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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Iglesia Speaks at Lanning Lecture

Enrique Iglesia
Enrique Iglesia

PULLMAN, Wash.—Enrique Iglesia, the Theodore Vermeulen Chair in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, a faculty senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and director of the Berkeley Catalysis Laboratory, spoke on “Nanoparticles, Nanospace, and the Catalysis Toolbox” at the Voiland College annual Lanning Lecture in April.

Iglesia’s research group addresses the synthesis and the structural and functional characterization of solids used as catalysts for production of fuels and petrochemicals, for conversion of energy carriers, and for improving the energy and atom efficiency and the sustainability of chemical processes. His work combines synthetic, spectroscopic, theoretical, and mechanistic techniques to advance novel concepts and applications in heterogeneous catalysis. He has coauthored more than 300 publications and holds 40 U.S. patents.

Washington State University civil engineering alumnus Jack Dillon (class of ‘41) established the Lanning Lecture in 1988 in honor of his late wife, Frances Lanning Dillon. The fund supports lectures that broaden students’ knowledge of the profession beyond the academic dimension, including societal, cultural, and economic impacts, professional and business ethics, and leadership.

View Video of Lanning Lecture featuring Enrique Iglesia ↗

2015 Lanning Lecture Poster ↗

2015 Lanning Lecture Announcement ↗

Alumni Gift Establishes Professorship in Energy

Brion and Ronda Wise
Brion and Ronda Wise

PULLMAN, WA—Washington State University’s Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering has received a gift from alumnus Brion Wise to establish the B. Wise Professorship in Energy Production.

The gift will allow the Voiland School to grow its successful program to provide educational opportunities for students who, like Gene Voiland, Brion Wise and a host of alumni who preceded them, desire to become leaders in the petroleum production industry, said Jim Petersen, director of the Voiland School.
Petroleum demand continues to grow worldwide, while energy production and conversion technologies are undergoing dramatic, rapid changes. With a long tradition of producing graduates who become leaders in this industry, this gift helps the Voiland School continue to produce chemical engineers who are uniquely qualified to take a leadership role in meeting the needs of the energy sector.

The school’s research in catalysis is leading to more efficient production of fuels and byproducts. In the past decade, the school has more than doubled its enrollment while also building stronger relationships in the industry. The gift supports hiring of a faculty member who will have enhanced industry collaboration, enabling the Voiland School to provide a transformational, high quality, highly relevant student experience and thus enabling the university to achieve one of its two primary strategic emphases.
“As world energy use continues to rise, our Voiland School chemical engineers will be critically needed to develop the best and most efficient technologies to meet demand,” said Jim Petersen, director of the Voiland School. “With this gift, we can now provide an enhanced education for our students that will prepare them to become leaders in the industry and help meet the industry’s future production needs.”

“At the same time, Brion’s generous gift will also grow the Voiland School’s stature,” he added. “We are so grateful for his support.”

After graduating from WSU with a chemical engineering degree in 1968, Wise went to work for Shell Oil. He went on to found Western Gas Resources in 1971, serving as director, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president. He is now chairman of the board at Flat Iron Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company. He also is owner of B Wise Vineyards, which is located in Sonoma, CA, where he applies chemical engineering principles to enable the production of high quality wines.

Fanglin Che, Yan Li, and Rebecca Long Receive Kokes Awards

Rebecca Long
Rebecca Long
Yan Li
Yan Li
Fanglin Che
Fanglin Che
Three Voiland graduate students have each recently won a Kokes award, which will partially fund their travel to present their work at the 24th North American Catalysis Society meeting this coming summer in Pittsburgh, PA. Approximately 100 students worldwide receive this highly competitive award. The students who won are Fanglin Che (working with Dr. Jean-Sabin McEwen), Yan Li (working with Dr. Yong Wang), and Rebecca Long (working with Dr. Yong Wang).

The Richard J. Kokes Travel Award program of NACS aims to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to attend and participate in the North American Catalysis Society biennial conference. It provides funding to waive the student conference registration fee, and includes accommodation at the Omni William Penn Hotel in a room shared with another Kokes awardee and a modest travel allowance. The Kokes award is sponsored by the North American Catalysis Society. In addition, significant support will be provided by government agencies such as NSF and US-DOE. This is a very competitive award with almost 200 excellent applications submitted for the 100 awards granted.

Paper by Dr. Yong Wang, Yan Li, and Zhehao Wei Chosen as Feature by Journal of Catalysis

Zhehao Wei
Zhehao Wei
Yan Li
Yan Li
Dr. Yong Wang
Dr. Yong Wang

A recent manuscript co-authored by Dr. Yong Wang, doctoral graduate student Yan Li, and recent Voiland graduate Zhehao Wei was chosen as a “Featured Article” by the Journal of Catalysis for February 2015. The article will be featured prominently on the Journal of Catalysis’ website and will be available for free to the public for 3 months following publication of the respective issue. The title of the paper is, “Elucidation of the roles of Re in steam reforming of glycerol over Pt–Re/C catalysts.”

View the paper at the Journal of Catalysis ↗

Sujala Sultana Wins William R. Wiley Graduate Research Award

Sujala Sultana in the lab
Last month Chemical Engineering PhD student Sujala Sultana won the “Best Oral Presentation” award in the 2015 William R. Wiley Research Exposition for the category of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Sultana’s advisor is Dr. Haluk Beyenal. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship as part of the award.

The title of Sultana’s presentation was, “Electrochemical Scaffold for Acinetobacter baumannii Biofilm removal.” In this work, she has developed an electrochemical scaffold system that is capable of continuous controlled delivery of hydrogen peroxide via oxygen reduction reaction and thus remove A. baumannii biofilm from infected porcine dermal explant. This research offers a foundation for a future alternative antibiotic free wound dressing for the multi-drug resistant A. baumannii biofilm infections.

Tablets Increase Neck Demand 3-5 Times, Ergonomic Study Says

Dr. Anita Vasaveda and Dr. David Lin working with graduate student in lab

PULLMAN, Wash. – Demand on neck muscles increases 3-5 times when using tablet computers compared to sitting with the head in a neutral position, according to recent research by Anita Vasavada at Washington State University. The lowest demand on the neck was when the tablet was in a high propped position.

The paper was published in February in the journal Ergonomics.

View full story at WSU Today ↗