ChBE News, Summer 2011

A June 23 photo of the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Systems Biotechnology Building on Colorado Ave. near Foothills Parkway.

Feature Story: The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering awaits its move to the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, pictured above. Find out about what the move means for one of our department's top researchers and the contributions that are making this important change possible in the story below.

Message from the Outgoing Chair: John Falconer

John Falconer, Chair

This has been an especially busy and exciting year in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering as we plan for our move into the Jenny Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building. The building is impressive and will dramatically improve our research facilities. We are scheduled to move in during the spring semester, 2012. We are grateful for large donations for the building that we have received from ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and the Broida family. Because our department research and undergraduate programs have grown much more than we projected when the building was designed, some of our faculty and some research labs will remain in the engineering center, as will our undergraduate laboratories, until private donations are obtained to complete a fifth wing and the undergraduate laboratories.

This year has also been busy as we prepare for our Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ( committee visit for our two degrees. Charlie Nuttelman worked hard this year to prepare for this ABET visit. The department also had a campus review during the last year and Dan Schwartz chaired a committee that prepared a written review of our department. This provided valuable input for the five-year strategic plan we have been preparing over the past year.

Faculty Update
Joel Kaar joined the department in Fall 2010 as an assistant professor. He completed his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh followed by postdoctoral study at Cambridge University in England. We recently hired another assistant professor, Sai Reddy, who will join the department in August 2011. Sai completed his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland and is finishing up his postdoctoral research at the University of Texas. His research is in experimental system immunology, which is at the interface of engineering and immunology. Congratulations to Stephanie Bryant, who was promoted to associate professor and received tenure recently. Congratulations also to Christine Hrenya, who was promoted to full professor in May.

Research Activity and Accolades
Research activity has increased dramatically in the department, and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, the department received $10.9 million in new research grants. For the first ten months of the current fiscal year, we have already surpassed that with $13.1 million in new research grants. Our faculty have filed 78 patents in the past five years and had 17 patents issued. Additionally, eight companies have formed based on the research directed by our faculty. One of these companies, OPX Biotechnologies Inc., was honored with two awards and recently partnered with Dow to produce acrylic acid from renewable sources.

Our faculty continue to be acknowledged nationally for their outstanding research and teaching, and later in this newsletter you will find a listing of that recognition. At the last three AIChE meetings, our faculty have received five institute awards and four division awards. At the AIChE meeting in Minneapolis this coming October, Chris Bowman will be honored with the Professional Progress Award and Rich Noble will be honored with the Gerhold Award. The department will have a reception at the meeting and we hope to see alumni and friends. Details will be posted on our web site in the near future. Additionally, three of our current faculty have received the ASEE Lectureship Award, currently sponsored by Chemstations, with Rich Noble being honored this year.

Our graduate program is strong. Our current graduate student enrollment is about 115 students, and the quality of the students is very high. In Fall 2010 we had 22 new graduate students with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.86. For Fall 2011 we will have 18 new graduate students with an average GPA of 3.89. We graduated 15 PhD students in the last year.

Our department continues to emphasize research and education for both our graduate students and our undergraduate students. We had 17 seniors complete a senior research thesis and many more undergraduates carrying out research in our laboratories. We graduated 109 BS students in the past year, and they all completed design projects that were provided by industrial liaisons. This two-semester design sequence is demanding and does an excellent job of preparing our students, in large part because of the efforts of Al Weimer, who draws on his 15 years of industrial experience with Dow Chemical to provide realistic projects and training.

Our undergraduate enrollment has stabilized, if that is the correct word. We now have about 425 undergraduate majors, which is almost double the enrollment from five years ago. The number of freshmen who have committed to our department for the Fall 2012 semester is slightly higher than last year, at 117.

Changing of the Guard
This will be my last newsletter. My four-year term as chair ended June 30, and Chris Bowman has taken over as chair for the upcoming year. I will be on sabbatical during the coming academic year and will use the time to catch up on my research in zeolite membranes, heterogeneous catalysis, dye-sensitized solar cells, and atomic and molecular layer deposition. In addition, in collaboration with Janet deGrazia and Will Medlin, I will continue to work on developing screencast videos for our courses, which are described in this newsletter and can be viewed at

Stay in Touch
We like to hear from alumni and learn of your current endeavors and recent accomplishments. Please send an email to so we can add your updates to our alumni web site and/or to our next newsletter. Also, please visit our alumni web page, which includes links for updating your contact information, sending updates, and making contributions to the department.

