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Chemical engineering undergraduates win top prizes at AIChE annual meeting


AIChE 2019: Students Kevin Ifiora, Avi Gargye, Kane Jennings, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Ben Nguyen, Pedro Seber, James Dohm and Katie Johnson.

Four chemical engineering students won top prizes in the 2019 Undergraduate Student Poster Competition Nov. 10, 2019, at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Two students also won special university chapter awards.

Senior Riley Knight took 1st Place in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Division of the 2019 AIChE Undergraduate Student Poster Competition.

More than 350 students presented their research in poster format in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Orlando, Florida. The poster session is exclusively for undergraduate students to present results from projects they have carried out as undergraduate researchers at their university or during internships or co-ops. It is an individual competition and only one presenter per poster is allowed.

“All four of our undergraduate researchers who presented their posters at the AIChE conference won awards,” said Jennings, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. “I am very proud of our undergraduates and the strong efforts in mentoring by our faculty.” Jennings is faculty adviser to the Vanderbilt student chapter of AIChE.

The Vanderbilt chemical engineering students are:

  • Senior Ben Nguyen, First Place, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Division I
    Nguyen’s faculty adviser is Assistant Professor John Wilson. His minors are chemistry and scientific computing. Nguyen is from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Senior James Dohm, First Place, Materials Engineering and Science Division X
    Dohm’s faculty adviser is Professor Paul Laibinis. His minor is chemistry. Dohm is from Beverly Hills, California.
  • Senior Riley Knight, First Place, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Division V
    Knight’s faculty adviser is Assistant Professor Ethan Lippmann. Her minor is chemistry. Knight is from Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
  • Senior Avi Gargye, Third Place, Materials Engineering and Science Division XIII
    Gargye’s faculty adviser is Professor Kane Jennings. His minors are economics and Spanish. Gargye is from Brentwood, Tennessee.

Junior Pedro Seber received a Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award. The Othmer Award is presented to an AIChE undergraduate member in each student chapter who has attained the highest grade-point average during his or her freshman and sophomore years, on recommendation of the chapter adviser. Seber also is completing minors in chemistry, scientific computing and engineering management. His is from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sophomore Kate Johnson received a Freshman Recognition Award, which is presented to an AIChE undergraduate member in each student chapter who has been the most active in their chapter during his or her freshman year, on recommendation of the chapter adviser. Johnson is from Tomball, Texas.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
brenda.ellis@vanderbilt.edu