Chemical, Materials Engineering Students Have Strong Showing

Seven students from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering recently took part in the undergraduate poster competition of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers conference in Atlanta.

The seven—seniors Aston Thompson, Christian Wilson, Chris Bruneau and Chris Ludtka and sophomores Mary McBride and Melanie Lindsey from CBE and sophomore Samantha Medina of MSE—are all part of the Zawodzinski Group, a group dedicated to electrochemical and energy storage research run by Governor’s Chair Thomas Zawodzinski.

TN SCORE“Being chosen to take part in such a prestigious event is a real honor for our students and a good reflection on our departments” said Gabriel A. Goenaga, senior research associate in the Zawodzinski Group. “We encourage students to go to conferences, giving them the opportunity to display their research among some of their best and brightest peers.

“It is a great opportunity and good experience for their future careers.”

The students used research that they have worked on under Zawodzinski, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as the basis for their respective posters in the competition.

All told, more than 400 posters were presented at the conference, with UT having a strong showing.

Ludtka took home second place in Fuels, Petrochemicals and Energy II and the Undergraduate Presentation Award from AIChE industry partner Wood Group Mustang, Inc., while Lindsey (Fuels, Petrochemicals and Energy I), Wilson (Fuels, Petrochemicals and Energy II) and Bruneau (Catalysis and Reaction Engineering II) each took home third places finishes.

“We’re really pleased for them to get that level of recognition while representing our university,” said Goenaga. “To have that many high finishes from one research group is confirmation for both our students and our research group.”

The Tennessee Solar Conversion and Storage using Outreach, Research and Education—or TN-SCORE—program, of which Zawodzinski is the Thrust II leader, made the trip and poster presentations possible.