2016 Student Awards Ceremony Recap

The Awards Ceremony for the 2016 Student Conference in San Francisco acknowledged notable achievements of AIChE student members, recognizing winners of awards, scholarships, and competitions. 

Award ceremony presenters

  • Douglas Ludlow, Omega Chi Epsilon
  • Wendy Smades, SAChE Past Chair
  • David Murhammer, ChemE Jeopardy Chair
  • June Wispelwey, AIChE Executive Director
  • Greg Stephanopolous, AIChE President
  • Bond Calloway, AIChE President-Elect
  • Ryan Toomey, Chair, Student Chapters Committee

Ryan Toomey, chair of the student chapters committee, opened the event by thanking the sponsors including Chevron, the 2016 Chem-E-Car Competition® and Student Leadership Development Program sponsor; gold sponsor, WPI; bronze sponsor, ANSYS; and bronze sponsor, Wiley.

 He also thanked the ScaleUp Sponsors and pointed out that some would be at the recruitment fair later on Sunday. The ScaleUp program offers a sponsored membership to all undergraduate students taking any chemical engineering course. In addition, Ryan thanked the 2015-16 Executive Student Committee, who just concluded their year of service.

International Student Chapter Leadership Development Travel Grant

Chelsea Monty, chair of the Student Chapters Committee, then introduced seven international student chapter leaders who are also recipients of the International Student Chapter Leadership Development Travel Grant. Travel Grants are awarded through the AIChE Foundation's Doing a World of Good Campaign. These students are:

  • Muhammad Afiq, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia
  • Javeria Ahmed, Dawood University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Laura Aponte, Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Sede Bogotá, Colombia
  • Eloiza Contreras, National Autonomous University of Hondoras, Honduras
  • Stephen Kristiandi, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
  • Madina Rakhimzhanova, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
  • Yan Xu, Xiangtan University, China

Travel Grant awardees

AIChE's Student Paper & Design Competitions

Taking the podium next was Dr. Douglas Ludlow, professor of chemical engineering at the Missouri University of Science & Technology, and president of Omega Chi Epsilon.

Omega Chi Epsilon is the chemical engineering honor society. Founded 82 years ago, the society now has 72 chapters and over 27,000 members. 

Student Paper Competition

Ludlow introduced the nine students whose performance at the spring regional conferences earned the opportunity to compete in this year's Student Paper Competition Finals, which will take place on Monday, November 14 from 8:30-11:30am.

  • Karissa Garcia, Washington State University
  • Yuntao Gu, University of Houston
  • Jennifer Kaczmarek, Auburn University
  • Melissa Kreider, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Eric Lange, Cleveland State University
  • Lu Liu, The University of Iowa
  • Anirudh Nambiar, Pennsylvania State University
  • Julian Vigil, University of New Mexico
  • Andrew Ylitalo, Stanford University

Dr. Ludlow then gave a special thanks to William Pitt, his co-chair for the Student Paper Competition. 

Student Design Competition

Discussing the design competition, Dr. Ludlow described the 2016 competition:

This year’s design competition challenge was titled “Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries: Commercial Manufacturing Facility,” and a team of judges selected the top solutions in both individual and team categories.


The individual category of the A. McLaren White Award for first place goes to Michael Sheperd of Trine University. 

Michael Sheperd, Trine University


In the team category, the William A. Cunningham Award for first place goes to  Rebecca Carlson and Ariel Rose of Michigan State University.

Rebecca Carlson and Ariel Rose, Michigan State University 

SAChE past chair Wendy Smades took the podium to introduce SAChE and its mission to promote process safety education in undergraduate chemical engineering curricula globally. Each year SAChE awards prizes to those whose submissions to AIChE's Student Design Competition best apply appropriate priciples and applications of chemical process safety.

Walter Howard SAChE Design Award

In the individual category, this year’s Walter Howard SAChE Design Award is presented to Rebecca Jacobs of Michigan State University.

Rebecca Jacobs, Michigan State University 

Jack Wehman SAChE Team Design Award

This year's recipients are Abigal Hase, Kyler Hixson and Anndrea Osmus of Oklahoma State University. 

The Ted Ventrone, Ephraim Scheier & Walt Silowska Award

One individual and three teams received this year's Ted Ventrone, Ephraim Scheier & Walk Silowska Award:


  • Michael Sheperd of Trine University


  • Christopher Brown, Devyn Lewis, and David Paulini of The University of Iowa
  • Jennifer Jackemeyer and Amanda Kempher of Trine University
  • Nicholas Cassidy, Caleb Knust and Lucas Krupp of Trine University

Devyn Lewis and Christopher Brown, University of Iowa 

Jennifer Jackemeyer and Amanda Kempher, Trine University

Lucas Krupp, Caleb Knust, Nicholas Cassidy, Trine University

ChemE Jeopardy

Doctor David Murhammer, professor at the University of Iowa and chair of the ChemE Jeopardy Competition, took the stage to announce ChemE Jeopardy winners. This year, first place went to Princeton, second place went to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and third went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To see full coverage of the competition and photos of winners, see coverage here

Executive Director June Wispelwey took the stage to thank volunteers who work behind the scenes to promote and ensure the value of AIChE's student awards, competitions, and scholarship programs. She also discussed AIChE's global expansion, before presenting the ScaleUp Sponsor awards.

Awards from ScaleUp sponsors

Jordan Montgomery of Arizona State University and Mary Holloran of Tulane University were awarded Chevron’s ScaleUp Award for their essay submissions on the biggest contributions that chemical engineers make to ensure process safety within the energy industry.

