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Imperial College ChemEng Newsletter

July 2015

Welcome to the July 2015 edition of the Department of Chemical Engineering Newsletter. Please send feedback, content and ideas for future newsletters to

Table of contents

Alumni news
Awards and prizes
News and announcements
Invited plenaries, keynotes and significant appointments
Connect with us on social media
Around the Department

Find all the latest news on our website or via social media. Invite colleagues to join the mailing list for this newsletter.

Alumni news

The Chemical Engineering Class of 1995 gathered with their families in South Kensington to celebrate their 20th anniversary. "Someone said to me that it was like we’d never been apart" said Becky Andrew. "We picked up the conversation as if 20 years had never happened." A full gallery of photos is available on Flickr and on the alumni Facebook page.
Read the full story
Connect with colleagues and alumni on the Department's LinkedIn group.


MEng undergraduates Xin Ying Phang and Zheng Gu have been awarded Old Centralians' Trust Student Activity Awards which recognise their engagement with extra-curricular activities. Read the full story
Chemical Engineering PhD students presented their work in our annual PhD symposium. As ever, the quality of research on display was incredibly high. Read the full story including a list of prize winners and photos
PhD student Clementine Chambon has been awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship to help launch her start-up Oorja, which aims to deliver affordable electricity to rural communities in India. Read the full story
The first tranche of students have arrived for our 2015 Summer School and we are delighted to welcome students from Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Notre Dame. The students are embarking on a programme combining laboratory experiments, a rig-building team exercise, lectures and a unique hands-on pilot plant experience. Full story to follow, in the meantime the latest photos and updates from the group can be found on Facebook.

Awards and prizes

Professor Paul Luckham has been awarded the Sir Eric Rideal Award and Lecture for 2015 by the Society of Chemical Industry. This award recognises and honours an individual who has made a sustained and distinguished contribution to colloid and interface science. Professor Luckham delivered his lecture on at a dedicated mini-symposium organised around him. Find out more including an interview with Professor Luckham
- PhD student Andrew Ewing (supervised by Professor Sergei Kazarian) has been awarded the 2015 Malcolm McIvor CPACT Prize. This prize is awarded annually to a postgraduate student at a CPACT partner university in recognition of that student’s achievement in process analytics and control technologies. The prize will be awarded at the CPACT Research Day in the autumn where Andrew will also deliver a presentation on his research.

- The PhD student–staff committee was short-listed this year for Academic Representation Network Postgraduate Team of the Year during the 2015 Imperial College Union Awards.

- PhD student Bhavish Patel, (supervised by Professor Klaus Hellgardt) was awarded 1st prize for oral presentation at the UK-Mexico Biorefinery Workshop: Promoting international collaboration for innovative and sustainable solutions, held at the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Mexico City in May 2015.

- A paper by Professor Claire Adjiman and Dimitrios Nerantzis was selected as one of the 12 most notable papers, out of 425 papers, published in the proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering held in Copenhagen in June. The full citation for the paper is: Nerantzis, D., Adjiman, C.S., “Deterministic global optimization and transition states”, 12th Int. Symp. On Process Systems Eng. and 25th Eur. Symp. On Comp. Aided Process Eng., Computer-Aided Process Engineering, vol. 37, Part A, Gernaey, K.V., Huusom J.K, Gani, R. (Eds), Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2015, 851-856. Link to paper

Dr Jason Hallett and Dr Agi Brandt-Talbot were finalists for the 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technologies Competition. The team presented their project on 'Lignin separation from cellulose' at the final of the competition which aims to accelerates the commercialisation of the most impactful ideas in healthcare, energy and sustainability, and materials.

