Tag Archives: Award

Sashank recieves Kokes award to attend NAM25 along with four other group members

2017 NAM25 Kokes Award Winners
For his work on "Balancing the Site Requirements for Hydrodeoxygenation of Bio-oil over Mixed Molybdenum Oxy-carbide Phases", Sashank Kasiraju received the prestigious Richard J. Kokes Award from the North American Catalysis Society. This award supported his travel to the 25th North American Meeting in Denver, CO, where he and the other winners enjoyed exclusive access to and meetings with leading researchers in the field of catalysis. Sashank's project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and aims to improve catalysts for the upgrade of biomass to fuels by learning from similar processes, i.e., hydrodesulfurization, for which large-scale industrial processes already exist. Read more about Sashank and the other two award winners from our department (Wendy Lang and Wei Qin) in the College of Engineering News.

Alongside Sashank, our group had a strong representation at NAM25 with additional oral presentations given by Dr. Shengguang Wang, Dr. Juan Manuel Arce Ramos, Yuying Song, and two posters by Hari Thirumalai.

Karun Kumar Rao is selected as NASA Space Technology Research Fellow

Yes, our group is now doing rocket science! Our first year graduate student Karun Kumar Rao received a prestigious and highly competitive Space Technology Research Fellowship from NASA to conduct research on solid state electrolytes for lithium ion batteries. His computational research in our group is complemented with experimental work in the lab of our collaborator Prof. Yan Yao. Congratulations to Karun and we are all looking forward to the exiting results to come! For the full story and interviews with Karun, please visit:
University of Houston News
Cullen College of Engineering News
This Week@UH (Video)

Oral Presentation and Best Poster Award at the 2016 OChEGS Symposium

As one of three students presenting in the area of Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Sashank Kasiraju gave an excellent talk on "The nature of the active site of MoO3 for biomass hydrotreating, and ways to improve it" at the 2016 Annual Symposium organized by our UH Chemical Engineering Graduate Students (OChEGS). This event is our annual showcase of the best ongoing research projects and it is attended by a wide variety of industry representatives.

Another highlight of the event is the poster session, in which Quan Do (2nd from left) was recognized with one of four poster awards. Quan's poster was titled "Theoretical and Experimental Exploration of Non-Oxidative Methane Upgrade using Metal Hydrides as Hydrogen Storage Materials".

Finally, high school student Cindy Mai, who visited our group during Summer 2016 as participant of the ACS Project SEED Program also presented a poster on her summer research project. Her work on "Exploring the power of single atom alloys for breaking the nitrogen triple bond" was also mentored by Quan Do.

We congratulate everyone who was recognized at this event and we are looking forward to next year!

2016 Colt Refining Student Award for Yuying Song

Congratulations to graduate student Yuying Song, who was selected by the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) as the winner of the 2016 Colt Refining Student Award!! This award honors Yuying's contributions to the computational design of bimetallic catalysts for new applications in the areas of low temperature emission control and biomass upgrade. Notably, Yuying has shown that Copper in a Palladium/Copper alloy shows increased reactivity for the dehydrogenation of alcohols to aldehydes, while maintaining little (or no) activity for the undesired decarbonylation side reaction. These findings were included in a recent JACS publication from our group. Her current work focuses on the design of coinage metal alloys for low temperature oxidation catalysts. More...

Samantha Bryant and Manuel Rojas receive UH PURS awards!

We congratulate Samantha Bryant and Manuel Rojas for being selected for a Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS). With support through the University of Houston Office of Undergraduate Research Samantha will continue to work under the mentorship of Juan Manuel Arce Ramos and study the hydrodeoxygenation pathways of phenol on palladium catalysts. The process is relevant to the upgrade of sustainably grown biomass to biofuels and chemicals. Her research experience allows Samantha to develop her independent research skills and prepare her for her goal of entering a competitive PhD program after graduating from UH. Manuel receives his from the Engineering Undergraduate Research Scholarship (EURS) program and studies nitrogen activation on isolated metal sites, known as single atom alloys. Manuel's project is related to the Haber-Bosch process - a process that produces ammonia needed for the manufacture of fertilizer, but that also consumes more than 2% of the world's energy consumption. Improvements to nitrogen activation during the ammonia synthesis process can lower the energy requirements and contribute to securing access to food.

2nd Place at Vizapalooza 2016

The UH Center for Advanced Computing & Data Systems (CACDS) held its 2nd Vizapalooza, a data visualization contest aimed to promote research synergy at UH. Our postdoc Hieu Doan entered with an image illustrating the electron density during methane activation and won the public vote for 2nd place! His award comes with an iPad Mini and sponsorship to attend the The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, SC16, in Salt Lake City, UT. Another postdoc from our group, Juan Manuel Arce Ramos, submitted a short movie showing propane activation on zirconia, but his contribution was unfortunately not selected for an award. Overall, it was a fun event and we're looking forward to competing next year again!

Quan Do wins Best Poster Award at the 2016 Southwest Catalysis Society (SWCS) Symposium

2016 SWCS Best Poster Award Quan Do
We congratulate 2nd year graduate student Quan Do (far left in the picture) for winning a SWCS Best Poster Award! Quan's poster was titled "Catalytic Dehydrogenation of Methane using Transition Metals as Hydrogen Storage Materials" and described his combined theoretical and experimental approach to discover novel processes for methane upgrade. The project is financially supported by a NSF CAREER Award. The SWCS spring symposium was hosted at the University of Houston and was attended by over 160 engineers, researchers and scientists from academia and industry. Read more in the Cullen College of Engineering News.

Juan Arevalo selected for SURF

To continue his work on optimizing bimetallic catalysts for the simultaneous oxidation of carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide, Juan Arevalo receives a University of Houston Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). The financial support allows him to conduct full time research during the summer. Juan is mentored by Yuying Song to work towards his goal of discovering better oxidation catalysts to treat low temperature diesel engine emissions.

Sashank receives AIChE CRE Travel Award to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City

Sashank Kasiraju has been selected as recipient of one of the AIChE CRE travel awards this year. The award includes a $400 check and a ticket to the CRE Division Dinner. Congratulations!
Sashank will present his PhD research at this year's AIChE conference in Salt Lake City in the session "Rational Catalyst Design II" on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 1:30 pm. The talk is titled "Towards Common Design Principles Between Hydrotreating Catalysts: A DFT Investigation of Furan Hydrodeoxygenation on Pure and Cobalt-Promoted MoO3(010) and RuO2(110)" and the abstract can be found here. More about his research goals and Sashank's path to chemical engineering is available in our college news section.

Article on CO oxidation over gold catalysts receives Best Fundamental Paper Award from the AIChE South Texas Section

AIChE-STS Best Fundamental Paper Award
The South Texas Section (STS) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) selected our paper "The critical role of water at the gold-titania interface in catalytic CO oxidation" for the Best Fundamental Paper Award 2014. Hieu Doan and Lars Grabow accepted the award on behalf of all co-authors, which include Johnny Saavedra, Chris Pursell and Bert Chandler, at the monthly AIChE-STS dinner meeting in Galveston, TX. More...