Author: Beykal, Burcu

After Semester-Long Development, Student-Created ‘BrewConn’ Beer Debuts with Glowing Reviews

Our two senior design teams advised by Professor Jenn Pascal brewed with Kinsmen Brewing Co. for an exclusive launch event for UConn Brewing Innovation. It was a brew-tastic event last Tuesday with 300+ alumni, faculty, and students attending.

For the past three years, Professor Pascal has been offering a brewing course to allow senior chemical engineering students to apply their knowledge. They gained hands-on experience in brewing beer using homebrew scale equipment and kits. This year, the capstone course expanded, by offering trips to Smokedown Hops Farm in Sharon, Thrall Family Malt in Windsor, and two visits to the Kinsmen Brewing to learn about processing and canning. This has been a great experience both for those planning careers in craft brewing and for those seeking other endeavors, because of the real-world skills they’ve learned. As Professor Pascal has also highlighted: “Many chemical engineers work in the food and beverage industry. Chemical engineers are ‘process’ engineers and brewing beer involves optimizing processes and ways to improve them, all relevant skills in an assortment of industries.’’

Learn more about how Professor Pascal’s course and capstone project are transforming chemical and biomolecular engineering studies with hands-on brewing experience for our seniors on UConn Today.

Dorian Thompson Wins Graduate Student Competition in Sensors at the AIChE Annual Meeting

Dorian ThompsonWarmest congratulations to Dorian Thompson for an outstanding achievement—securing the 3rd place in the Graduate Student Competition in Sensors at the AIChE Annual Meeting! Dorian works on PFAS detection under the advising of Professor Yu Lei.

This win is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our graduate students, driving forward groundbreaking advancements in the field. Here’s to the continued success and impact of our student’s research at the forefront of chemical and biomolecular engineering!

EPA Testing Shows the Power of DIY Air Filters to Trap Viruses

After the EPA released its exciting testing results about the power of D-I-Y air filters, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz took a celebratory photo with 5th graders at Macdonough Elementary School in Middletown, Conn. along with State Sen. Matt Lesser, and researchers from the EPA and UConn’s Indoor Air Quality Initiative.

The UConn Indoor Air Quality Initiative Team which our very own Professor Kristina Wagstrom is a co-investigator in, has just unveiled groundbreaking results from their collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency!

Their findings reveal that DIY air filters (known as ‘Corsi-Rosenthal Boxes’) can remove over 99% of viruses within just one hour. This breakthrough has enormous implications for improving indoor air quality and public health. This research not only advances the field of environmental science but also presents an incredible opportunity to engage students of all ages in meaningful projects that have a tangible impact on their communities.

Professor Wagstrom has also highlighted that “It’s not only a cool, fun thing to build, but it’s something they can actually connect to their everyday lives and helps them connect to how STEM and science and engineering can really help people.”

Read more on UConn Today.

Read more on News 8 Daily News (WTNH).

Shor Nominated for the Research Innovation and Leadership Award

Connecticut Technology Council Women In Innovation Awards
UConn Engineering Leila Daneshmandi, Audrey Larson, Leslie Shor, and Fei Dou at the Connecticut Technology Council Women In Innovation Awards on Oct. 25.

Warmest congratulations to Professor Leslie Shor on her nomination for the Research Innovation and Leadership award in the 8th Annual Women of Innovation Awards led by the Connecticut Technology Council!

Several University of Connecticut women leading STEM, innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives were recognized in a state-wide event last week.

The UConn College of Engineering garnered several awards in the 18th Annual Women of Innovation Awards led by the Connecticut Technology Council held at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven on Oct. 25.

Read more on UConn Today.

1881 Series featuring UConn Brewing Innovation & Student Brewed Can Release

Jennifer Pascal on Sept. 15, 2016.

Our two senior design teams advised by Professor Jenn Pascal are brewing with Kinsmen Brewing Co. for an exclusive launch event for UConn Brewing Innovation. This initiative marks a unique collaboration between UConn students and some of Connecticut’s finest breweries! This is a moment to celebrate the spirit of innovation and community, where the art of brewing meets the science of chemical engineering.

📆 Mark your calendar: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
🕒 Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
📍 Location: Kinsmen Brewing Co., 409 Canal St.Milldale, CT 06467

Join us at the 1881 Series featuring UConn Brewing Innovation & Student Brewed Can Release (Registration link on UConn Foundation Website).

Burkey wins $2.5M NSF S-STEM Grant to Support Students Majoring in Computing, Data Sciences

Dan Burkey PhotoA newly awarded $2.5M National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant—spearheaded by Professor and Associate Dean Daniel Burkey—will support low-income and first-generation students majoring in computing and data science at the University of Connecticut (UConn).

Professor Burkey said UConn will use the grant—titled “Community, Identity, and Competence: Supporting Low-Income Students in Computing and the Data Sciences”—to assist approximately 30 students over the next six years of the grant. Students, who will go through an application and selection process, will be eligible for up to $15,000 per year throughout the entirety of their degree.

S-STEM is a signature program from the NSF that supports low-income and first-generation students with academic ability, talent, or potential to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields. The grant includes scholarship funds as well as a cohort model that provides various programmatic, curricular, and co-curricular activities to ensure that students are well-supported, from matriculation through graduation, and prepared for the workforce or further graduate study. Read more on Engineering News.

UConn Celebrates the Inauguration of Radenka Maric as 17th President

President Radenka Maric
UConn President Radenka Maric poses for a photo during her inauguration in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 29, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

Warmest congratulations to President Radenka Maric, an acclaimed innovator in clean energy technology whose leadership as a vice president helped propel UConn to new heights in research funding, formally inaugurated as the 17th president of the University of Connecticut in a ceremony Friday afternoon at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

President Maric joined UConn’s College of Engineering faculty in 2010 and holds the rank of Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. She is also the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Read more about President’s inauguration on UConn Today.

Guarantees of Optimality: A New Model to Help the Manufacturing Industry Transition to Renewables

Matthew Stuber

Pratt & Whitney Associate Professor in Advanced Systems Engineering Matthew Stuber worked with two undergraduate students and co-lead authors Justin Rastinejad ’22 (ENG) and Sloane Putnam ’22 (ENG) answer this question in their recent paper published in Renewable Energy.

Stuber explains that this research answers a question he has been thinking about for several years now, “How do we start incorporating renewable energy into conventional industrial processes? Is it always worth it? The alternative is to buy energy in the form of fossil fuels, invest in renewables, or generate energy onsite through renewable means.”

Read more about this on UConn Today.

Austin Gelinas & Pranavi Rebala Triumph in Clean Energy & Sustainability Innovation Challenge

Austin Gelinas ’25 (ENG), left, Pranavi Rebala ’25 (CLAS) present their research on an iterative approach to renewable energy transition during “The Sustainable Clean Energy Summit: Decarbonizing Society and the Grid” at the Student Union Theater on Oct. 4, 2023. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Warmest congratulations to Austin Gelinas and Pranavi Rebala, two brilliant undergraduate students from Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and College of Liberal Arts, respectively, who emerged as champions in the Clean Energy & Sustainability Innovation Challenge! They not only took the lead among six outstanding teams but also presented an ingenious strategy to reduce New England’s heavy reliance on natural gas.

Austin and Pranavi’s visionary approach demonstrates the incredible potential for positive change. Their two-part strategy not only sets a precedent for sustainable energy but also highlights the pivotal role UConn can play in this endeavor.

Read more on their Winning Project “Enhancing Connecticut’s Green Economy: Comprehensive Short and Long-Term Approach to Renewable Energy Transition” and the event on UConn Today.