The Michigan Engineer News Center

Chemical Engineering’s 2013 NSF Fellows

The Department of Chemical Engineering is pleased to announce our most recent National Science Foundation Fellowship recipients.| Short Read

The Department of Chemical Engineering is pleased to announce our most recent National Science Foundation Fellowship recipients: Julia Faeth and Lianette Rivera, current ChE graduate students; and Jennifer Jocz, a graduating senior in the department who will begin her graduate studies at Michigan this fall.

Julia Faeth (left) is currently researching fast hydrothermal liquefaction (FHTL), a biomass conversion process. FHTL takes place in water to avoid energy-intensive drying steps, which makes this process well suited to process biomass with high water content, like algae. FHTL produces bio-crude oil, which can be upgraded to liquid fuels, much like petroleum crude oil. She completed her undergraduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Dayton and her graduate advisor is Phillip Savage.

Lianette Rivera’s (right) research goal is to build a bridge between innovative research ideas and the implementation of new medical treatments for cancer. Her current research involves the engineering of a label free isolation microfluidic device would allow the isolation, analysis and genetic characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in pancreatic cancer for the development of novel non-invasive diagnostic and monitoring tool. This will also facilitate testing novel therapeutic targets as well as provide a better understanding of disease progression. She received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and her graduate advisor is Sunitha Nagrath

Jennifer Jocz (center) graduated from the undergraduate chemical engineering program at Michigan in May. For the past year, she’s been working in Mike Solomon‘s lab on a project focusing on changing the optical properties of colloidal solutions by applying an electric field to assemble crystal structures. She worked also on product synthesis research during a summer internship with Dow Chemical. When she enters the graduate program at Michigan this fall, she is interested in concentrating her research interests in the energy area, particularly reactions and catalysis.

Portrait of Sandy Swisher


Sandy Swisher
Communications & Alumni Relations Coordinator

Chemical Engineering

(734) 764-7413

3118 Dow

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read