We appreciate the financial and other support that alumni have provided over the years and hope you will continue to contribute to the department. Such gift funds are essential to hiring outstanding faculty and providing the best education to our students. If you donate to the college, we would encourage you to earmark your donations to the department.

When you are in the Boulder area please stop by and see how the department has changed, and tell us what you are doing.

All the best,
John Falconer


Feature story
Redefining Laboratory:
Department Awaits Move to the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotech Building

CHBE lab space in the new biotechnology building
Nearly all the labs in the new building enjoy natural light from windows and skylights.
Laboratory space to be occupied by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building. Nearly all labs in the new building feature natural light.

While our entire department awaits the completion of the new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on east campus, there is perhaps none more excited than Professor Ted Randolph. The chemical and biological engineering professor is thrilled about the implications his new lab space will have on his group’s research and workflow in conjunction with faculty from biochemistry.

The new building will be home to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, and the Division of Biochemistry, bringing together scientists and engineers to make new discoveries. Randolph cites several ways that his research group will benefit from the new facility, which offers natural light through windows and other perks not available in the current laboratories in the Engineering Center.

Proximity to faculty from our own department as well as faculty from the biochemistry division of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will mean the opportunity for daily interactions. Samples will be able to be carried across the hall – instead of across campus – and the ability to share equipment will make it much easier to secure grants, particularly for new equipment that is necessary but used infrequently by any given faculty member.

Finally, Randolph says the new building not only provides much-needed research space, it is also much better suited for the evolution of engineering. “Our current building was set up to accommodate a few large pieces of equipment like distillation columns. But many researchers today make use of many smaller, more specialized devices,” he says. The flexibility of the lab spaces will enable movement and sharing of these pieces much more readily.

The biotechnology building, located on Colorado Avenue east of 30th Street, is slated for completion this coming February. Our department will then begin its move, thanks to several significant corporate and individual donations that have made possible the department’s inclusion in this new building.

ConocoPhillips has provided a major gift of $3.5 million, which will name the ConocoPhillips Center for Energy Innovation and bring under one roof researchers from the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2) and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI).

Chevron has contributed $500,000 to complete the ChBE undergraduate teaching laboratories in the new building. The Bioengineering Teaching Laboratory and the Biochemistry Teaching Laboratory will be named for the Broida Family in recognition of a significant contribution made by Roma Wittcoff, Richard Broida and Joel Broida in memory of their husband and father, Dan Broida.

As the building nears completion, now is your chance to join the department and university in this exciting leap forward to improve energy advancements and human health and well-being. Visit our giving page to learn about how you can contribute to the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building and see a complete list of the individuals and companies that are making it possible for our department to be a part of this cutting-edge, multidisciplinary community.


Screencast Videos for Undergraduate Education

Screencasts, short video captures of writing on a tablet PC screen with narration by an instructor, are among the latest tools being used by faculty to improve undergraduate education in chemical and biological engineering at CU-Boulder. These videos, viewed outside of class, provide students with detailed problem solutions, mini-lectures on material, software tutorials, or reviews of material to be covered on upcoming exams.

Screencasts of problem solutions are more useful than written solutions because students can listen to the instructor explain the problem-solving strategies. Here’s what a few of our students have said about the Screencasts:

“I feel that our department's novel use of screencasts truly provides an innovative method for instructors to teach and communicate with students. Instead of passively reading an example problem on my own, screencasts are not only another valuable learning resource, but also can actively involve me in problems and concepts in a more engaging medium that incorporates the guidance and insights of an instructor.” - Cuining Liu, Junior

Screencasts are an incredibly effective learning tool. They complement materials from lectures and assignments masterfully. They are most valuable, in my opinion, for the way they efficiently place concepts in the context with engineering coursework." - Matt Markovetz, Junior

"They are a useful way to gain more guided practice, in addition to what we learn in class. The major benefit for me is that they are available 24/7, cover a range of topics in all of our classes, and present problems that we haven't seen before." - Anna Blakney, Junior

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, Shell and the College Engineering Excellence Fund. Professors Falconer, deGrazia, and Medlin, in collaboration with postdoctoral research associate Garret Nicodemus, have prepared more than 350 screencasts for six core chemical engineering courses, and hope to have more than 500 screencasts by the end of the year. You can see the screencasts at or on iTunesU (search for the University of Colorado).


