FY 2023-28

Updated: 5/2024


Research and Innovation

We will conduct innovative research that provides new fundamental knowledge and addresses societal challenges.

We conduct impactful chemical and biological engineering research that addresses societal challenges.

Vision

Chemical and Biological Engineering (ChBE) emphasizes discipline-spanning research. We are home to internationally recognized faculty and top doctoral students. We are active in collaboration within our department, across the university, and around the world. Our research produces new knowledge in chemical and biological engineering while also serving as the basis for technology transfer that directly impacts society.

In the next five years, we will:

    • Be a leader in conducting and disseminating field-leading and field-defining research.
    • Be home to world-class facilities that provide the foundation to achieve research breakthroughs.
    • Be a leader in establishing and partnering in research centers and consortia that represent the leading edge of chemical and biological engineering.

    To enable this vision, we will:

    • Grow the department in priority research areas, making faculty hires within the department and via campus partnerships.
    • Establish two or more national agency-funded research centers in core research areas for the department
    • Increase the number of laboratories housing shared facilities that can serve multiple research groups.
    • Enhance our department’s recognition as a leader in chemical and biological engineering, as indicated by national rankings, awards, and key performance measures.
    • Increase the number of collaborative research programs with the BioFrontiers, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, and the Materials Science and Engineering Program.

    Education

    We will educate students to achieve excellence using innovative teaching methods and discovery-based learning.

    We use innovative teaching methods and discovery-based learning to educate students to achieve excellence.

    Vision

    ChBE has a tradition of excellence in teaching and educational innovation. This excellence is rooted in the use of evidence-based instructional methods and the involvement of students at all levels in our research mission. Our department is recognized for developing instructional materials that are used by students around the world and for fostering diverse opportunities for curiosity-based hands-on learning.

    In the next five years, we will:

    • Be a leader in educating, graduation, and placement of successful students and postdoctoral associates. 
    • Be an innovator in teaching a curriculum that prepares students for the future of chemical and biological engineering.
    • Be an internationally recognized hub for developing innovative, scalable teaching tools and approaches.

    To enable this vision, we will:

    • Enroll a 15% larger pool of top graduate students via efforts such as improved publicity and outreach, summer research programs, a research symposium, and enhanced department-level financial support.
    • Expand the LearnChemE initiative so that it remains an internationally recognized department effort.
    • Build on the department’s success with Coursera to offer online courses with broad appeal and visibility.
    • Develop degree or certificate programs that include a data science focus or certificate programs.
    • Enhance the biological emphasis of our Chemical & Biological Engineering degree program by modernizing theCBEN curriculum.
    • Create new courses and update existing curricula to emphasize sustainability in chemical engineering.
    • Develop new courses with high appeal across campus related to chemical and biological technology, the circular energy economy, and pharmaceutical/vaccine development.

    Inclusion

    We will grow stronger by welcoming engagement of all community members.

    We maintain an open environment for all students, faculty, and staff while engaging with the broader community.

    Vision

    ChBE is committed to creating an environment that values diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and community building. We will recruit, retain and support students, staff and faculty, including those who have been historically underrepresented. We seek to enable and recognize the successes of all community members.

    In the next five years, we will:

    • Be a department that is inclusive of and celebrates the achievements of our undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty,and alumni.
    • Be a unit that attracts, supports, and retains diverse faculty, staff, and candidates to our degree programs.
    • Be a department that provides leadership across the university and externally, and that benefits the broader community through our research and educational missions.

    To enable this vision, we will:

    • Invest in efforts to establish a formal inclusion emphasis across the three core committees.
    • Build a sense of community among our faculty and research trainees by working with our graduate leadership committee to establish regular student-and postdoc-focused events, including one major annual event.
    • Celebrate faculty and staff successes through department-organized events to communicate that contributions of diverse department members are valued.
    • Implement support systems to aid graduate students in placement in research groups and ensure their early successand retention.
    • Establish initiatives to maximize inclusion in admissions and hiring practices and to retain diverse students, staff, and faculty after they arrive.
    • Increase the participation of undergraduate students in research and as course assistants to enhance their sense of belonging in the department.
    • Support the department community in taking leadership positions on campus, in professional societies, and in the community.