Month: July 2012

Audax’s Koda appoints CHEG Alumnus as President and Chief Excecutive Officer

Bergonzi-3Effective August 1st, 2012, UConn Chemical Engineering graduate Frank Bergonzi (1983) will take on the role of President and Chief Executive Officer at Koda Distribution Group.  Koda, a portfolio company of Audax Group, is a leader in the distribution of specialty chemicals used in paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, dyes, construction, and personal care applications. Previous to this appointment, Mr. Bergonzi was the Director of Corporate Distribution at BASF, one of the leading chemical producers. Beyond this experience Mr. Bergonzi brings the benefits and skills of 29 years in the chemicals industry and many management positions within Fortune 100 companies. Click here for more information on Mr. Bergonzi or the Koda Distribution Group.

CHEG Welcomes New Faculty Member

Wagstrom_squareThe Chemical Engineering Program is pleased to announce the addition of Kristina Wagstrom to the ranks of its faculty.  Beginning this fall, Dr. Wagstrom will join the program as Assistant Professor. In addition to this new role, Dr. Wagstrom will be spending the next year as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow within the Environmental Protection Agency, as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Program. This program provides opportunities for scientists and engineers to engage in the policymaking process on a federal level. Kristina will be working to evaluate the current state of the science as it relates to air pollution and climate policy and participate in activities to determine funding priorities for EPA to encourage research in areas aimed at filling the gaps in our current knowledge.
Dr. Wagstrom joins the department and embarks on this fellowship following a term as Civil Engineering Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Minnesota (2009-2012). Previous to this, Dr. Wagstrom received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009. Her current research focuses on improvements and novel applications of modeling to understand the impacts of air pollution to human health. Further information on Dr. Wagstrom can be found here.

Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Receives Prestigious Internship at the ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories

Koehle_MauraMaura Koehle, a second year Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Ashish Mhadeshwar’s research group, has received a prestigious summer internship at the ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories in Clinton, NJ to conduct Catalysis and Reaction Engineering research. The goal of ExxonMobil Process Research (EMPR) is to develop innovative technologies for clean-burning gasoline and diesel, to find innovative ways to make refineries increasingly environmentally friendly, and to expand the production capabilities of the company to meet the growing demand for energy worldwide.

In 2011, Maura received the Kokes Award for the 22nd North American Catalysis Society (NACS) meeting in Detroit, MI. The Richard J. Kokes Travel Award program of NACS aims to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to attend and participate in this biennial conference. She presented her research on “Microkinetic analysis of sustainable hydrogen production from catalytic reforming of biomass-derived oxygenates”.
Maura was also accorded an Honorable Mention from NSF for her application to the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Through this program, she gets enhanced access to cyber-infrastructure resources, including supercomputing time, through the TeraGrid.
Maura was also selected for the US Department of Education’s GAANN program during the 2010/2011 academic year to conduct research on sustainable energy technologies.
Finally, Maura was selected for the NSF GK-12 fellowship during the 2011/2012 academic year. As a teaching fellow, she worked closely with teachers in the State of Connecticut High School System to organize engaging, hands-on projects to convey fundamental engineering concepts, with a focus on the issues of sustainable design, efficiency, and conservation.

Board of Trustees Honors Laurencin with Title of University Professor

Laurencin_cato_profileThe University’s Board of Trustees voted recently to bestow upon Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, the distinguished title of University Professor. This honor is reserved for scholars who are widely recognized for contributions in their respective fields.

Laurencin is a prominent orthopaedic surgeon, bioengineering expert, administrator, and professor. He is a member of both the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Laurencin recently transitioned from his role as vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine to chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS).

In addition, he continues to lead the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, holds the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery, and sees patients through his orthopaedic surgery practice.