide for filtration and biodetection. The award is given to promising nontenured faculty members nominated by 3M researchers.

Professor Frank Bates, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at the University of Minnesota was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nations oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Frank Bates joins Albert Einstein, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin among many other leaders in the sciences, the humanities, business and public affairs and the arts. Professor Bates' 2010 Academy classmates include comedian Steve Martin, CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour, actor Denzel Washington, and movie director Francis Ford Coppola. Frank Bates becomes one of the few scientists who are members of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

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Assistant Professor Kevin Dorfman was named one of the 2010 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars. This program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained within the first five years of their appointment as independent researchers, and a demonstrated commitment to education, signaling the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching. Dorfman joins Associate Professor Efie Kokkoli as the current Teacher-Scholar awardees in the department.

Assistant Professor Kevin Dorfman was named one of the 2010 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars. This program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained within the first five years of their appointment as independent researchers, and a demonstrated commitment to education, signaling the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching. Dorfman joins Associate Professor Efie Kokkoli as the current Teacher-Scholar awardees in the department.

Yiannis Kaznessis has been awarded the 2010 Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award by the Institute of Technology. This is one of the most prestigious teaching awards at the University of Minnesota, and recognizes his exceptional interest and commitment to teaching. The award was established in 2000 by alumnus John Bowers (Physics '76) in honor of his father, Professor Emeritus Charles E. Bowers.

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Yiannis N. Kaznessis

Professor Joe Zasadzinski joined the CEMS department this semester. He was previously a Professor in both Chemical Engineering and Materials Departments at the University of California - Santa Barbara and he assumes the 3M Harry Heltzer Multidisciplinary Chair. His research focuses on microstructural analysis of soft materials including biological materials, complex fluids, surfactants, development of synthetic human lung surfactants for treatment of respiratory distress, and development of targeted and remotely triggered lipid-based drug delivery systems.

He runs one of the few research groups in the world that has published work in Science magazine using all major forms of microscopy from optical to electron to probe techniques. His body of research, which forms the subject of more than 200 journal papers to date, has been recognized by the Burton Award of the Microscopy Society of America and the American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Science. Professor Zasadzinski is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. He returns to his roots at Minnesota, where he received his PhD in 1985 under the supervision of the late Skip Scriven and Ted Davis.

Dr. Ben Hackel joined our department this fall as an Assistant Professor. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biological Chemistry from MIT, followed by a postdoc in Radiology at Stanford University. Ben's research program will quantitatively elucidate the processes that dictate molecular biophysics and recognition, biological transport, and imaging technology to create innovations in protein engineering and molecular imaging.

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Ben Hackel

Dr. Kechun Zhang joined CEMS as an Assistant Professor this Fall. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research program will focus on developing novel biosynthetic pathways to produce biofuels, polymer monomers and pharmaceutical intermediates.

American Vacuum Society (AVS) appointed Professor Eray Aydil as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology (JVST), the flagship publication of the AVS, effective September 1, 2010. Professor Aydil will oversee the editorial operations of both JVST A & B and succeed Professor Gerald Lucovsky, who has been the Editor-in-Chief since 1980. JVST publishes articles, letters and critical reviews in surface science, electronic materials and processing, plasma science and technology, photovoltaics, nano science and technology, thin films and vacuum technology.

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The University of Minnesota announced that the Board of Regents approved naming the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Building in honor of former University president and chemical engineering and materials science professor Kenneth H. Keller. The building was completed during Keller's presidency and is located next to his departmental home of Amundson Hall.

The building will officially be called Kenneth H. Keller Hall, but in more common usage will be referred to as Keller Hall. The naming will be effective July 1, 2010, and the formal dedication ceremony will take place in the fall. The Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Building, located at 200 Union St. S.E., is one of the University's largest academic buildings at more than 336,000 square feet, and is home to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Nanofabrication Center. Kenneth H. Keller joined the University of Minnesota chemical engineering faculty in 1964. He subsequently became chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee, acting dean of the Graduate School, and vice president for academic affairs. In 1984, Keller was chosen to be acting president, and in 1985 was named University of Minnesota president, serving the University in that role until 1988. After two years at Princeton University and seven years as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Keller returned to the University of Minnesota in 1996 as the Charles M. Denny, Jr. Professor of Science, Technology, and Public Policy in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Keller was designated President Emeritus by the Board of Regents in 2006 and is currently director of the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, a multidisciplinary graduate program in international affairs enrolling students from 35 to 40 countries each year.

