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EER Mulva Auditorium

January 2018

ChE Seminar – “Evolutionary molecular design for scientific discovery in sequence-specific polymers and glass-forming materials” by Dr. David Simmons (University of Akron)

01/16/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Isaac Sanchez ABSTRACT The last decade has seen the emergence of a new frontier in polymers: the facile synthesis of copolymers with specific monomeric sequences. This may be the key to realizing synthetic polymers exceeding the performance of biopolymers such as proteins and DNA. Achieving this goal will require solutions to two challenges. First, the design space afforded by even a single sequence-specific polymer can be beyond astronomical in scale. How are we to reproduce the billions of…

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ChE Pirkey Centennial Lecture – “Glycomaterials for Engineering Immunity and Tolerance” by Dr. Jeffrey Hubbell (University of Chicago)

01/23/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Adrianne Rosales; 2017-2018 Pirkey Lectureship ABSTRACT Adaptive immune responses are triggered particularly powerfully in the lymph nodes and in the lymphoid tissues associated with mucosae. We are developing nanomaterials and soluble polymers to exploit interstitial flow from the site of administration to the lymph nodes, using the material vectors to carry both antigen and adjuvant biomolecules. We are particularly interested in therapeutic vaccination, which requires induction of CD8 T cell responses in addition to humoral responses.  Using both biophysical…

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Seminar – “Hybrid Dynamics, Cyber-Physical Systems, and Formal Methods in Chemical Engineering: Building Blocks of Automation and Smart Manufacturing” by Blake Rawlings (The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)

01/25/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

ABSTRACT: In this talk, I will describe my recent work dealing with the analysis and control of classes of discrete and hybrid systems that apply to the chemical processing industry. Such systems naturally arise when process control and automation is applied in a chemical plant: the chemical process is a continuous system (modeled by differential equations), while the automation system includes numerous discrete variables that represent values such as whether a particular alarm is on or off. Analyzing (and controlling)…

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ChE Seminar – “Revisiting Classical Challenges in Polymer Networks” by Dr. Brad Olsen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

01/30/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Venkat Ganesan ABSTRACT The design of polymer networks is one of the oldest and most important challenges in chemistry, impacting many of the highest volume chemical industries from rubber to adhesives to biomedical materials.  However, more than any other branch of materials, networks have resisted precise characterization.  This leaves many open challenges in understanding how their chemical design is linked to their physical properties of relevance for applications such as food science, biomedical materials, and consumer products.  This…

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February 2018

Seminar – “Understanding and Designing Transition Metal Catalysts” by Matthew Montemore (Harvard University)

02/01/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

ABSTRACT: Transition metal catalysts play a critical role in the current energy landscape, enabling large scale chemical production and emissions control. Improved catalysts could increase the efficiency of these processes, and could improve the viability of clean energy technologies such as biofuels and fuel cells. However, engineering improved catalysts is impeded by the difficulty of understanding catalysts at the atomic scale and the large phase space for alloy catalysts. In this talk, I will show how theory and computation can…

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ChE Seminar – “A systems and informatics view towards elucidating and designing complex catalytic chemistries” by Dr. Srinivas Rangarajan (Lehigh University)

02/06/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Michael Baldea ABSTRACT Heterogeneous catalysis is a prominent means to upgrade carbon sources to chemicals and energy carriers. Designing an “optimal” catalyst is an open multi-faceted problem requiring analysis and decision making at multiple levels – from understanding molecular events to elucidating complex reaction mechanisms, identifying suitable catalysts, and optimizing reactor performance. My research, in this context, brings disparate yet complementary computational tools from systems engineering, informatics, and ab initio computational chemistry for detailed modeling and design of…

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ChE Texas Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Seminar – “Stem Cells and Viscoelasticity” by Dr. David Mooney (Harvard University)

02/20/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Adrianne Rosales; Texas Distinguished Faculty Lectureship ABSTRACT There is tremendous interest in the role of substrate stiffness on adherent cell behavior, but most current work ignores that tissues are typically viscoelastic.  We now demonstrate that the rate of stress relaxation has dramatic effects on cell spreading, proliferation and stem cell fate.  To exploit the impact of these properties at the single cell level, a microfluidic-based method for encapsulating single cells in thin layers of hydrogel has been developed. BIOGRAPHY…

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March 2018

ChE Seminar – “Coupling Molecular Design to Structure and Activity of Sequence-Defined Macromolecules” by Dr. Chris Alabi (Cornell University)

03/27/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Benjamin Keith Keitz ABSTRACT Control over primary sequence and structure is critical to the development of new functional materials such as catalysts, synthetic affinity ligands and therapeutics, sequence responsive scaffolds, programmable biomaterials and much more. Motivated by these opportunities and the need for sequence-control and structural diversity in polymer research, we present a versatile methodology for the assembly of a new class of sequence-defined macromolecules called oligoTEAs. With sequence-control in hand, we are currently working to establish sensitive…

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April 2018

ChE Seminar – Paul Hollingsworth Lectureship in Engineering – “The Development of the Membrane Separation Industry” by Dr. Richard Baker (Membrane Technology and Research, Inc.)

04/17/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Benny Freeman; Paul Hollingsworth Lectureship in Engineering ABSTRACT It is now fifty years since the first commercial reverse osmosis plants were installed.  Prior to that membranes had only been used in a few laboratory applications. The total membrane market was then about 20 million dollars per year in today’s dollars. The current membrane industry is in the range of 10 billion dollars per year, and still growing. Membranes are now used to separate drinking water from the sea, nitrogen…

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May 2018

ChE Seminar – “Discovery and Engineering Plant Chemistry for Plant and Human Health” by Dr. Elizabeth Sattely (Stanford University)

05/01/2018 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Host: Dr. Benjamin Keith Keitz ABSTRACT Plants produce an impressive array of molecules important for both plant and human health. The discovery of biosynthetic pathways for plant natural products has classically been a slow process; as a consequence, few complete pathways are known and even fewer have been engineered. New plant genome sequences and synthetic biology tools have opened the door to three transformative research areas under investigation in my lab: 1) Identifying the minimum set of enzymes required to…

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August 2018

7th Annual Texas Soft Matter Meeting

08/17/2018 @ 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

The goal of this one-day meeting is to encourage collaboration among researchers from academia and industry in Texas who work on soft materials, including polymers, colloids, and biomaterials.

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