Chemical Engineering

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Jenifer Kennedy

A new wave of medical technologies is transforming surgery, and Jenifer Kennedy (ChemEngr ’85) is at the forefront of these innovative surgical devices.

Kennedy is one of the co-founders and director of research at Boulder-based JustRight Surgical, a startup surgical products company developing precision surgical technologies for general surgery. Kennedy is responsible for designing these new approaches.

The company’s first device, which launched in April 2013, seals vessels using radio-frequency energy directed between two tiny pincers the size of tweezers.

Balaji Sridhar

Balaji Sridhar has always liked science, but it was his father’s bad knees that were the impetus for him to study both chemical engineering and medicine.

His father once was a good squash player, but had to give up playing when the cartilage in his knees wore out. With the dual graduate degrees, Sridhar hopes to someday be able to help people like his father who struggle with debilitating joint pain and reduced mobility due to damaged cartilage.

Chern-Hooi Lim

Like many people in the world today, Chern-Hooi Lim would like to do something to stop global warming.

The 26-year-old graduate student is an avid cyclist and a strong supporter of the eGo CarShare program in Boulder.  Perhaps even more promising is his decision to pursue a PhD research program focusing on alternative fuels.

Nan Joesten

Searching for the right college can be like searching for the right relationship. Ultimately, you hope to find that elusive quality known as chemistry—especially when your plan is to become a chemical engineer.

Vern Norviel

When he wasn’t slaving over books and experiments in the Engineering Center at CU-Boulder, Vern Norviel could be found painting in the fine arts building or playing the pipe organ at Macky Auditorium.  That was 20 years ago. Today, you’ll find him in the heart of the Silicon Valley, working at the leading edge of DNA chip technology.

Mike Wirth

Mike Wirth (ChemEngr '82) was promoted to executive vice president of Chevron's global downstream business in March, a position carrying responsibility for the company's worldwide refining, marketing, lubricants, and supply and trading businesses. He previously served as president of global supply and trading.

Janet Reiser

The term "maverick" has been tossed around to the point where it's lost almost all significance, but chemical engineer Janet Reiser (ChemEngr '77) is a true specimen of the breed. She's a Democrat who lives in Alaska and ran for public office; she's a former corporate executive who became an entrepreneur, and she's a chemical engineer trained to work with physical formulae and compounds who now creates products based on light.

Alan Weimer

After earning his doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado in 1980, Alan Weimer went onto a successful 16-year career as a research engineer and team leader at Dow Chemical Co. He received numerous awards and several patents for his contributions in advanced materials, and his co-invention and development of the rapid carbothermal reduction process is now practiced commercially, underlying a $1 billion tungsten carbide cutting tools business.

Tyler Silverman

For chemical engineering student Tyler Silverman, studying abroad in Spain in the spring of 2006 offered a break from engineering and a chance to develop a global perspective. Looking back, he says being abroad “helped me understand that there is a big world out there and that being an engineer helps you be a part of that big world.”

After completing his senior design project on a solar-thermal energy plant, and having met all the requirements for an International Engineering Certificate in Spanish, Silverman started to see Spain as a land of opportunity.

Cheryl Campbell

Natural gas, a close relative to crude oil, rarely attracts as much interest or headlines as petroleum. Since natural gas burns cleaner than oil or coal, produces less greenhouse gases, and is found in abundance in this country, environmentalists and energy analysts have begun touting natural gas as a bridge fuel from petroleum to renewable, low-carbon energy sources.

Rod Ray

Change is a constant at Bend Research Inc. Staying nimble in the changing world of chemical research also is the driving force behind the company's three decades of success in developing membrane and novel drug-delivery technologies.

Since joining Bend Research in 1983, Rod Ray (PhD ChemEngr '83) has held numerous positions working his way up through the company. As president and chief executive officer, Ray is charting a new course for the company as it enters its next phase in the development of pharmaceutical and health care products.

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CUEngineering:  A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2016 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

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