Nature always seems to limit our ability to convert energy to useful forms like electric energy. One example is in solar cells where energetic electrons created by absorption of light always lose some of their energy as heat instead of generating electric current. This limits the theoretical efficiencies of traditional solar cells to ~31%. In this week's Science, an article by CEMS graduate student, Will Tisdale, describes how these energetic, "hot," electrons can be captured before they lose their energy. Coadvised by Professors Aydil and Norris in CEMS and Professor Zhu in the Chemistry department (now at U.T. Austin), Will showed that hot electrons created in quantum dots can be transferred to another semiconductor in less than 50 femtoseconds. This is the necessary first step in surpassing the 31% solar cell efficiency on the way towards 66% efficient solar cells, nature's next limit.

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Professor Yiannis Kaznessis explained the benefits and perils of synthetic biology during an interview for Access Minnesota. The interview is broadcast by nearly 40 radio stations in late June 2010. The interview is also available online by following the "Read More" link and choosing Part 1.

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The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota seeks to fill a faculty position in Materials Science and Engineering at the Assistant (tenure-track), Associate, or Full Professor level. The Department will consider outstanding candidates in any area of experimental Materials Science. Applications in hard materials (e.g., electronic, photonic, magnetic, or energy materials), are particularly welcome.

Assistant Professor candidates should have a strong academic record (including a PhD degree), outstanding potential to establish an independent research program, and a commitment to teaching in a highly interdisciplinary environment. Associate and Full Professor candidates should have a distinguished academic record, similar commitment to teaching, and several years of teaching and/or research experience. Applications should be submitted on-line, and consist of a CV (including a list of publications), a research plan, a teaching plan, and a list of three references with contact information. Submit applications at Search for requisition number 166820. Information on the Department is available at www. Review of the applications will begin in September 2010 and continue until the position is filled. The successful candidate will be in place in 2011. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

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Prof. Satish Kumar has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 L. E. Scriven Young Investigator Award of the International Society of Coating Science and Technology. This award is given in recognition of outstanding sustained achievements or one-time breakthroughs in the area of liquid film coating science and technology. It will be presented at the 15th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, 12-15 September 2010, in St. Paul, MN.

Prof. Tim Lodge received the 2009 SPSJ International Award from the Society of Polymer Science, Japan for his excellent contributions to polymer science. He was presented with this award by Prof. Mitsuo Sawamoto of Kyoto University in Yokohama last May. Prof. Lodge joins Prof. Chris Macosko (2008) as CEMS faculty who have received this award.

Efie Kokkoli delivered the invited talk "Engineering Biomimetic Peptides for Targeted Drug Delivery" at the "Engineering Inspired by Biology" session. The U.S. Frontiers of Engineering is an annual three-day meeting that brings together 100 of the nation's outstanding young engineers (ages 30-45) from industry, academia, and government to discuss pioneering technical and leading-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. Participation is by invitation following a competitive nomination and selection process. Efie is an alumni of the Symposium. She was an invited participant in 2007 and an invited session organizer in 2008.

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Regents Professor Frank Bates discussed his latest results with Joe Palca, host of Talk of the Nation Science Friday, along with the importance of marshmallows, ping-pong balls and toothpicks in his research. Bates and his graduates students Sangwoo Lee and Mike Bluemle discovered a Frank-Kasper sigma phase, a crystal approximant to a dodecagonal quasicrystal, in block copolymer melts. The accompanying image is the first model created by Sangwoo Lee, the lead author on the publication, that illustrates the crystal structure of the sigma phase. The structure was created with marshmallows and coffee stirrers. They reported their result in the October 15th issue of Science (S. Lee, M.J. Bluemle and F.S. Bates, "Discovery of a Frank-Kasper Sigma Phase in Sphere-Forming Block Copolymer Melts," Science 330, 349-353, 2010). The transcript of the radio interview is available on the NPR website.

