Jiajie Huo in plaid blue and grey shirt

Postdoc Seminar Series: Jiajie Huo

Nov. 8, 2021

Jiajie Huo, Postdoctoral Associate – Medlin Lab Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 2:45 p.m., JSCBB A108 "Catalyst Development for Aqueous-phase Biomass Conversion and Gas-phase Methane Activation" Seminar Abstract Catalysis plays a crucial role in the production of energy, fuels and chemicals. In this talk, I will first discuss my previous graduate...

Kent Warren in striped tie and blue shirt

Postdoc Seminar Series: Kent Warren

Nov. 8, 2021

The conversion of intermittent solar radiation into storable and transportable chemical fuels can enable access to sustainable feedstocks and dispatchable sources of power, regardless of geographic location. Of particular interest is technologies that facilitate the endothermic dissociation of water and carbon dioxide while utilizing heat that is obtained via concentrating optics and/or renewable sources of electricity.

Katie Herbert in black shirt

Postdoc Seminar Series: Katie Herbert

Nov. 8, 2021

Liquid crystalline materials (LCMs) showcase extensive potential for application in a range of industries including soft robotics, optics, and, more recently, biomaterials. By patterning the mesogen alignment within these materials, a directed response can be achieved resulting in muscle-like contraction or 3-D deformation. Employing alignment techniques such as surface enforced alignment, photopatterning, and 3-D printing, we seek to further develop these methods to target biologically relevant LCM applications. Here, I will discuss two LCM systems that highlight recent progress in liquid crystalline biomaterials as enzymatic biosensors and substrates for tissue engineering. In the development of the biosensors, we explore the implications of harnessing an enzyme (jack bean urease) within a heavily crosslinked liquid crystalline network (LCN). The network leverages a hydrogen-bonded liquid crystalline mesogen as a chemoresponsive unit, sensitizing the material to ammonia. As the urease enzyme catalyzes the transformation of urea into ammonia, the pre-programmed alignment of the network mesogens is disrupted, resulting in a bulk shape change. In a separate study, surface aligned liquid crystalline elastomers are synthesized to target aligned cell culture for anisotropic tissues such as muscle. Results show a preference for cell growth along the nematic director of LCEs.

Nabilia Tanjeem in green shirt standing outside

Postdoc Seminar Series: Nabila Tanjeem

Nov. 4, 2021

Geometric frustration, the incompatibility of local ordering with global geometric constraints, is known to cause anomalous structures, crystal defects, and self-limitation.

Filipe Henrique posing outside for a photo

Henrique earns Ryland Graduate Fellowship for supercapacitor research

Nov. 4, 2021

Filipe Henrique is this year’s recipient of the Dwight E. and Jessie D. Ryland Endowed Graduate Fellowship from the College of Engineering and Applied Science. This fellowship provides $10,000 over two years to a deserving first-year PhD student working in alternative energy or improved energy utilization and efficiency.

single use plastics including straws, cup lids, utensils and more

Faculty collaboration earns $2M NSF award for post-consumer plastic waste research

Oct. 25, 2021

The proliferation of plastic products has created an environmental challenge: what should be done with unusable, discarded plastic waste that can harm the environment? Faculty from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering are working on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project, Hydrogenolysis for Upcycling of Polyesters and Mixed Plastics, to address this serious environmental issue.

Berit L. Strand

Seminar Announcement: Berit L. Strand

Oct. 12, 2021

Polysaccharides represents an abundant class of biopolymers, of which cellulose in trees and chitin from Crustacea are common examples. Alginates from seaweed have high affinity to divalent cations and form hydrogels by ionic crosslinking.

Kayla Sprenger

Alumni Webinar Series: A Seemingly Unstoppable Virus: Can Humanity Ever Overcome HIV?

Oct. 8, 2021

No universal vaccines exist for infectious diseases like HIV and influenza, largely due to the high frequency with which the pathogens that cause these diseases acquire mutations in their surface proteins. Hear from Assistant Professor Kayla Sprenger as she describes our efforts to address this challenge for HIV using a variety of computational methods that include homology modeling, molecular simulations, mathematical modeling, and machine learning.

Chern Hoi Lim

Alumnus Lim earns C&EN Talented 12 recognition for pursuing commercialization of CO2 as a feedstock for commodity chemicals

Oct. 6, 2021

Chern-Hooi Lim (PhDChemEngr’15) is the founder and CEO of New Iridium, a spinoff company created by research conducted in part in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He was recently selected for C&EN’s Talented 12, a program that honors young chemists and chemical engineers who are bringing innovation and entrepreneurship to bear on pressing global issues.

Kyle Bishop

Seminar Announcement: Kyle J. M. Bishop

Oct. 1, 2021

Mobile robots combine sensory information with mechanical actuation to move autonomously through complex environments and perform specific tasks (e.g., a robot vacuum cleaner). The miniaturization of such robots to the size of living cells (ca. 2-40 mm) is actively pursued for applications in biomedicine, materials science, and environmental sustainability. In pursuit of these “microrobots”, we seek to understand the many mechanisms underlying the self-propulsion of colloidal particles through viscous fluids. Building on this understanding, we seek to design active particles capable of autonomous behaviors such as navigation of structured environments. In this talk, I discuss two recent efforts – on Quincke oscillators and magnetic topotaxis, respectively – that highlight these complementary aims to understand and design active colloids. In part one, I explain how static electric fields drive the oscillatory motion of micron-scale particles commensurate with the thickness of a field-induced boundary layer in nonpolar electrolytes. In part two, I describe how spatially uniform, time-periodic magnetic fields can be designed to power and direct the migration of ferromagnetic spheres up local gradients in surface topography.