Creative Technology Course highlight

For a business, art, or music major at the University of Colorado Boulder, the 3-credit science requirement can seem uninteresting or even ominous. But the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has sought to change that with a general science course focused on cutting-edge areas of science with vital applications in health and society.

Clyven the transgenic mouse
Dr. Janet deGrazia teaches students in her Creative Technology course how to be aware of false technology or faulty reasoning. Clyven the transgenic mouse is a great example of faulty technology that could lead someone to believe the mouse can actually communicate in a human format.

The course, called Creative Technology/Social Impact of Technology, was first developed 20 years ago by the faculty as a science option for non-engineering majors. Enrollments soon escalated to current heights of more than 400 students per semester. The department constantly revamps the course to keep up with technological advances. The current curriculum delves into the fields of energy, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computer hardware, with topics ranging from traditional and alternative energy techniques to pharmaceutical and agricultural applications of biotechnology to ethical topics such as cloning. Nanotechnology subjects from nanotubes and nanofabrication to computer subjects including transistor logic, microprocessor chip fabrication, and displays also are covered in the class.

In an effort to foster an interactive atmosphere despite the large class size, student-held clickers are used extensively and a class discussion board is available for students to post and discuss questions. Short movie clips are shown and demonstrations are given to further enliven the atmosphere. Students are also encouraged to look up related topics in the news and submit them for possible class discussion.

Students learn not only about the science itself, but also about the scientific process. They are taught to look critically at arguments and identify the logical fallacies of which unsound arguments are comprised. They are also taught about the peer-review process and what makes peer-reviewed articles more reliable than information drawn from internet sources such as Wikipedia.

For students whose interaction with science and engineering is minimal, the Creative Technology course is a window into some of the most exciting scientific advances in the recent years. Through this class, we hope to excite students and maybe even inspire them to delve further into the world of science we find utterly fascinating.


New Materials Science and Engineering Program

Professor Chris BowmanLook in the science sections of web sites and newspapers these days and you are likely to find at least one article having to do with materials science and engineering (MSE). Researchers in the field examine the structures and characteristics of materials at the nano scale with hopes of better understanding macroscopic properties and creating new materials with desired properties. With our increasingly sophisticated means of studying and manipulating materials at the molecular level, materials science and engineering is becoming a larger and larger focus in industry and academia. The University of Colorado Boulder created the new, interdisciplinary graduate program in materials science and engineering (MSE) in October 2010.

The CU MSE program, directed by chemical and biological engineering Professor Chris Bowman, involves nine departments on the CU Boulder campus. Participants bring expertise from the fields of engineering, chemistry, biology and physics, with MSE topics ranging from polymer synthesis and characterization to photovoltaic materials to biomaterials. Doctoral students enroll in a particular department, taking classes in this and other departments and pursuing cross-disciplinary research supervised by one or more MSE-affiliated faculty members. In addition, a new graduate program, admitting students directly into MSE rather than a department, will begin accepting student applications in Fall 2011. The goals of the MSE program are to enhance research and education in materials fields while at the same time benefitting participating faculty, students, and the university.

An MSE program web site is currently under construction. For additional information, contact Chris Bowman at


DOE Grant for CO2 Work

Rich Noble and research associate Begum Tokay looking at a membrane.Global warming has pushed the subject of carbon capture and sequestration to the forefront of science and engineering. As CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to climb above historical levels, researchers are looking into ways to remove carbon from industrial output streams. The current benchmark technology for capturing CO2 from power plant flue gas is amine absorption, a solvent scrubbing technique. Unfortunately, using this method to remove 90 percent of the CO2 requires up to 30 percent of the total power produced by the plant. The CO2 capture cost for this solvent scrubbing method is $40-100/ton of CO2, resulting in a more than 50 percent increase in the cost of electricity (COE). The DOE NETL Sequestration Program seeks to decrease the COE increase to less than a 35 percent by 2020 with costs targeted at just $20-25/ton of CO2. To meet these goals, an improved method of capturing CO2 needs to be developed.

Rich Noble and Doug Gin of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering along with partners Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Electric Power Research Institute were recently awarded a $3.8 million, three-year grant from the Department of Energy to investigate membrane separations for CO2 capture. Membrane separations are less energy-intensive, require no phase change, and typically provide low-maintenance operations. Performance is dictated by the membrane permeance and selectivity for the components of interest. They are using gelled ionic liquid membranes in an effort to obtain membranes with higher fluxes and thus lower costs.