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Yiannis Kaznessis returned to the University of Notre Dame to deliver the 2010 Ernest W. Thiele Lecture. The Thiele Lectureship was established in 1986 to honor Dr. Thiele's association with the Notre Dame chemical and biomolecular engineering department. The Lectureship is intended to recognize outstanding research contributions by a younger member of the chemical engineering profession.

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Shawn Dodds, a PhD student working with Satish Kumar and Marcio Carvalho, received second place in the poster contest held as part of the Fluid Mechanics Poster Session at the 2010 AIChE Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT. The title of Shawn's poster was "Liquid Transfer in Printing Processes: 2D and 3D Finite Element Simulations".

Shawn Dodds

Dr. Andrew Baruth, a CEMS post-doc working with Chris Leighton and Marc Hillmyer in Chemistry, won a Best Poster Award at the Magnetism and Magnetic Materials conference in Altlanta, GA. Andrew's poster was entitled "A Novel Non Lift-off Approach to Block Copolymer Patterning of Magnetic Nanodot Arrays" and

describes his work using block copolymer thin films as templates for the patterning of magnetic metals. The method he has developed is relatively simple and is capable of generating large area arrays of 25 nm magnetic features, with potential applications as magnetic recording media.

The University of Minnesota will award Assistant Professor Aditya Bhan the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, a two-year appointment starting July 1, 2011. Research in the Bhan group focuses on structural and mechanistic characterization of catalysts for conversion of biomass and natural gas to fuels and chemicals. This award provides two years of funding to support Bhan's research on developing catalytic processes for converting biomass to hydrocarbons fuels using staged and stratified reactor configurations.

The University of Minnesota Graduate School founded the McKnight Land Grant Professorship program in 1987 as a way to recognize the school's most promising junior faculty. The program is intended to help advance the careers of assistant professors in the early states of their careers and recognize them for their potential for significant future contributions to their discipline.

The renewable energy research of Lanny Schmidt, Russ Holmes and Eray Aydil was featured on the segment "Next steps in renewable energy may be dreamt of right here at home" on the NBC KARE 11 news. The link for this news item includes a video of the broadcast.

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We are deeply saddened to learn that Neal Amundson passed away on February 16, 2011.  He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1947, and two years later became the department head.  His innovations in both research and administering the department made him a legend in Minnesota.  The building that houses the current Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department was renamed Amundson Hall in 1979.  Amundson was lovingly referred to as "The Chief".

The University of Houston Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will host a memorial tribute for Neal R. Amundson on March 14 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  To view a live stream of this memorial, look for the link on their departmental home page

Program for University of Houston Memorial to Neal Amundson

When Amundson arrived at Minnesota, Chemical Engineering was essentially taught as an industrial discipline.  He introduced the notion of mathematics to describe and solve reactor and other complicated systems, and continued this trend by becoming one of the first to use early computers to solve complex differential equations.  In doing so he brought science to what was then the "art" of distillation and other solid-fluid interactions.  One of his main research contributions was a 12 part series of papers on the stability and control of chemical reactors in Chemical Engineering Science.

Amundson returned from Cambridge University in 1955 with a vision for making his department the most dynamic in the country.  He wanted faculty with diverse backgrounds, but all well-versed in mathematics.  He proceeded to hire faculty from areas such as chemistry, biology, mathematics, and materials.  His first inspiration was bringing Rutherford "Gus" Aris from England to Minnesota, and this duo went on to establish the mathematical foundation to modern chemical engineering.  Henry Tsuchiya, Bill Ranz, Arnie Fredrickson, John Dahler, Skip Scriven, Ted Davis, and Ken Keller joined the department between 1959 and 1964, and were followed the next year by Lanny Schmidt and Bob Carr.  When chemical engineering and materials science programs merged, Amundson hired polymer chemist Chris Macosko.  With Amundson's leadership, these and others made the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department the best in the country.

The Chief stepped down as had of the department in 1974, and joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Houston in 1977, and had a very prominent effect there.  He served as Provost of the University of Houston, and retired as the Cullen Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Mathematics.

