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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Allison McDonald, WSU Voiland School Alumni Awardee

2019 Alumni Awardee

Allison (Hicks) McDonald (BS & MS, Chemical Engineering)

Global HR Director
The Dow Chemical Company

Allison Hicks McDonald, The Dow Chemical CompanyAs the Global HR Director of Human Resources for a number of organizations including Research & Development, EHS & Sustainability, Information Systems and Facilities, Allison McDonald works with executives within The Dow Chemical Company to develop and execute the talent management and organizational strategies for a number of the company’s organizations. In her leadership role, she is accountable for ensuring that Dow talent, and the supporting talent programs, are capable of driving breakthrough innovation, commercial growth, and profitability for the Company. McDonald provides strategic direction, consulting and implementation plans across these organizations, actively engages with leaders to ensure effective succession planning, performance management and workforce planning. She drives talent development programs that elevate the skills and effectiveness of the broad organization and that provide high-potential employees with meaningful development opportunities.

McDonald joined Dow in 1989 and served in a variety of roles in Manufacturing and Engineering (M&E) at the Midland, MI, Freeport, TX and Pittsburg, CA sites. In 2001, she relocated to Indianapolis, IN to assume the role of HR Business partner for Dow AgroSciences’ Supply Chain, EH&S, Purchasing, and M&E functions. During her time there, McDonald successfully built a new Supply Chain organization for Dow AgroSciences, enabled by the creation of improved training and knowledge for employees, as well as enhanced business execution.

In 2006, McDonald was named M&E Strategic Staffing Leader within Human Resources, and was responsible for coordinating external hiring and University Relations for Dow’s global M&E function. In 2007, McDonald relocated to Midland and became the M&E HR partner with additional responsibility for global people processes across all of M&E. In 2008, she became HR partner for R&D, supporting the Advanced Materials portfolio, as well as the Dow Automotive and Specialty Films business groups. In 2011, McDonald served as Director of HR Information Technology, and was responsible for leading the corporate strategies for developing and maintaining Dow’s HR Technology solutions, managing external vendor relationships and leading the implementation and maintenance of integrated HRIT systems. In 2012, McDonald moved into the Global HR Director supporting the Dow executive in charge of Information Systems, Facilities, Customer Service, EHS & Sustainability and the Shared Business Services organization. In March 2014, McDonald moved into her current role.

McDonald holds both bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in chemical engineering from Washington State University. She completed the Executive Education Program at Thunderbird University in 2003, as well as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and MAIC Six Sigma Black Belt training in 2005.

Mark E. Warner, WSU Voiland School Alumni Awardee

2018 Alumni Awardee

Mark E. Warner (BS, Chemical Engineering, 1986)

Founder, Warner Advisors, LLC
of Sacramento, CA

Mark E. WarnerMark is the Founder of Warner Advisors, LLC, which offers consulting services in biotechnology, renewable energy commercialization, chemical and food manufacturing, technology development, business unit management and startup fundraising. He has worked four companies who have held the #1 spot in biofuels digest’s top company list, combined with nearly 10 years and over 500 million dollars spent commercializing emerging biotechnology processes. He is a registered professional engineer with 25 years of broad-ranging business, technical, and management experience in renewable energy projects and chemical plant operations.

WSU Alumnus, Mark E. Warner with 2018 WSU Voiland School Alumni AwardPrior to starting his own consulting firm, Mr. Warner was the Chief Engineering Officer for Impossible Foods, Inc., a startup company focused on providing the experience of eating meat and dairy foods based on vegetable product, the Senior Vice President of Engineering for Solazyme, Inc., which is focused on using microalgae as the foundation for personal care and food products.

Prior to joining Solazyme, Mark served as Senior Vice President of Engineering for Harris Group. His responsibilities encompassed full management and technical responsibility for billions of dollars of industry leading renewable energy commercialization projects including cellulosic ethanol production plants, micro-algae, macro-algae, biomass power, carbon sequestration and biomass gasification. Clients included many of the top biofuel and biochemical companies, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

From 2006–08, Mr. Warner served as Vice President of Engineering for Imperium Renewables, where he oversaw the largest biodiesel production facility constructed in the United States. He has actively led site selection, regulatory compliance, permitting, engineering, and project funding efforts for facilities at both U.S. and international sites.