To learn more, contact Rich Noble ( or Doug Gin (


CU Nanotechnology Platform is Developed by Heidelberg Instruments

Heidelberg Instruments and the University of Colorado recently completed an exclusive option agreement for a CU technique that shrinks the circuitry of nanodevices, enabling the creation of smaller computer chips and other nanodevices. The method was developed by Chris Bowman along with Tim Scott and Robert McLeod of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering.

To create nano-scale circuitry, the patent pending nanolithography method uses tightly focused beams of blue light to record lines and dots thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair onto a substrate such as silicon. This initial step occurs in all types of nanoengineering, but the new system developed by the CU team uses a second beam of ultraviolet light to "erase" the edges of the pattern, resulting in much smaller structures. In turn, this enables the manufacture of smaller computer chips, solar cells and other nanoscale devices.

“University of Colorado is one of the leading R&D centers making major inroads in nano scale technology development,” said Alexander Forozan, Head of Global Business Development at Heidelberg Instruments. “We are thrilled to work with CU’s outstanding staff and look forward to a continuing and long-standing relationship.

“We are excited to have Heidelberg as a partner for this technology,” added Ted Weverka, a licensing manager at the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office. “Heidelberg’s technical know-how and market savvy ensure a strong future for this invention.”

Heidelberg Instruments is a world leader in production of high precision maskless lithography systems. These systems are used for direct writing and photomask production by some of the most prestigious universities and industry leaders in the areas of MEMS, BioMEMS, Nano Technology, ASICS, TFT, Plasma Displays, Micro Optics, and many other related applications. Learn more at


Department News
New Faculty

Joel KaarDr. Joel Kaar joined the Chemical and Biological Engineering faculty as an assistant professor in August 2010. Prior to joining the department, he was a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Sir Alan Fersht’s laboratory at the Medical Research Council Centre for Protein Engineering at Cambridge University in England. He completed his PhD in chemical engineering in 2007 under the supervision of Dr. Alan Russell at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also received his BS in chemical engineering.

Kaar’s research broadly focuses on the convergence of chemical engineering and protein engineering with pertinent problems related to sustainability, chemical weapons defense, and medicine. He is specifically interested in the study of protein structure and function in extreme environments as well as at material interfaces. This work has important implications towards the use of proteins, namely enzymes, for green chemistry and the preparation of biomaterials with sophisticated functions.

Joel has enjoyed his short time living in Boulder so far and looks forward to becoming a part of the CU community. Although a lifelong Penn State fan, he is particularly excited about learning about the sports traditions at CU and cheering on the Buffs.

Sai ReddyThe department also recently hired Dr. Sai Reddy, who will join the department in August 2011 as an assistant professor. Sai completed his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland and is finishing up his postdoctoral research at the University of Texas. His research is in experimental system immunology, which is at the interface of engineering and immunology.


Department News
In Memoriam: Max S. Peters 1920-2011

Max PetersMax Peters, gifted leader and educator, colleague, and friend to many, passed away on June 20. He came to the University of Colorado Boulder in 1962 to be dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and held this post until 1978, when he returned to teaching full-time. He also served as department chair for a few years, and finally retired in 1987.

As dean of the college, Max was very involved with financing and constructing the current Engineering Center. He also established several avenues through which faculty and alumni could be recognized for exemplary research, service, or leadership, including the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding graduates and friends of the college.

Max continued his research and teaching activities while dean. He taught courses ranging from chemical engineering senior design to the freshman introductory course, while his research focused on air pollution, especially controlling oxides in the atmosphere. He may be best known for his widely used textbook, "Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers," which had its 5th edition published by McGraw-Hill Book Company in 2002.

Students who worked under Max’s tutelage knew that competition and fun went hand in hand. As dean, he shared his competitive nature with his students, whom he raced yearly during Engineering Days. Creating races that only he could win, Max manipulated the rules before and during the races. His antics ranged from announcing suddenly that the winner had to be wearing an unusual hat and then producing the wildest hat possible, to declaring that the winner had to finish last, next to last or third from last and then running backwards, turning summersaults, and running around trees with the baffled students following. “I was the only one who knew the rules,” he said. “But the students didn't get mad; they just tried to outwit me.”