Two of his former graduate students in CEMS, Arvind Varma and Dan Luss, have collaborated to write a very nice obituary for The Chief:


Other links:

For a wonderful description of his activities and tenure at the University of Minnesota, see:

Neal R. Amundson

The paper "Spin-State Crossover and Hyperfine Interactions of Ferric Iron in MgSiO3 Perovskite", authored by Han Hsu, Peter Blaha, Matteo Cococcioni and Renata Wentzcovitch was featured on the cover of the March 18th issue of Physical Review Letters. Their work is also the subject of a feature in Physics Today.

The total electron spin of a transition metal ion in a solid can vary with pressure, stress, temperature, etc. In addition to its technological potential, this phenomenon, spin-state crossover, also plays a crucial role in geophysics. As the pressure and temperature increase with depth in the Earth, the total electron spin of iron incorporated in minerals can change accordingly. This leads to changes in elastic and thermodynamic properties of the host phases.

Since 2003 it has been known that the major phases of the lower mantle undergo such a crossover. While the spin-state change of iron in periclase (MgO), constituting ~20 vol% of the lower mantle (660-2890 km depth), is now well understood, iron spin states in magnesium silicate (MgSiO3) perovskite, the major mineral phase (~75 vol%) in the same region, have been highly controversial. Such controversy was recently clarified by Hsu et al. (1) via a series of calculations showing that while ferrous iron in MgSiO3 retains its electronic spin throughout the lower-mantle pressure range, ferric iron substituting silicon in the octahedral site does undergo a spin-state crossover and leads to elastic anomalies in MgSiO3. This new finding, combined with previous studies of iron in MgO, provide a more complete picture of how iron spin states affect mantle properties.

The geophysical consequences of this phenomenon are yet to be clarified, but one can anticipate they are profound. At least two major effects, which will trickle down to others, are expected: i) spin crossovers invigorate deep mantle convection increasing the rate of heat extraction from the core and ii) alter the interpretation of observed seismic velocities in the lower mantle in terms of temperature and possibly mineral composition.

These studies illustrate the power of applications of state-of-the-art first principles techniques from computational condensed matter physics to minerals to investigate the interior state and evolution of Earth and other planets.

1) H. Hsu, P. Blaha, M. Cococcioni, and R. M. Wentzcovitch, "Spin-state crossover and hyperfine interactions of ferric iron in MgSiO3 perovskite", Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 118501 (2011). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.118501

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Peter Monson is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Monson's research interests are in the development and application molecular modeling methods for problems in Chemical Engineering Technology. In current research he uses methods based on classical density functional theory to describe both the thermodynamics and dynamics of fluids confined in porous media. He is also developing new models and methods to study the self-assembly of ordered nanoporous materials. He looks forward to interacting with CEMS faculty on the synthesis and characterization of new catalysts for energy efficient chemical transformations. He will be visiting the department beginning April 25.

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Dr. Peter Monson

Professor Aditya Bhan

Assistant Professor Aditya Bhan has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award, an award given in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. Aditya's proposal, entitled "Selectivity Control in Methanol-to-Hydrocarbons Catalysis by Manipulating the Hydrocarbon Pool" centers on the use of molecular sieve materials with sub-nanometer sized pores and channels as catalysts to make gasoline range hydrocarbons, or alternatively, polymer grade light olefins, from C1 precursors.

Alternative carbon sources such as biomass and natural gas will be critical in supplying the planet with energy carriers and other petroleum substitutes in the future. The advantage of using C1 intermediates such as methanol for this conversion is that it does not depend on the source of carbon and it offers a high degree of flexibility in the choice of products. The underlying challenge in this chemistry is to grow carbon chains selectively from C1 precursors to make desired gasoline range hydrocarbons. The Bhan group proposes to develop detailed mechanistic understanding of methanol conversion on zeolitic acids and to exploit the co-catalytic organic "hydrocarbon pool" in MTH systems to tune selectivity for carbon-chain growth reactions. If successful, this research will provide new catalytic routes for converting any carbon source to specific fuel or chemical products

Maria Torija, Manish Sharma, and Josh Schmitt from Chris Leighton's group, working in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Lab, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have recently cast new light on a central problem in oxide electronics.

