Cooper Students Take Home National Awards at the 2022 AICHE Student Conference
POSTED ON: March 18, 2023
Last November, Cooper Engineering students and faculty attended the 2022 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The annual conference is for students and engineering professionals alike to learn from industry leaders, grow their networks, and showcase their research.
Students in attendance included Renata Ashapatov ChE’23, Nada Shetewi ChE’24, David Jiang ChE’21 MChE’23, Olivia Kim ChE’23, Aviv Kresch ChE’23, Kyle Wong ChE’24, Wesley Wong ChE’24, Caitlin Noonan ChE’25, Emma Cohen ChE’24, Albert Villanueva ChE’23, Caitlin Soyun Byoun CHE’23, Ha Young (Rosemary) Cho, Juan Yanes Benatuil BSE’23, Elyse Taglia ChE’24, Andre Jiang ChE’23, Angela Huang ChE’22 MChE’24, Jillian Frost ChE’22 MChE’24, Alec Svenson ChE’21 MChE’23, and Edward Huang ChE’20 MChE’23, along with Cooper alumni Monica Abdallah ChE’17 MChE’19, Jason Sherman ChE’20, Chae Jeong ChE’16 MChE’18, and Jeff Xu ChE’15, and Chemical Engineering Professors Jennifer Weiser, Ben Davis, and Amanda Simson.
At the conference, students participated in workshops, panels, and the undergraduate research poster competition. Olivia Kim ChE’23 was awarded 1st place in the Materials Engineering group for the Undergraduate Student Poster Competition for her research on “Temperature-Sensitive Patternable Hydrogels for Long-Term Tissue Repair,” an investigation into the reproducibility of an innovative hydrogel support bath treatment for tissue repair. Olivia worked alongside Assistant Professor Weiser and Dr. Andrea Vernengo from AO Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland. Nada Shetewi ChE'24 was awarded 2nd place in the Environmental division of the Undergraduate Student Poster Competition on "Treatment of Toxic Algal Blooms By Electrochemical Oxidation," research on cleaning up toxic algae blooms that poses serious threats to freshwater habitats and drinking water sources. Nada worked alongside students from Clarkson University and Professor Simson.
Wesley Wong ChE’24 was awarded 2nd place in Environmental Division IV of the Undergraduate Student Poster Competition for “Impact of Pyrolysis Conditions on CO2 Adsorption of Biochar,” a study on the influence of pyrolysis conditions on the chemical and physics properties of biochar, a strong agent for direct carbon capture (DAC). Wesley worked alongside Naomi Akiyama ChE’23, Albert Villanueva ChE’23, and Associate Professor Simson. Caitlin Noonan ChE’25 presented her paper on “Trash into Treasure: Biochar CO2 Adsorbents for Carbon Dioxide Removal” under the Student Technical Presentation Competition. This session featured oral presentations from the 12 winners of undergraduate student paper competitions from each student regional conference. Caitlin worked alongside Naomi Akiyama ChE’23 and Professor Simson.
Jillian Frost ChE’22 MChE’2 and Angela Huang ChE’22 MChE’24 co-presented a talk (other co-authors are Olivia Kim, alum Poorna Dutta, and alum Chris Panebianco) called “Assessment of an Inquiry-Based Learning Bioadhesive Module to Teach Principles of Tissue Repair” in the Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning and Performance session. Jillian and Angela were the only non-faculty members to present at this session. Cooper alumna Monica Abdallah ChE’17 MChE’19 presented doctoral research from Columbia University under the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division. Monica’s research was on the “Scale up Considerations for CO2 Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Catalytic Conversion to Renewable Natural Gas Using a Dual Function Material (DFM) Washcoated Monolith” in the CO2 Upgrading I: Thermocatalytic Approaches to the Production of Fuels and Chemicals session.
In addition to the student awards and presentations, chemical engineering faculty members were associated with papers and presentations given throughout the meeting. Professor Weiser organized and chaired two technical sessions in the Biomaterials group: “Biomaterials for Drug Delivery I: Particle Platforms” and “Biomaterials for Drug Delivery II: Hydrogels and Macroscopic Platforms.” She also co-chaired the session on “Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning and Performance” in the educational division. Professor Simson held the “Computing and Data Science in ChE Education” session.
We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of Alan Fortier ChE’79 and the Cooper Union Center for Career Development which supported the participation of students at the event.
"It was an honor to present the research I have been working on with Naomi Akiyama ChE’23 and Professor Simson on biochar carbon capture to help mitigate climate change and represent Cooper Union among top students at the Student Technical Presentation Competition. I’m very thankful for the mentorship I have received during this project and to the Dean’s Office for making my attendance to this conference possible!” – Caitlin Noonan ChE’25
“I really enjoyed my experience at AIChE and am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this conference in Phoenix. I was able to share my research, which is something I am passionate about and learn more about what opportunities I have as a chemical engineer. My favorite part was making new connections with other students and chemical engineering professionals. I was excited every time I saw a fellow student presenting their research and proud that we were able to represent Cooper and leave a good impression at AIChE.” – Renata Ashapatov ChE’23
“It was my first time attending the AIChE conference, and I’m so glad I went! Presenting a poster at the conference was a wonderful opportunity to present my research and become more confident in the work I do. There were so many networking experiences and informational talks that you can easily find beneficial according to your interests in research and career choices.
For my poster, I presented the research I did this past summer at AO Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland in collaboration with Professor Jennifer Weiser and my supervisor there, Dr. Andrea Vernengo, who we have done previous educational research with. My research focused on 3D bioprinting of cell-laden bioink into a novel patternable hydrogel for anisotropic tissue repair.” – Olivia Kim ChE’23