- Prizes for oral and poster presentations were awarded at the 2015 Chemical Engineering PhD symposium. Two sets of prizes were awarded for each, one decided by student vote and the second by a panel of judges.
Oral presentation prizes:
Academic and industrial panel: (Adam Hawkes, Roberto Rinaldi, Sreenivas Jayanti (Professor at IIT Madras and invited Distinguished Seminar Speaker), Leslie Bolton (Advisor, Reaction Engineering, BP)):
1st prize: Harkamaljot Kandail
2nd prize: María Fuentes Garí
3rd prize: Andrew Ewing
Student vote:
1st prize: Andreas Nikolaou
2nd prize: Giulia Ferretti
3rd prize: María Fuentes Garí
Poster prizes:
Poster judges: (Cleo Kontoravdi, Ronny Pini, Michael Panagopulos, John Underwood)
Poster prize and a place at the Graduate School Research Symposium: Christine Seifried
Runners up: Clementine Chambon and Roberto Ibarra Hernandez
Student vote:
Poster prize: Christine Seifried
Runner-up: Manuela Nania

News and announcements

Researchers from Professor Andrew Livingston's lab have developed an ultrathin membrane that is both extremely permeable yet very strong. Applications of the membranes include purifying organic mixtures in pharmaceutical, manufacturing and petrochemical industries. The research was published in Science. Read the news release and watch a video interview with Professor Livingston. The study was also covered in a number of news outlets and trade publications.
Women in our Department embraced in Imperial College's celebrations of National Women in Engineering Day (#NWED) by posting photos on social media with a message describing their work. Read the full story and view the stunning array of photos
As part of the College’s new Clean Fossil and Bioenergy Research Group, Professor Nilay Shah, Dr Paul Fennell and Dr Niall Mac Dowell have joined the Energy Technologies Institute’s (ETI) Techno-Economic Assessment of Biomass Pre-processing project, a new academic and industry collaboration studying biomass in a UK context. Read the full story
- A team from the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (Dr Nouri Samsatli, Dr Sheila Samsatli and Professor Nilay Shah) have developed a sophisticated and detailed bioenergy model, the BVCM (Biomass Value Chain Model), for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). This model is being used by the ETI to help drive the successful implementation of bioenergy (energy derived from biological material such as crops) in the UK sector. Find out more.

- Dr Paul Fennell and Dr Niall Mac Dowell were involved in the production of Bridging the gap: improving the economic and policy framework for carbon capture and storage in the European Union, a joint report by the Grantham Research Institute (LSE) and the Grantham Institute.

- Dr João Cabral and Dr Fabrizia Foglia are co-authors of an article published in Nature Communications on perovskite solar cell dynamics, primarily using neutron scattering, which draws on the unique expertise of Chemical Engineering at Imperial and Professor Dame Julia Higgins in particular. 

- PhD student Clara Heuberger has written a blog for the Energy Futures Lab on Combining engineering and economics to understand our future electricity supply.

- Dr Christoph Mazur has written a blog for the Energy Futures Lab on Making city districts work efficiently.

- Professor Omar Matar will be a co-organiser of the EPIC - Enabling Process Innovation through Computation workshop, which will take place at the Banff International Research Station in August 2016

- All employers and recruiters are invited to participate in the QS Global Employer Survey 2015 which will contribute towards the next edition of the QS World University Rankings, the most widely read university comparison of their kind, and the only international rankings that separate out Chemical Engineering as an individual subject. Deadline: 20 July 2015.


The final lecture from our 2015 Distinguished Seminar Series: the Imperial Forum was given by Professor Sreenivas Jayanti from IIT Madras on 29 June 2015 on 'Shape Optimization of Fluid Flow Ducting Using a Shape Function, a Search Method and CFD'. This was the opening lecture of the 2015 PhD Research Symposium and the first Professor Geoff Hewitt Lecture.
The Energy Futures Lab is hosting a high-level panel discussion on Decarbonising Commercial Transport, 16 July 18:00, Sir Alexander Fleming building G34. This is a joint Energy Futures Lab and German Embassy London event, with support from the German Institute for Foreign Relations. Please register in advance if you wish to attend.
- PhD students Clara Heuberger (representing the Centre for Environment Policy) presented a poster on 'Levelised Value of Electricity - A Systemic Approach to Technology Valuation' and Christine Seifried (representing the Department of Chemical Engineering as the winner of our PhD Symposium Poster Prize) presented a poster on 'A challenge for crude oil production: Asphaltene deposition' at the Graduate School Research Symposium. 10:30–17:00, 10 July.

- Chemical Engineering at the interface: Flow-induced structuring of dispersed soft matter, Professor Stefano Guido from University of Napoli “Federico II” and CEINGE Advanced Biotechnologies, Napoli, Italy, 12:00–13:00, 13 July, ACEX 207.