Complex oxides are widely recognized as holding enormous potential for many types of electronic devices, such as ultra-fast computer chips, high performance memory, and clean-burning fuel cells. Interfaces between oxides are critical to the performance of these devices however, and the electronic and magnetic properties of the oxides tend to degrade dramatically at interfaces, posing a serious problem. Work published online on April 21st in Advanced Materials reported a breakthrough in the understanding of the origins of this effect. Using a specific cobalt oxide as an example, the group was able to demonstrate that the deteriorated magnetic and electronic properties arise due to a surprising tendency of the materials to break up into nanoscopic magnetic clusters. Atomic resolution microscopy shows this to be due to chemical effects near the interface, primarily related to an unusual interplay between strain and oxygen vacancy formation. Oxygen vacancies form a superstructure in these materials, which was also found to have a profound effect on the Co spin state, as reported in Nano Letters. The work demonstrates that careful engineering of the interface atomic structure could minimize, or even eliminate, this roadblock to development of oxide-based technologies.

Torija et al, published online, Adv. Mater. (2011)

Gazquez et al, Nano. Lett. 11 973 (2011).

Dr. Sangwoo Lee, working with Regents Professor and Department Head Frank Bates, has been awarded the 2011 prize for the best dissertation in physical sciences and engineering at the University of Minnesota for his thesis entitled "Structure and Dynamics of Block Copolymer Based Soft Materials." As part of his doctoral research, Dr. Lee discovered a Frank-Kasper sigma phase, a crystal approximant to a dodecagonal quasicrystal, in block copolymer melts. His discovery was reported in the October 15th issue of Science (S. Lee, M.J. Bluemle and F.S. Bates, "Discovery of a Frank-Kasper Sigma Phase in Sphere-Forming Block Copolymer Melts," Science 330, 349-353, 2010) and featured on National Public Radio.

Kaznessis returns to the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, to deliver the S.V. Sotirchos Memorial Lecture during the 8th Panhellenic Scientific Chemical Engineering Congress. More about the Sotirchos Lectureship at the link.

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Professor Yiannis Kaznessis returns to the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, to deliver the S.V. Sotirchos Memorial Lecture during the 8th Panhellenic Scientific Chemical Engineering Congress.

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The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials is happy to announce the winners of the 2010-2011 CEMS Outstanding TA Awards. These students were nominated by instructors for their excellent performance as a TA.

Shown above with the Directors of Graduate Studies, Dan Frisbie and Yiannis Kaznessis are:

  • Chris Thurber - CHEN 4502: Chemical Engineering Process Design II
  • Eric Vandre - CHEN 8101: Fluid Mechanics I: Change, Deformation, Equations of Flow
  • Katherine Volzing - CHEN 3401: Junior Chemical Engineering Lab
  • Aloysius Gunawan - MATS 5517: Electron Microscopy
  • Victor Lai - MATS 4400: Senior Design Project
The prize is $200 cash award, a U of MN T-Shirt, and their names added to the Outstanding TA Awards Plaque displayed in 150 Amundson Hall. Congratulations to each of you!

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science would like to congratulate the undergraduate Class of 2011.  We wish them the very best in their future endeavors.  Please click the link below to download the image.

Class Picture

Bharat Jalan joins the faculty this fall as an Assistant Professor. Bharat received his PhD in Materials Science from UCSB, where he worked with Susanne Stemmer. His research is focused on the growth of oxide thin films using the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) approach with a goal to bring oxide materials quality to a new level of perfection needed for both fundamental science and for application in electronic devices.

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One of CEMS missions is to educate the next generation of chemical engineering and materials science faculty. Towards this goal, 20 recent graduate students and postdocs of CEMS faculty started their careers as professors at universities across the United States and the globe. Eight of the 20 will be teaching in Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. Click on "Read More" for a complete list. We wish all of them good luck in their new positions.

