MIT’s Patrick Doyle Is AIChE’s Alpha Chi Sigma Award Recipient for 2022

Dr. Patrick S. Doyle (MIT), recipient of the 2022 Alpha Chi Sigma Award.

ChEnected is introducing readers to the recipients of AIChE’s 2022 Institute and Board of Directors’ Awards, AIChE’s highest honors. Recipients are nominated by the chemical engineering community and voted upon by the members of AIChE’s volunteer-led Awards Committee. The Board of Directors’ Award honorees are nominated by the community and selected by AIChE’s Executive Committee. 

The Alpha Chi Sigma Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied chemical engineering research, and is sponsored by the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation and the Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity. 

The recipient of the 2022 Alpha Chi Sigma Award is Dr. Patrick S. Doyle, the Robert T. Haslam (1911) Professor and Graduate Officer of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies (MIT). Doyle is being recognized for the invention of new microfluidic approaches to synthesize and manipulate soft matter, including flow lithography to create highly encoded microparticles and advanced materials. His field-transforming work involving microfluidic approaches to particle synthesis is enabling the large-scale generation of particles with previously unimagined functionality.

Dr. Doyle and the other Institute and Board of Directors’ Award recipients will be honored at the 2022 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 13–18 in Phoenix, Arizona.

I have always found joy in the pursuit of fundamental research. Sharing that excitement of new discoveries with my students is a highlight of my job.”

About Patrick Doyle 

As a leader in microfluidics, Doyle has shown how fluid flow at the microscale can be used to design new processes to synthesize and study soft matter. His unique approach combines modeling and experimental expertise to study problems in microfluidics, DNA polymer physics, and microparticle engineering.

Dr. Doyle is a co-founder of Firefly Bioworks and Motif Micro. He earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and his MS and PhD at Stanford University.

His previous honors have included an NSF CAREER Award, a Pioneers of Miniaturization Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He has also been recognized by MIT’s Chemical Engineering Department for undergraduate teaching with the C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Faculty Award.

In receiving the Alpha Chi Sigma Award, Doyle emphasized that – alongside enjoying the sense of discovery gained through his research – his role as a teacher and mentor have brought him great satisfaction.

“In my career, I have always found joy in the pursuit of fundamental research,”says Doyle. “Sharing that excitement of new discoveries with my students is a highlight of my job. The challenge lies in recognizing that you have made a particular discovery and then figuring out what to do with this gained knowledge.”

He goes on to say, “Discovery requires the ability to push outside the conventional boundaries of a field. It requires taking risks. The next step involves answering the question well-familiar to my students: ‘Now, so what?’ Our chemical engineering training provides the ideal background to answer this question and to carry out impactful translational research. What I love most about the job is working with extremely talented students who engage with the research in novel and creative ways.”

This fall, ChEnected is presenting profiles of all the 2022 Institute and Board of Directors’ Award recipients. Visit ChEnected regularly to meet this year’s honorees.