Max graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1942 with a BS degree in chemical engineering. Two years later, he enlisted in the Army, choosing infantry training as a ski trooper in the 10th Mountain Division, A Company, 85th Regiment. While on assignment in Italy, he was awarded the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, and several other honors. Following WWII, he returned to Penn State to earn his MS and PhD in chemical engineering in 1947 and 1951, respectively. His first faculty assignment was with the University of Illinois.

Max’s leadership, research and teaching brought him many awards, most notably his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1969. He also was chosen by AIChE in 1983 as one of 30 Eminent Chemical Engineers in the United States. Among his other awards were the Robert L. Stearns award and the CU Faculty Service Award. He was also named Distinguished Alumnus of Pennsylvania State University in 1974. He received the Centennial Award in 1993 from ASEE for Outstanding Service in Engineering Education and the Centennial Medal from the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science in 1994, which recognized him as one of the top 100 individuals in the college's 100-year history.

A memorial service was held earlier this month. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Max S. Peters Graduate Fellowship Fund by writing a check to the CU Foundation with Max Peters on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to: Engineering Development, 422 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309.

A Tribute to Max S. Peters
By Bill Krantz, CU faculty member, 1968-2000

This has been a year filled with some sadness owing to the loss of two of my most loved mentors, Klaus Timmerhaus and Max Peters. Max was my department chairman when I was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois. Although I never had Max as teacher, he had a profound influence on my life. During my senior year he called me into his office and asked “Where are you going to graduate school?” I replied that I was not going to graduate school but to industry. Max immediately responded with the dictate to apply to three universities whose names he provided. Max had a way of “advising you” that made you feel like you were in the 10th Mountain Division in which he served as a Sergeant during WWII! I followed his advice and pursued Ph.D. studies at Berkeley during which time my interest in pursuing an academic career developed. When it came time to interview for an academic position, I applied only to CU where Max was now dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science – I wanted to work for the man who changed my life so positively!

Shortly after I arrived at CU, Max called me with another dictate: “Be at the gym at noon on Wednesday – you are on our four-mile relay team.” I told Max that I was not a runner. His immediate response was “You are now!” On the appointed afternoon Max told me to run a mile with him. Since I was 29 and he was 48, I figured I could keep up with him. I was able to stay with him for a mile, after which I collapsed. As I lay on the floor I saw him take off like a rabbit – he had been ‘sandbagging’ so that he could pull me through the mile. I was so intimidated that I quit smoking that day after having smoked since I was 15. It then took me two years before I could keep up with Max. Thank you Max for making me aware of physical fitness and undoubtedly giving me several more years of a healthy life.
My feelings for Max are best summarized in a poem that I wrote for the plaque that was presented to Max upon his retirement in 1987, which reads as follows:

There came a day in the year 1962,
When Max Peters decided what to do.
Because this young man dearly loved to ski,
Colorado became a much stronger University!
As a leader and a skier he was hard to beat.
His example taught many of us how to compete!
To our College he leaves a rich legacy and tradition,
His charge and challenge – “Get into the competition!”


Department News
In Memoriam: Klaus D. Timmerhaus 1924-2011

Klaus D. Timmerhaus, an accomplished educator, colleague, and friend passed away in February. He joined the CU faculty in 1953 after earning his BS, MS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. Timmerhaus was multifaceted in his career, having received high honors for his research and numerous accolades for his teaching and administrative service. Passionate about running, Timmerhaus supported the CU track team for more than 50 years.

Among his teaching honors are the Hazel Barnes Prize, President’s Teaching Scholar, Charles A. Hutchinson Teaching Award of the College of Engineering, Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Professor Award in engineering and the George Westinghouse Award of the American Society for Engineering Education for outstanding contributions to teaching. In total he was honored with more than 48 teaching awards, but Klaus’ favorite honor was bestowed upon him by his students: “Dr. T, the Meanest Professor” award. Clearly he bonded with his students!

Klaus’ research took him to the top of his field, leading to his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1975 and his 2008 recognition as one of the Top 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era. Klaus’ contributions to cryogenics science and practice have been honored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Samuel C. Collins Award of the Cryogenic Engineering, and the 1968 Alpha Chi Sigma Award.

In addition to teaching and research, Klaus helped steer the administrative side of the college by serving as associate dean, director of the Engineering Research Center, and chair of both the aerospace and chemical engineering departments. During this time he was also involved with more than 10 scientific and professional societies.

To honor the memory of Klaus Timmerhaus, gifts can be made to the Klaus D. and Jean L. Timmerhaus Scholarship Fund by writing a check to the CU Foundation with Timmerhaus Scholarship on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to: Engineering Development, 422 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309.