CEMS alumni starting faculty jobs between 2009-2011, along with their former CEMS advisor and their new affiliation:

United States
  • William Tisdale (Aydil, Norris & Zhu, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Michael Baldea (Daoutidis, Chemical Engineering, Univ. of Texas at Austin)
  • Randy Ewoldt (Macosko, Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois)
  • Bryan Boudouris (Frisbie & Hillmyer, Chemical Engineering, Purdue)
  • Wei Fan (Tsapatsis, Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • Paul Dauenhauer (Schmidt, Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • Bill Phillip (Cussler & Hillmyer, Chemical Engineering, Notre Dame)
  • Mark Snyder (Tsapatsis, Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University)
  • Sunho Choi (Tsapatsis, Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University)
  • Dongxia Liu, (Bhan and Tsapatsis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland)
  • Kara Maki (Kumar, School of Mathematical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • Prajna Dhar (Zasadzinski, Chemical Engineering, University of Kansas)
  • Howard Salis (Kaznessis, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Penn State)
  • Hairong Wei (Kaznessis, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Tech)

  • Yanwei Wang (Dorfman, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Soochow Univ., China)
  • Joao Justo (Wentzcovitch, Electrical Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Zhongqing Wu (Wentzcovitch, Geosciences, University of Science and Technology of China)
  • Han Hsu (Wentzcovitch, Physics, National Central University, Taiwan)
  • Shingo Kobayashi (Macosko & Hillmyer, Yamagata University, Japan)
  • Jungkyu Choi (Tsapatsis, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Korea University)
  • Shengxiang Ji (Macosko & Hoye, Key Laboratory of Polymer Ecomaterials, Changchun Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
  • Sami El-Khatib, (Leighton, Physics, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
  • Abdallah Sayyed-Ahmad (Kaznessis, Physics, Berzeit University)

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The annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will be held from October 16-21 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, and there will be an especially large contingent of faculty, postdoctoral students, graduate students, and undergraduates from CEMS. We hope that you will be able to join us at the MINNESOTA ALUMNI AND FRIENDS RECEPTION on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 from 7 PM - 9:30 PM in the Hilton Hotel in Ballroom D

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A CEMS team described the synthesis of suspensions containing zeolite nanosheets (precisely structured porous layers, few atoms thick and thousand atoms wide). Due to the molecular sized pores crossing the film thickness, the nanosheets can act as selective flakes at the molecular level. High performance membranes were synthesized by simply packing these selective flakes. The paper was published on the October 7 issue of Science (K Varoon et al, Science, 2011, 334, 72 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1208891)). A commentary can be found here .

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Sai Madhukar Reddy, a CEMS graduate student working with Beth Stadler in Electrical and Computer Engineering, won a Best Poster Award at the Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM) conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Madhukar's poster was entitled "Towards Epitaxial Fe1-xGax / GaAs Structures via Electrochemistry for Spintronics Applications" and describes his work demonstrating an ability to electrochemically deposit epitaxial Fe-Ga thin films on GaAs substrates. The work also enables one to tailor the film texture to suit the application in hand, likely in the areas of semiconductor spintronics and MEMS/NEMS devices.

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Sai Madhukar Reddy

In an invited Perspective (Science, 334, p.767 (2011)), Michael Tsapatsis discusses an emerging new methodology to fabricate ultrathin (few nanometer thick) molecular sieve membranes. This technology appears now feasible due to several notable developments demonstrated by his research team and collaborators: control of preferential orientation (Science, 300, p. 456 (2003)) , elimination of grain boundary defects (Science, 325, p. 590 (2009)) and synthesis of nanosheet seed crystals (Science, 333, p. 72 (2011)). Commercialization of this technology could lead to significant energy savings in the chemical process industry.

A recent talk describing the development of this technology and challenges ahead can be found at:

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Michael Tsapatsis was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by the AAAS Council. Each year the Council elects members whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished."

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Nanometer-scale semiconductors that contain a few intentionally added impurity atoms can provide new opportunities for controlling electronic properties. However, since the physics of these materials depends strongly on the exact arrangement of the impurities, or dopants, inside the structure, and many impurities of interest cannot be observed with currently available imaging techniques, new methods are needed to determine their location.

Mkhoyan group in collaboration with David Norris's group from ETH Zurich combined electron energy loss spectroscopy with annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (ADF-STEM) to image individual Mn impurities inside ZnSe nanocrystals. Thus, a general path is demonstrated for atomic-scale imaging and identification of individual dopants in a variety of semiconductor nano structures. The paper was published in Nano Letters ( A.A. Gunawan et al., Nano Lett. 11, 5553 (2011) ) and highlighted in February 2012 issue of Nature Chemistry.

