The Fifth Annual Chemical Engineering Graduate Symposium was held at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library on May 12. The event brought together graduate students, faculty, and industry representatives from Dow Chemical, Procter and Gamble, Shell, Dow Corning and Owens Corning to discuss the innovative research conducted by Michigan graduate students. Sponsors for this year’s symposium were Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, and Shell.
Our visitors from industry were Paul Witt, Megan Donaldson, Aaron Shinkle, and Gregory Stewart from Dow Chemical; Scott Osborne from Procter & Gamble; Justin Ceterski from Shell; Matt Shumaker and Julia Faeth from Owens Corning; and Michael Molnar from Dow Corning.
The all-day event was organized by graduate students, and featured oral presentations, poster presentations, and networking breaks, as well as a keynote presentation by University of Michigan alumna Rosemarie Wesson (PhD ’88), Associate Dean of Research at the Grove School of Engineering at City College of New York (CCNY). Before joining the faculty at CCNY, Wesson (above) worked for thirteen years at the National Science Foundation as a director and program director. Previously, she was a faculty member at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and a senior research leader at Dow Chemical. Dr. Wesson was the first African- American woman to earn a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. Watch Dr. Wesson’s talk and take her quiz about the history of the department and University.
Awards for oral and poster presentations were given to the top three presentations in both categories as chosen by a panel of faculty and industry representatives. There were 14 oral research presentations given by PhD candidates within 18 months of graduation. The top award in this category went to Wenjun Huang (right) from the Larson group. The second place award went to Daniel Sobczynski from the Eniola-Adefeso lab, and third place was awarded to Margaret Fish, who is also advised by Lola Eniola. Nearly every group in the department was represented in the poster session. First place in the poster session went to Maria Ma from the Solomon group, second place to David Hietala from the Savage group, and third place was awarded to Joseph Ferrar from the Solomon group.
The event was also a time to recognize the work of exceptional students from the department in research, service, and teaching. The winner of the research award was nominated and chosen by faculty in the department and this year was awarded to Sheng Zheng (Fogler Lab). The service award recipient, who was nominated by either faculty or students and voted on by faculty, was Corine Jackman (Lin Lab). Liam Casey (Shea Lab) won the teaching award for his work as a graduate student instructor in ChE 330 (Thermodynamics). Undergraduate students nominate instructors for this award with the faculty making the final selection. Overall the symposium was a successful event showcasing and celebrating the exciting work being done in the department to industry partners.