Engineering a Good Cup of Coffee | AIChE

Engineering a Good Cup of Coffee

Thursday, March 10, 2022,
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Virtual / Online

Joseph Woo, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and biomolecular Engineering, Lafayette College, will be our March speaker for the 2021/2022 Mid-Michigan AIChE Seminar Series on the topic:


Engineering a Good Cup of Coffee 


Thursday March 10th from 12 noon to 1:00 pm


The lecture qualifies for one continuing education hour. CEH certificates are needed for licensed Professional Engineers to maintain their license and certificates will be provided to interested attendees.



Coffee has a ubiquitous and unique role in our society, acting as an essential part of the daily routine of millions of people around the world. While some tend to think of it merely as a vehicle for caffeine, coffee is also a highly-traded commodity crop and the basis of a finely-calibrated culinary subfield, which draws on myriad chemical engineering approaches to generate wildly different sensory experiences. Roasting beans imparts a wide range of chemical reactions that depend on the rate and extent to which the beans are roasted. Similarly, the methods in which coffee is extracted from beans can change the ratios and amounts of specific flavor compounds that make it to a final beverage. The production and refinement of a desirable cup of coffee, therefore, applies engineering design principles in a personal and subjective context, in which the development of one’s preferences for flavor drives the necessary operating parameters for preparation. This talk will explore the parallels between coffee production and more traditional chemical engineering concepts, different roasting/extraction methods, and the means in which coffee is quantitatively and qualitatively assessed.


Joe's Bio:

Joseph L. Woo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lafayette College, in Easton, PA. Having received his BS, MS, and PhD from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University, Dr. Woo’s research focuses on the characterization and modeling of physical properties of aqueous aerosols, and their subsequent effects on condensed-phase chemistry. Dr. Woo has a wide range of teaching expertise, having taught courses ranging from first-year writing seminars to upperclassmen atmospheric engineering lectures to senior chemical engineering capstone design. Dr. Woo is a member of and holds active committee positions in the American Geophysical Union Atmospheric Sciences Section and the American Association for Aerosol Research.