Kathleen Stebe is AIChE’s Schowalter Lecturer for 2023 | AIChE

Kathleen Stebe is AIChE’s Schowalter Lecturer for 2023

August 22, 2023

Kathleen J. Stebe, the Goodwin Professor of Applied Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE’s) William R. Schowalter Lecture on November 8 at the 2023 AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida (November 5–10).

Endowed by the AIChE Foundation, the annual lectureship is named for William Schowalter, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University, who is renowned for his pioneering work in fluid mechanics and for his academic leadership. Reflecting Schowalter’s contributions to chemical engineering, the lecture’s subject matter alternates between topics related to fluid mechanics and typically delivered by a speaker from academia, and topics of general interest to the profession and typically presented by a speaker from industry.

In her lecture, entitled “Active Surface Agents: Active Colloids at Fluid-Fluid Interfaces,” Stebe will explain how an understanding of how biological “swimmers” such as bacteria move at fluid interfaces can help researchers to design artificial biomimetic systems, promoting transport at fluid interfaces, and with broad implications in chemical engineering processes.

Kathleen Stebe’s research focuses on directed assembly in soft matter and at fluid interfaces, with an emphasis on confinement, geometry, and emergent structures in far-from-equilibrium settings for the creation of novel functional materials. She is also interested in complex structures that form on fluid interfaces, including protein monolayers and bacterial biofilms, and is also studying particle-laden fluid interfaces and how interactions that arise at interfaces can be used to steer particles into well-defined structures.

Educated at the City College of New York (CCNY), Stebe earned a BA in economics and a PhD in chemical engineering at CCNY’s Levich Institute. After performing post-doctoral work in Compiegne, France, under the guidance of Dominique Barthes-Biesel, Stebe joined the chemical engineering faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where she served as department chair. In addition to her research and teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, she has served as chair of the school’s chemical engineering department chair and as deputy dean.

Stebe has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Radcliffe Institute.

Additional information about the 2023 AIChE Annual Meeting is available at www.aiche.org/annual.

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