- Non-academic CV workshop. 15:00, 21 July, 2nd floor CSC seminar room (Hammersmith campus) To book a place on this workshop, please sign up on the doodle poll.

- Faculty of Engineering post-docs coffee morning. 10:00–11:00, 22 July, Room 315 Skempton Building (hosted by Civil and Environmental Engineering).

- Imperial College Support Staff Village Fête. 16:00–21:00, 28 July, Queen's Lawn. Registration and further information.

- Professor Omar Matar is organising a workshop on Multiscale methods in fluid flow: from the molecular to the continuum, which will take place at Imperial College in December 2015.


- The Faculty of Engineering’s Bring Your Child to Work Event is on Tuesday 4 August 2015, 9:30–14:00 Queens Tower Rooms. On the day the Department of Chemical Engineering will be hosting a workshop 'Ice-cream from a fire extinguisher' demonstrating how carbon dioxide solidifies into dry ice to create a "dracula-castle" and edible sorbet. Contact Sydney Cunningham to register your interest in attending this event.

- MSc student Qi Chen volunteered at the Lilian Baylis Technology School careers fair on 7 July.

- The Department will be hosting a Summer School for 11–14 year old girls on 24 July.

Invited plenaries, keynotes and significant appointments

- Professor Serafim Kalliadasis was elected to the Fellowship Committee of the American Physical Society-Division of Fluid Dynamics.
- Professor Omar Matar will give a keynote talk on 'Numerical Simulations of Crude-Oil Fouling' at the 2nd International Conference on Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow (HTFF'15) to be held on 20-21 July 2015, Barcelona, Spain.
- Professor Serafim Kalliadasis has been appointed visiting research scholar with the Programme in Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM) and the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Princeton University.
- Dr João Cabral will deliver plenary talks at the 5th International Polymer Symposium, 22-24 November 2015, Kyoto Japan and The 4th International Soft Matter Conference (ISMC2016), 12-16 September 2016, Grenoble, France”
- Professor Omar Matar will give a keynote talk at the 5th International Conference of Bionic Engineering (ICBE2016) in June 2016, Ningbo, China.

Connect with us on social media

Google Plus
- New Chem Eng groups have joined us (@ICChemEng) on Twitter. Be sure to follow @ICL_Electrochem and @imperial_cpse who join @LivingstonLab, @MatarLab, @garbin_lab, @ICChemEngSoc, @OKMatar, , @MarkidesC, @singing_sooz, @PSFennell, @MemphisProgram, @IC_CleanFaB.
See the full list of Imperial and IC Chemical Engineering twitter accounts

- Chemical Engineering Society (ChemEngSoc) also have a number of social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram.
Contact Michael Panagopulos for further advice on setting up and using social media for individuals and groups.

Around the Department

- We are delighted to announce three new arrivals to the world! Many congratulations to: Ben Kistnah and his wife Zara on their new baby daughter Safiyah; Omar Matar and his wife Leila on their new baby son Leo; and Vani Thuvaragan and her husband Thuva on their new baby son Kevan. Warmest wishes to them all!

- The biennial Department of Chemical Engineering dinner for staff and their partners was held on 3rd July 2015 at Skinners’ Hall in the City of London. Attendees were treated to glorious sunshine for the reception in the roof terrace, an exquisite dinner, followed by drinks and dancing. See photos from another wonderful evening.

- Susi Underwood, our Postgraduate Administrator, will be singing at three Proms this summer: Prom 4, Prom 17 and Prom 69. Tickets can be purchased on the day, see Day Promming.

- We welcome the following new members of staff to the Department who started June–July 2015:
Dr Hele Diao (Research Associate), Dr Ruijiao Dong (Research Associate), Mr Calum John McIntosh (Research Assistant), Dr David Nicholas Sibley (Honorary Research Associate), Dr Salman Masoudi Soltani (Research Associate), Dr Michail Stamatakis (Honorary Research Associate), Dr Sophia Zemenides (Research Associate).
We also bid a fond farewell to Dr Mohammadreza Khalesi, Dr Xiaomei Lu, Dr Pedro Javier Saenz Hervias, Dr Ester Forte Serrano, Dr Anastassia Sivena.
Think before you connect: Read these tips for staying secure when working remotely.
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