The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering offers regular seminars to enrich the academic experience for students and faculty. When schedules permit, drop-in sessions with the speakers are offered after the seminars. 

Spring 2024 ChBE Patten Seminar Series

Sept. 26
Speaker: Lauren Marbella, associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University
Seminar: Tracking Degradation in Commercial Li Batteries with High Chemical and Temporal Resolution

Oct. 3
Speaker:    Associate Professor Ethan Lippmann, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Seminar:  Engineering Strategies to Model and Treat Neurodegeneration

Oct. 17
Speaker:  Russell Composto, professor, materials science and engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Seminar:  Elucidating Nanoparticle Transport in Hydrogels through Particle and Matrix Engineering

Nov. 14
Speaker: Jason Shoemaker, associate professor, chemical and petroleum engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Seminar:  Mechanistic Modeling to Understand the Origins of Enhanced Immunopathology During Respiratory

The Patten Seminar Series brings notable professors to campus each academic year to speak on research topics across chemical and biological engineering.

James Patten was a native of Clifton, Colorado, and received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1924 from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he was also a football player. His subsequent career was with Cities Service Company in the Midwest and then with J. G. White Engineering Company of New York. The Patten endowment at the University of Colorado was established by a trust in the will of Mr. Patten when he passed away in 1982.  His widow, Catherine Patten, was a graduate of Dary College in Springfield, Missouri. When she passed away in 1983, she left the remainder of the estate and the deed to her house to the Patten endowment, noting that her husband was always grateful for his education at CU. The Patten endowment has supported the Patten Seminar Series and the Patten Distinguished Lectureship in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado.

James M. and Catherine T. Patten Distinguished Lecturers

  • 2000  Robert S. Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 2001  Matthew Tirrell, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 2002  Mark Davis, California Institute of Technology

  • 2003  Gregory Stephanopoulos, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 2004  David Tirrell, California Institute of Technology

  • 2005  William Koros, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • 2006  Pablo Debenedetti, Princeton University

  • 2007  James A. Dumesic, University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • 2008  Jay Keasling, University of California, Berkeley

  • 2009  Frank Bates, University of Minnesota

  • 2010  Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology

  • 2013  Harvey Blanch, University of California, Berkeley

  • 2013  Jacob Israelachvili, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 2014  Keith Johnston, University of Texas at Austin

  • 2015  Jeffrey Hubbell, University of Chicago

  • 2016  Paula T. Hammond, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 2018  Nicholas L. Abbott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • 2020  Sharon C. Glotzer, University of Michigan

  • 2022  Enrique Iglesia, University of California, Berkeley

Upon Mrs. Patten’s death, the James M. and Catherine T. Patten Professorship in Chemical Engineering was formally established.  The endowment supporting this chair has since grown from $2.2 million in 1983 to over $5 million in 2004.

Patten Professorships

  • 1983 – 1985  Max S. Peters — Professor, Chair, Dean
  • 1986 – 1990  Klaus D. Timmerhaus — Professor, Chair, Associate Dean, President’s Teaching Scholar
  • 1992 – 1996  John L. Falconer — Professor, Chair
  • 1997 – 2007  Robert H. Davis — Professor, Chair, Dean
  • 2007 – Present  Christopher N. Bowman — Professor, Chair
  • 2018 – Present  Mike McGehee — Professor, Chair

Spring 2024 ChBE Department Seminar Series

Spring 2024 ChBE Postdoc Seminar Series

Oct. 10,  2023
Jin Gyun Lee, postdoctoral associate — Shields Research Group, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Title: Bio-Inspired Self-Propelling Microrobots for enhanced transport and drug delivery

In nature, biological swimmers navigate complex environments using non-linear motions to enhance their motility.  Drawing inspiration from these microorganisms, self-propelling particles have emerged as synthetic analogs capable of replicating the navigational capabilities of natural swimmers. In this work, I present the capability of spherical colloids featuring low-symmetry metal patches to autonomously self-propel along 3D helical trajectories when remotely energized by an AC electric field. The adoption of helical motion is shown to enhance navigation through porous materials compared to linearly swimming particles, owing to its rotational component. Further, I will demonstrate the potential of self-propelling particles as a microscale medical device.  In this second line of work, I designed bell-shaped microparticles with external fins to swim with non-linear trajectories within the confines of a mouse bladder. Utilizing their fast speed and sharp fins, these bubble-based microrobots, equipped with encapsulated drugs, mechanically adhere to the bladder epithelium, withstanding the shear stresses associated with urination. Sustained drug release from the particles was shown to activate immune cells, surpassing the performance of free drug controls. This system offers a promising strategy for deploying microrobots to efficiently explore large volumes, securely attach to soft tissue boundaries, and administer drug therapies over extended periods, holding potential for addressing a wide range of diseases in remote regions of the body.

Jin Gyun Lee has been a postdoctoral associate in Prof. Wyatt Shields' group since July 2021. He obtained his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University in 2015 and completed his PhD in chemical engineering at Louisiana State University under the guidance of Prof. Bhuvnesh Bharti in 2021. Upon the graduation, Jin was honored with the Distinguished Dissertation Award by the LSU Alumni Association, the highest recognition bestowed upon PhD graduates at the university. During his doctoral studies, Jin programmed complex trajectories for active particles, developed plant-based nanomaterials for spilled oil recovery and 3D printing, and investigated biomolecule adsorption on nanoparticles. In his current role with the Shields group, Jin's research focuses on the advancement of microrobots powered by external fields and biomimetic materials for biomedical applications. 

Oct. 10,  2023
Anni Shi, postdoctoral associate, Schwartz Research Group, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Title:  Plenty of Room at the Interface: Exploring the Potentials of Micro and Nanostructured Interfaces

Seminar Abstract
The intricate architecture of interfaces harbors a rich ground for physical and chemical interactions, crucial in areas such as filtration, catalysis, and biomedical applications. Precise structured interfaces govern phenomena from microscopic diffusive behaviors to molecular-level reactions, presenting as dynamic platform for scientific exploration and application.

Here, I would like to share my recent research on impact of microstructures in porous media on transport dynamics of confined nanoparticles, aiming at sculpting models for mass transport in complex environment advancing energy-related separation technologies. The studies include modulation of heterogeneity of porous media on the particle's long-time diffusion and trapping duration. Furthermore, I will discuss the utilization of amplified hydrodynamic coupling by interface confinement to facilitate efficient transport of nanoparticles. Into the intricacies of detailed nanoscopic interfacial structures, hierarchical chemical patterns are shown their pivotal roles in controlling chemical reactions such as diacetylene polymerization and silane crosslinking. These reactions markedly diverge from their bulk counterparts, pushing us to rethink structure-function relationship governing interfacial reactions in nanoscale. This re-evaluation forges paths to enhance reaction precision and efficiency, benefiting realms ranging from integrated circuits to the formation of cell-instructive surfaces indispensable in the biomedical research.

Anni started her research journey at Wuhan University, where she earned her BS degree in chemistry. She later pursued PhD research specializing in nanoscale surface patterning, guided by Professor Shelley Claridge at Purdue University. Relocating from Indiana to Colorado, Anni joined the research group of Professor Daniel Schwartz, with a particular focus on exploring interfacial-confined diffusion through single particle/molecule tracking.