Mary Holloran of Tulane University and Jordan Montgomery of Arizona State University

Maxwell Maritato of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute received Dow’s ScaleUp Award for an essay submission on what chemical engineers can do to boost the confidence of the general public in chemistry innovations.

Maxwell Maritato, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Jonah Williams of Rutgers University, received UOP’S ScaleUp Award for an essay submission on what source of energy will be the most important in the future and what role chemical engineers can play in making your prediction a reality.  

Jonah Williams, Rutgers University

Youth Council on Sustainable Science and Technology Award

This year's Youth Council on Sustainable Science and Technology (YCOSST) Award was split and bestowed upon both Purdue University’s team for ”Development of Distributed Off-grid Wind Energy System for Rural African Communities” and University of Kentucky’s team for ”A Green Chemistry Approach for Producing Non-Synthetic Pesticide in Under-Developed Regions.” 

University of Kentucky team

This award is presented annually by AIChE's Institute for Sustainability. It recognizes the competing EPA "People, Prosperity and the Planet" P3 team whose project best employs sustainable practices, interdisciplinary collaborations, engineering principles, and youth involvement.

June then introduced AIChE's 2016 president Gregory Stephanopoulos.

John J. McKetta Undergraduate Scholarship

Stephanopoulos took the podium to present the John J. McKetta Scholarship Award, sponsored by The Dekker Foundation.

The scholarship is presented to an incoming senior or junior chemical engineering student planning a career in the chemical process industries. In addition to demonstrated academic excellence, the scholarship nominee must show leadership in AIChE Student Chapter activities and other university activities.

This year’s John J. McKetta Scholarship was being presented to Margaret Covello.

Margaret is a senior studying chemical engineering at the University of Michigan with a minor in international engineering and a minor in business. She has been a part of AIChE since sophomore year and is currently the treasurer of the Michigan Student Chapter. In addition to AIChE she is a secretary of the Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society and vice president of service for the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue a career in the energy industry that will also allow her to work internationally. 

Learn more about this award.


Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer National Scholarship Awards

Greg then recognized the 15 winners of the 2016 Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer National Scholarship Awards. The award of $1,000 is given to chemical engineering students for their outstanding academic achievement and involvement in student chapter activities. The following students were recognized:

  • Drew Biedermann, University of Virginia
  • Cynthia Bukowski, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Yorukcan Erbay, Koc University
  • Alexander George, University of Pennsylvania
  • Romario Jashari, University of South Florida
  • Robert McGill, Clemson University
  • Sean McSherry, Lafayette College
  • Dalton Myas, Oregon State University
  • Anirudh Nambiar, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Danielle Richards, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
  • Piyanka Saha, North Carolina State University
  • Nathan Schuchert, The University of Iowa
  • Rohan Shah, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Patrick Williamson, Oklahoma State University
  • Jackson Bauer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Engineers Without Borders Grant

AIChE's president-elect Bond Calloway then took the stage.

He recognized Oscar Guzman and Tommy Mai of the Illinois Institute of Technology, which was the recipient of AIChE’s Engineers Without Borders Grant, awarded in fall semester of 2015. The grant has provided support for IIT’s program to build composting latrines and education to the community of San Claudio in Nicaragua. Oscar and Tommy are chemical engineering students serving with Engineers Without Borders as chapter president and past-president, respectively. 

Tommy Mai and Oscar Guzman, Illinois Institute of Technology

Calloway also recognized Erin Wynn and Angelica Maiers representing Mississippi State University, which was the recipient of AIChE's Engineers Without Borders Grant, awarded in spring semester of 2016. The grant has provided support for Mississippi State’s program to establish a clean water supply to a rural agricultural community in Zambia. Elizabeth Stafford accepted the award on the behalf of Erin and Angelica, who are ChemE students serving with Engineers Without Borders, Erin as vice-president and Angelica as treasurer. 

The Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award 

Next Calloway recognized the Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award, which is presented to one student in each student chapter for the highest scholastic grade point average during his or her freshman and sophomore years. This year more than 50 students earned the prize. In addition, more than 40 Freshman Recognition Awards winners were acknowledged. Recipients of this award are individuals from a student chapter who have been most active in freshman year.

Ryan then took the stage again to award outstanding student chapters for 2016.

Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor Award

This award recognizes an individual's outstanding service and leadership in guiding the activities of an AIChE student chapter in accordance with AIChE principles. This year's award went to Timothy Raymond from Bucknell University.

Timothy Raymond, Bucknell University

Outstanding Student Chapter Award

This year 23 Chapters received the Outstanding Student Chapter Award. 

  • Brigham Young University
  • Bucknell University
  • Georgia Institute Of Technology
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • National University of Singapore
  • Nazarbayev University
  • New Mexico State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rowan University
  • Suez University
  • The University of Iowa
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín
  • Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • University of Kentucky, Paducah, which has reached the milestone of being an outstanding student chapter for 15 consecutive years and have earned a special plaque here today.
  • University of Michigan
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Virginia
  • VIT University

See photos of all winning chapters

The AIChE/CACHE Mobile Device App Competition invites undergraduate student teams to create an app for a mobile device that is deemed to be useful for an AIChE member. The app that is developed must be able to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone. Two awards of $500 are given. The first award is for the best mobile app overall, and the second is for the best mobile app specifically addressing safety. Each team receives a cash award of $500 for their student chapters. 

Share your congratulations in the comments below!