Klaus Timmerhaus – My Friend and Mentor
By Bill Krantz, CU faculty member, 1968-2000

Klaus Timmerhaus had a profound impact on my professional development. Klaus was influential in helping me obtain my first research grant via the BUILD program between CU and the University of Illinois for which he served as the Director. In 1977 he encouraged me to take an academic leave to serve as a Program Director at NSF, an experience that greatly expanded my horizons in terms of my research interests. Klaus also encouraged me to get involved in professional service, in particular the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for which I served as President.

Klaus was an indefatigable worker–he was always working and could always add another activity or commitment to the busy schedule he had. I can recall that when my wife and I were married in Boulder in 1968 he was the only faculty member to attend our wedding ceremony carrying a briefcase! However, Klaus did have a weakness–chocolate chip cookies–he absolutely loved them! Last December when we learned that Klaus was nearing the end of his life, my wife and I knew what to bring him for a Christmas present–a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Since we left for my job in Singapore right after the holidays, I knew when we gave him these cookies that we probably would never see Klaus again, at least not on this earth.

Thank you Klaus for all that you did for me and for so many other faculty and students at CU. We will miss you.


In This Edition

Message from the Chair
Redefining Laboratory: Department Awaits Move to the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotech Building

Screencast Videos for Undergraduate Education
Creative Technology Course Highlight
New Materials Science and Engineering Program

DOE Grant for CO2 Capture Research
CU Nanotechnology Platform Developed by Heidelberg Instruments

New Faculty
In Memoriam: Max S. Peters
In Memoriam: Klaus D. Timmerhaus
Support the Department
Stay in Touch
ABET Accreditation
Fall Graduate Symposium
Tech Transfer

Support the Department

CU has launched a comprehensive campaign called Creating Futures. This $1.5 billion campaign to support the University of Colorado’s people, places, and programs will foster transformations in learning and teaching, discovery and innovation, community and culture, and health and wellness throughout our four campuses.

Donors provide a crucial margin of excellence for CU. With your support, we’ll be better equipped to turn ideas into action. State support has declined substantially: fewer than 30 years ago, State of Colorado funding represented nearly 30 percent of CU’s budget; it now represents less than 6 percent.

Creating Futures means changing lives through the power of education, the promise of discovery, and our partnership with community, leading the University of Colorado toward a better tomorrow. The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is a leading force in discovery and education and benefits greatly from private support.

Contact Ann Scott at for more information on how you can help.

Stay in Touch!

We like to hear from alumni and learn of your current endeavors and recent accomplishments. Use our online form to update your contact information and tell us what you’ve been up to, and be sure to visit the ChBE alumni web page. And if you find yourself in the Boulder area, please stop by to say hello and see how the department has changed!

Fall Graduate Symposium

Graduate students from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering hosted the StARS symposium last fall where they presented their research to students, faculty, and industry visitors and were critiqued by a panel of faculty and industry judges. The event was supported in part by funds from industry. Please let us know if you would like be involved in or support the symposium this coming fall.

Awards and Recognition
Alumni Achievements

Dr. Kevin Seibert, BS ’90 currently works at Eli Lilly and received the 2010 Excellence in Design award from the AIChE at its November meeting in Salt Lake City for his outstanding contribution to Quality by Design (QbD) for Drug Substance. The QbD mission is to advance smarter approaches to drug development. Seibert is one of the first recipients and was nominated for his numerous contributions to the field, including an often-cited 2008 article from the Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovation, titled “Determination of Process Parameter Criticality in Small-molecule API Synthesis.”


Technology Transfer

Governor Bill Ritter recently recognized OPX Biotechnologies Inc., which was founded by ChBE Professor Ryan Gill, with the Governor's Excellence in Renewable Energy award in the small business category. This award honors businesses that have made significant contributions to “protect Colorado’s environment, diversity the state’s energy portfolio and provide clean power through renewable energy.” OPX Biotechnologies also received the Renewable Chemical Product of the Year award from BioFuels Digest. These awards come on the heels of a partnership the company recently formed with Dow Chemical to develop an industrial scale process for the production of bio-based acrylic acid from renewable feedstocks. If successful, the material could go to market in three to five years. OPX will contribute expertise in strain development and bioprocessing using its EDGETM (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology.

