Dion Vlachos has won the 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineering's R.H. Wilhelm Award.

Raising the bar

Chemical engineering faculty, student, alumnus honored for research excellence


3:36 p.m., July 13, 2011--At the University of Delaware, research excellence has many faces – among them are faculty, students and alumni. Three individuals from the Department of Chemical Engineering recently earned honors for their work. They are:

Dion Vlachos, director of UD's Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation and Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering, has won the 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineering’s (AIChE) R.H. Wilhelm Award in chemical reaction engineering. Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, the honor recognizes Vlachos’ pioneering work on multiscale modeling and application to development, design and interpretation of catalytic reaction mechanisms, rational materials design and renewable energy.

Honors Stories

National Medal of Science

President Barack Obama recently presented the National Medal of Science to University of Delaware alumnus Rakesh Jain.

Warren Award

Rosalind Johnson, assistant dean for student success in the NUCLEUS Program in UD's College of Arts and Sciences, was presented the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award during a May 26 ceremony.

Vlachos will receive the award at the AIChE annual meeting in October. Michael Klein, Dan Rich Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering and director of the UD Energy Institute, received the Wilhelm Award in 2008.

Elizabeth Kelley, a chemical engineering graduate student, received the graduate student/post-doctoral poster award at the Polymers Gordon Research Conference for her work on the synthesis of polymer-peptide conjugates for targeted drug delivery applications.

Kelley was one of nine student speakers June 12-17 at the Polymers Gordon Research Seminar held in conjunction with the conference, where young researchers annually gather to discuss cutting-edge research and advances in polymer synthesis, physical characterization and technological performance. Kelley is advised by assistant professors of chemical engineering, Thomas H. Epps, III, and Millicent M. Sullivan. 

Matthew Helgeson, a UD alumnus, was an invited lecturer at the 85th American Chemical Society’s Colloids and Surface Science Symposium in Montreal, June 19-21, where he was honored with the Victor K. LaMer Award, an award bestowed annually on the best doctoral thesis in the past three years in the U.S. and Canada. 

According to his former adviser Norman J. Wagner, Alvin B and Julia O Stiles Professor of Chemical Engineering and department chair, Helgeson’s research includes seminal contributions to the understanding of complex fluids, surfactant and nanoparticle science and materials processing.

Helgeson is currently conducting post-doctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will join the University of California Santa Barbara as an assistant professor of chemical engineering in 2012.

“These honors demonstrate the transformational research taking place on campus and highlight the professional impact our faculty, students and alumni have in the broader community,” said Wagner.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

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