ChE graduate students receive awards at recent Catalysis Club meetings
Davidson School of Chemical Engineering graduate students Jason Bates, Philip Kester, Arthur Shih, and Juan Carlos Vega-Vila recently took top awards for poster and oral presentations at two annual meetings held at local catalysis clubs of the North American Catalysis Society.
Bates and Kester received the two top student awards during the 39th Michigan Catalysis Society Spring Symposium on May 3.
Bates was awarded the Outstanding Poster Presentation for his presentation, Influence of Confining Environment Polarity on Ethanol Dehydration Catalysis by Lewis Acid Zeolites. Bates earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas, and started in the graduate program at Purdue in 2014. He is advised by Professor Rajamani Gounder. His research is focused on studying how hydrophobic environments in solid acid catalysts can influence reactions that upgrade biomass-derived and shale gas-derived molecules into useful chemicals.
Kester received the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award for his presentation, Ammonia Titration Methods to Quantify Brønsted Acid Sites in Zeolites Substituted with Aluminum and Boron Heteroatoms. Kester earned his undergraduate degree at the Ohio State University, and began his graduate studies at Purdue in 2014. He is advised by Professor Gounder. He currently serves as the Chair of the Student Leadership Council of the NSF Engineering Research Center for the Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR). His research is focused on studying solid acid catalysts for converting light hydrocarbons derived from shale gas into transportation fuels and chemicals.
Shih and Vega-Vila won Outstanding Poster Presentation Awards at the Chicago Catalysis Club 2018 Spring Symposium on May 11.
Shih brought home one of three poster awards given at the CCC Symposium for his presentation, Speciation of Liquid Ion-Exchanged Cu into SSZ-13, ZSM-5, and Beta Zeolites. Shih earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and began his graduate studies at Purdue in 2013. He is advised by Professor Fabio Ribeiro. His primary research focus is on the selective catalytic reduction of NOx with ammonia for diesel engine aftertreatment.
Vega-Vila won another of the three poster awards given at the CCC Symposium for his presentation, Controlled Heteroatom Insertion into Zeolite Framework Vacancy Defects and Catalytic Consequences for Glucose Isomerization. Vega-Vila received his undergraduate degree at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, and began his graduate studies at Purdue in 2014. He is advised by Professor Gounder. His primary research focuses on how structural properties of solid Lewis acids influence catalytic reactions that produce chemicals from biomass.
Learn more about the Purdue University Chemical Engineering graduate program at https://engineering.purdue.edu/ChE/academics/graduate/phd
Pictured above, from left: Philip Kester, Jason Bates, Juan Carlos Vega-Vila, Arthur Shih