Read more about this emerging technology or for more information, contact Ryan Gill ( or OPX



Kristi Anseth recently was been selected CU Boulder’s 2011 Distinguished Research Lecturer. One of the highest honors bestowed by the faculty, this award acknowledges tenured faculty for their academic or creative achievement and prominence, as well as contributions to the educational and service missions of CU-Boulder. Kristi also gave the 2010 Dale Pearson Lectureship in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Chris Bowman will be awarded the Professional Progress Award this October at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. He is recognized for his significant contributions to the science of chemical engineering. He is the third faculty in our department to receive this award, with Kristi Anseth honored in 2009 and Ted Randolph honored in 2005.

Stephanie Bryant was awarded the 2011 B&B Daniel I.C. Wang Award at the ACS Spring Meeting for her commitment to biotechnology and bioengineering. She also received the 2010 Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award for her academic contributions. She was recently promoted to associate professor and received tenure.

Janet deGrazia received the 2011 Boulder Faculty Assembly Award for Excellence in Teaching.

John Falconer received the 2011 Boulder Faculty Assembly Service Award.

Christine Hrenya received the 2010 Best Paper Award by the AIChE Particle Technology Forum for her publication "Impact of Binary and Continuous Particle Size Distributions on Clustering, Granular Shear Flows." She also received the 2010 College of Engineering Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award for her outstanding contributions to teaching. Christine also was promoted to full professor in May.

Ted Randolph, Arthi Jayaraman, and Mark Stoykovich each received a 2011-12 College of Engineering Dean's Faculty Fellowship which provides a course release for one semester so faculty can focus on their research.

Rich Noble recently received the 2010 AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology for his record of sustained contributions that advanced the frontier of industrial gases technology. He will also receive the 2011 Clarence G. Gerhold Award from the AIChE Separations Division this October in Minneapolis. He is recognized for his sustained record of contributions to separations technology. Rich received the 2011 Chemstations Lectureship Award at the ASEE meeting in Vancouver in June in recognition of his outstanding achievement in fundamental chemical engineering theory and practice.

Ted Randolph received the 2010 Dale E. Wurster Research Award in Pharmaceutics given by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Ted was recognized for his significant research contributions "as a world leader in the thermodynamics of protein stabilization as well as the implementation of supercritical fluid technology in biotechnology processes for enzymatic catalysis, particle formation and drug delivery."

Al Weimer received the 2010 AIChE Process Development Research Award at the November meeting for his significant technical contributions to fundamental understanding, invention, development, and commercialization of article atomic layer deposition processing for the functionalization of ultrafine particles. He also received the 2010 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research in the college of Engineering and Applied Science.



Laura TremblaySophomore Laura Tremblay was named to the 2010 USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Cross Country Team this past academic year. She started out the season by winning the 25th Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout, followed by a runner-up finish at the NCAA Pre-Nationals. She continued to excel with a 4th place finish at the Big 12 Championship and 3rd at the NCAA Mountain Region championship. Tremblay finished the season by placing 23rd at nationals, which earned her first All-American honor.

Samantha JohnsonRecent graduate Samantha Johnson received the 2011 College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Award. She also took second place in the 2010 AIChE National Student Paper Competition for her talk entitled “Scaling Up Fluidized Bed Atomic Layer Deposition Processes: Using Microjets as a Potential Solution.” Johnson conducted undergraduate research with Professor Al Weimer.

Junior Anna Blakney received first place for her poster in the Division of Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology at the 2010 AIChE Annual Meeting in November. Her work included studies on an in vitro model of the foreign body response to PEG hydrogels, which are common scaffold within the world of tissue engineering. The study resulted in the discovery that fibroblast and macrophanges had mutual negative effects due to an increase in inflammatory genes within both populations of cells.

Stacy Van Norman, a second-year graduate student received a NSF Graduate Fellowship. Her research includes developing a fundamental understanding of in-situ catalyst support fabrication and the subsequent deposition of catalytically active materials, both by atomic layer deposition (ALD) for novel micro-structured reactors.

Graduate student Janna Martinek, received the Best Student Poster Award at the ASME Sustainable Energy Conference. She is carrying out her PhD research under the direction of Al Weimer.

Postdoc April Kloxin, Phd ’09, received the Western Association of Graduate Schools Innovation in Technology Award for her dissertation titled “Photolabile hydrogels for dynamic tuning of physical and chemical properties to probe cell-cell and cell-material interactions.”


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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering | University of Colorado Boulder
UCB 596, Boulder, CO 80309-0596