Mark has been an advocate for the Voiland School with the companies he has worked at. He has made a personal commitment to the Thomson Fund. He has also returned to campus to present in the Voiland School Seminar class. He finds returning to speak to the students very enjoyable and is looking forward to his next visit.

Voiland graduate students win travel awards

Fanglin Che
Fanglin Che
PULLMAN, Wash. – Doctoral student Fanglin Che recently won an AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division Travel Award. The awards were announced at the 2016 AIChE Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Che’s major advisor is Jean-Sabin McEwen.


Negar Beheshtipour
Negar Beheshtipour
Doctoral student Negar Beheshtipour was recently chosen as the winner of the Future Faculty Mentoring and Travel Grand from the ASEE ChE division. She will be traveling to the 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition in Columbus, Ohio as part of her award. The ASEE Annual Conference is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education.

Beheshtipour’s major advisor is Bernie Van Wie and she is also being mentored by David Thiessen.

Greg Collinge receives National Science Foundation Research Fellowship

Greg Collinge

Greg Collinge, graduate student and ARCS scholar, who works with professor Jean-Sabin McEwen in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering conducting research in computational catalytic chemistry was recently awarded a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship.

The researchers develop atom-scale models of catalysts and reactions to better understand how they work. Catalysts are used in many chemical processes, including biofuels, plastics and hydrogen production. Collinge is working specifically to improve the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, a process to create chemicals and fuels from carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

View full article at WSU News

WSU bioengineering students take 1st place at health product contest

Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein of Engage

UPDATE: April 28, 2016 – “Engage,” founded by Brandenstein and Willard, wins $15,000 in WSU Business Plan Competition

Two Washington State University bioengineering students won first place and $10,000 in the inaugural, regional Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) at the University of Washington on March 3. They were the only non-UW affiliated entrepreneurs among the 18 finalist teams that pitched ideas to more than 100 judges from business and health science professions.

Katherine Brandenstein
Katherine introduces vial with SafeShot lid
Emily Willard of Everett, Wash., and Katherine Brandenstein of Woodinville, Wash., are cofounders of Engage and won with the prototype for their product SafeShot. It is a lid that attaches to a multi-use medicine injection vial to sterilize the needle each time it enters the vial.

In the developing world, needle reuse is not uncommon. SafeShot’s sterilizing liquid stops the spread of contaminates such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

“This award will help us do further research on how SafeShot can become a standard in the vaccine market,” said Willard.

View full article at WSU News

NEW – View Northwest Public Television Interview with Willard and Brandenstein

Brandenstein and Willard with $10,000 check
Brandenstein and Willard with $10,000 check

Chrystal Quisenberry receives Hariet B. Regas Award

Chrystal Quisenberry and Dr. Nehal Abu-Lail

Chrystal Quisenberry and Dr. Nehal Abu-LailThe Association for Faculty Women announced its 2015-2016 award winners for outstanding women in graduate studies. These awards recognize superlative academic and scholarly accomplishments, as well as professional potential of women graduate students at WSU completing their degrees in the 2015-2016 academic year. Voiland School graduate student Chrystal Quisenberry was one of the recipients.

Dissertation: “Nanomechanics in Cartilage Tissue Engineering”
Chair: Dr. Nehal I. Abu-Lail Schol of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Familiar with and impressed by her achievements as an undergraduate both as a leader and a researcher, Dr. Abu-Lail recruited Chrystal for her lab. She summarizes her research saying, “Although more than 27 million people in the U.S. suffer from the joint disease osteoarthritis, current treatments do not restore the full functions of the tissue. Because articular cartilage is avascular, meaning it lacks blood vessels, it has a limited capacity for self-repair. This has prompted researchers to focus on cartilage tissue engineering. As cartilage acts as a load bearing surface, one of the challenges in tissue engineering is creating a construct with mechanical properties near that of native cartilage. We, along with our collaborators, use a bioreactor to apply loads to the growing tissue with one of our intentions being to improve the tissue’s mechanical properties which is then measured using an atomic force microscope.”

Chrystal has received thirteen scholarship and awards including a NASA Space grant and an NIH grant. She has worked as a TA in four classes and mentors five students as a Future Cougar of Color Ambassador. She has published four journal articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at twenty-four conferences.

View the story at the Association for Faculty Women’s website.