2010-2011 ChBE Undergraduate Awards

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) undergraduates were among the award recipients at the 2010-2011 A. James Clark School of Engineering's Honors and Awards Ceremony, held April 19. The event honors students from all departments who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, research, and contributions to their departments or fields. ChBE Professor and Chair Sheryl Ehrman presented the awards.

This year, the awards and their recipients were:

Department Awards

David Arthur Berman Memorial Award
Presented to the student majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with the highest cumulative scholastic average at the end of the first semester of his or her junior year, and who has been elected to Tau Beta Pi.

Awarded to Apoorv Gupta.

Apoorv Gupta is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineers Without Borders solar power team, the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Maryland chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He works in Fischell Department of Bioengineering professor and chair William Bentley's Molecular & Metabolic Engineering Laboratories, where he is part of a team engaged in the study of quorum sensing, a cell-to-cell communication process. He was recently awarded a 2011-2012 Goldwater Scholarship.

Chairman's Award
Presented for excellence in academics, outstanding service to the department, or outstanding leadership in the department.

Awarded to Allison Elder.

Allison Elder is a senior who has accepted an offer to work for Exxon Mobil after graduation. She is the corresponding secretary for the Maryland Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, and a member of the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. She was on the Dean’s List from 2007-2009. She is also a Maryland Higher Education Commission Distinguished Scholar and has been an undergraduate teaching fellow for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering for the past two semesters.

Outstanding Senior Award

Awarded to Ali Eslami.

Ali Eslami is a senior who has been on the Dean’s List since spring 2006 and was a CSEM Scholarship recipient from Fall 2008 to Spring 2010. Ali has worked in Assistant Professor Ganesh Sriram's Metabolic Engineering Laboratory conducting research on the viability of using microalgae as an alternate fuel source. He was also a math tutor for the math and accounting learning center at Montgomery College. His hobbies include soccer and tennis.

Outstanding Junior Award

Awarded to Elia Altabet.

Elia Alabet, a junior, is a member of Phi Kappa Phi as well as the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is presently working in Professor Mikhail Anisimov's group, where he uses dynamic light scattering (DLS) to study the potential for self assembly of small organic compounds in aqueous solutions. He is also an undergraduate teaching fellow for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His hobbies include reading and soccer.

Outstanding Student Service Award
Presented to a graduating senior for outstanding service to the department.

Awarded to Robert Levine.

Robert Levine, a senior, is president of the student chapter of American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Robert has been a research assistant since Fall 2009, studying chemical vapor deposition of semi-conducting copper oxide films for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. He is also a teaching assistant for the College Park Scholars arts program.

A. James Clark School of Engineering Awards

The Keystone Design Challenge Award
Presented to the freshman engineering design teams that build an autonomously controlled hovercraft that completes a specified course in the minimum amount of time.

Eric Schnitzler was a member of Team America, which won the Fall 2010 competition.

University of Maryland Awards

Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar
The Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program honors the most successful rising seniors from each of the university's schools and colleges, as well as their mentors from both the university faculty and their precollege education.

YiAn (Ann) Sun

Yian Sun, a senior double-majoring in mathematics, works in Assistant Professor Chunsheng Wang's research group, where she studies electrochemistry and works on the development of new kinds of batteries. She has published a paper about her work in Electrochemistry Communications and has submitted another to the Journal of Power Sources. In addition to being named a Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar, she was awarded a 2010 U.S. Department of Energy Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship, which supported a summer research project on Li-ion batteries at the National Energy Technology Laboratory; a 2010-2011 Women in Engineering Undergraduate Research Fellowship; and a Banneker/Key Scholarship, the most prestigious merit scholarship awarded by the University of Maryland. She also served as the undergraduate representative on the 2010 search committee convened to select ChBE Professor and Chair F. Joseph Schork's successor following his retirement.

Professional Society Awards

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers Chem-E Car Competition
Competitors must design and construct a chemically powered vehicle within certain size constraints. This vehicle must carry a specified cargo for a specified distance, stopping as close to a finish line as possible.

Team Thirsty Turtle, whose members are primarily comprised of ChBE undergraduates, won the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference competition. The team will head to the National Student Conference, part of the National AIChE meeting this fall, for the finals. Team Thirsty Turtle is advised by Assistant Professor Chunsheng Wang.

  • Kevin Bates: junior, ChBE
  • John Weston Breda: junior, ChBE
  • Adam Gradzki: junior, ChBE
  • Lucas Hedinger: junior, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Whitney Hollinshead: junior, ChBE
  • Brett Koller: junior, ChBE
  • Bob Latimer: junior, Mechanical Engineering
  • Leslie Mok: junior, ChBE
  • Sandhya Patel: junior, ChBE

American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB): Invitation to Present at National Meeting

Emily Lin.

Lin, a senior, works in Assistant Professor Ganersh Sriram's Metabolic Engineering Laboratory, where she has been focusing on the metabolic flux analysis of plant cells, a method that quantitatively tracks their carbon traffic. The data she collects could help scientists genetically engineer more effective crops for use in the production of biofuels. She was invited to present her work at the Fall 2010 meeting of the ASBP based on the quality of the research she conducted in 2009, which was supported by an ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). Her accomplishments in chemistry and biochemistry also resulted in her being named a University of Maryland Undergraduate Researcher of the Year by the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research in Spring 2010. In 2008, she received the NSF-sponsored Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) award for research.

Congratulations to all of our students!

Published April 19, 2011