STS AICHE 2020 Annual Awards

South Texas Section – AIChE


2020 Annual Awards

The Thursday September 30 STS – AIChE Monthly Dinner Meeting at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square Hotel located at 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land, Texas in connection with the 13th AIChE Southwest Process Technology Conference, September 30 - October 1, 2021 severed as a venue for presented three (3) of the four (4) Annual Awards and one (1) Special Service Award.  The other Annual Award will be presented later in the year or early next year.   

South Texas Section -- AIChE

2020 Best Papers Judging Team

The 2020 South Texas Section – AIChE Best Papers competition received four (4) Applied Papers, four (4) Fundamental Papers, and no (0) In-Practice Papers.  The Best Papers Judging Committee was chaired by Matt Christensen with Ryan Stephens serving as Co-Chair (both of Shell) and was composed of the following Members (All of Shell):

Umang Agarwal                                      Vishal Ahuja

Evalyn Alayon                                        Benjamin Anger

Julian Barnes                                         Roy van den Berg

Steffen Berg                                           Tom Bos

Cristin Bruce                                          Dann de Kort

Michael Golombok                      

Venkateswaraswamy Gomatham

Heather Gower                                       Julien Granger

Vijay Gupta                                            Sandeep Jain

Rikesh Joshi                                          Sean Legg

Shantanu Maheshwari                            Vishal Metri

Joost Smits                                            Johan den Breejen

Marco Verlaan                                        Sipke Wadman


The South Texas Section – AIChE wishes to extend its deepest appreciation and thanks for contributing of the 2020 STS -- AIChE Best Papers Judging Team Members’ time talents, efforts, and a job well done. 

South Texas Section -- AIChE

2020 Best Applied Paper Award

The 2020 South Texas Section – AIChE’s Best Applied Paper was titled “Compression stiffening of fibrous networks with stiff inclusions” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 117, 17 August 2020, pp. 21037-21044 and was authored by Jordan L. Shivers, Jingchen Feng, Anne S. G. van Oosten, Herbert Levine, Paul A. Janmey, & Fred C. MacKintosh.

South Texas Section -- AIChE

2020 Best Fundamental Paper Award

The 2020 South Texas Section – AIChE’s Best Fundamental Paper was titled “Critical Role of Confinement in the NMR Surface Relaxation and Diffusion of n‑Heptane in a Polymer Matrix Revealed by MD Simulations” published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2020, Vol. 124, April 8, 2020, pp. 3801−3810 and was authored by Arjun Valiya Parambathu, Philip M. Singer, George J. Hirasaki, Walter G. Chapman, & Dilipkumar Asthagiri.

Alan P. Rossiter

2020 South Texas Section - AIChE

Special Service Award Recipient

Alan Rossiter has been instrumental in the direction and arranging of the Southwest Process Technology Conference and the South Texas Section – AIChE wishes to recognize him for his efforts over the years.

Babak Rafienia

2020 South Texas Section - AIChE

Outstanding Young Professional

Award Recipient

Babak Rafienia has a BSChE from Shiraz University, Iran and an MSChE from Lamar University.  An AIChE Senior Member, he has been employed by AMACS Process Tower Internals since 2014 and is currently a        Mass Transfer Technology Manager.  Babak has served the South Texas Section – AIChE as a member of the Executive Committee (Continuing Education from 2019-2020) organizing the Monthly Dinner Meeting technical workshops and also collaborated with the STS – AIChE Chair in inviting Dinner Speakers.  He also served as a judge on several SPTC Best Technical Presentation Award committees.  Babak also presented technical seminars on distillation and separation for La and TX AIChE Local Chapters and YP groups.

Babak has served as the Secretary of the AIChE Management Division from 2019 to 2020 and currently serves as a Director of the AIChE Management Division from 2021 to 2023.  He is a recipient of the 2020 AIChE’s 35 Under 35 Award for Leadership.

Barak is a Member of Houston Gas Processing Association (HGPA) and AMACS Member and Technical Representative at Fractionation Research Incorporated (FRI)