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Cambridge University Press recently published "Statistical Thermodynamics and Stochastic Kinetics. An Introduction for Engineers" by Yiannis Kaznessis. The book focuses on molecular explanations of entropy and energy.

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Professor Cococcioni has recently received a National Science Foundation's CAREER award. This award is conferred to junior faculty members to recognize and support outstanding research activities and their integration with excellent educational programs. Matteo's project, entitled "Efficient DFT-based computational approach for correlated systems", proposes to develop, validate and disseminate a flexible and versatile Density Functional Theory - based computational scheme to perform ab initio calculations on correlated and non correlated systems at a higher level of accuracy, yet at approximately the same computational cost of current DFT functionals.

Strongly correlated systems (e.g., many transition metal and rare earths compounds) are involved in applications of unquestionable scientific and technological relevance, including homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, solar cells, sensors, actuators, energy conversion and storage devices, spintronics, superconductivity, etc. Available ab initio computational approaches are either not accurate or not efficient enough to treat correlated systems of realistic complexity. The research work Matteo proposes consists in developing corrective terms to the DFT total energy that, inspired by the Hubbard model, will be designed to act on a selected subgroup of the electrons of a system (typically, strongly localized ones) and to reintroduce specific aspects of the many-body character of the electronic wave function, normally lost in common approximate functionals. If successful, this research will define a new paradigm to perform ab initio calculations, whose unique combination of accuracy and numerical efficiency will disclose unprecedented possibilities to effectively use computational modeling to control the properties of materials in this class through design, and to efficiently screen and optimize optimal candidates for target applications.

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Katherine Volzing was awarded the 2012 Louise T. Dosdall Fellowship by the Graduate School. This fellowship is a tribute to Katherine's excellent academic record and professional promise and is awarded to women doctoral students in the natural or physical sciences and engineering, where women are underrepresented in the graduate program.

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Regents Professor and Department Head Frank Bates will give the Institute Lecture at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting. This is the main plenary lecture of the annual meeting. Previous Institute Lecturers from the department include Neal Amundson (1958) and Rutherford Aris (1997). The AIChE annual meeting will be held in Pittsburgh from October 28-November 2nd and the Institute Lecture is scheduled for 11:15 am on Wednesday, October 31.

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The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science is happy to announce the winners of the 2011-2012 CEMS Outstanding TA Awards. These students were nominated by instructors for their excellent performance as a TA. Shown above with the Directors of Graduate Studies, Dan Frisbie and Yiannis Kaznessis are:

  • Jillian Schmidt - MATS 4221: Materials Design and Performance - Fall 2011 (Instr: Gerberich)
  • Karen Haman - CHEN 4502W: Chemical Engineering Process Design II - Spring 2012 (Instr: Aydil)
  • W. Alex Marvin - CHEN 4501W: Chemical Engineering Process Design Engineering Lab - Fall 2011 (Instr: Tsapatsis)
  • S. Matt Menke - MATS 4013: Electrical and Magnetic Properties of Materials - Fall 2011 (Instr. Holmes)
  • Garrett Swindlehurst - CHEN 4704/8301: Advanced Undergraduate Physical Rate Processes I: Transport - Fall 2011 (Instr: Zasadzinski)
  • Not shown:  Michael Odlyzko - MATS 3012: Metals and Alloys - Fall 2011 (Instr: Mkhoyan)

The prize is $200 cash award, a U of M T-Shirt, and their names added to the Outstanding TA Awards Plaque displayed in 150 Amundson Hall. Congratulations to each of you!

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Associate Professor Kevin D. Dorfman received the Guillermo E. Borja Award from the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. The Borja Award recognizes exceptional research and scholarly accomplishments by a candidate for tenure during the probationary period in the college. The award is announced every other year, and Dorfman is the award winner for the 2011/2012 cohort of tenure cases.

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The annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will be held October 28 - November 2 in Pittsburgh, PA. We hope that you will be able to join us at the University of Minnesota Alumni and Friends Reception on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 from 7 PM - 9:30 PM in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Rooms 301-303. Several CEMS faculty will be honored at this year's meeting: Regents Professor and Department Head Frank Bates will give the Institute Lecture at 11:15 am on Wednesday, October 31 and Associate Professor Kevin Dorfman will receive the Colburn Award.

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