Department of Chemical Engineering

ChE Seminar Series: "Developing Pathways for the Sustainable Production of Fuels and Chemicals" Thomas Jaramillo (Stanford University)

Dr. Thomas F. Jaramillo, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, will be offering a lecture titled "Developing Pathways for the Sustainable Production of Fuels and Chemicals".

Date: April 21st, 2015

Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Place: INQU 004 - Amphitheater


This talk will describe recent efforts to develop new, sustainable pathways to the same kinds of fuels and chemicals that are conventionally derived from fossil resources. Technology in this area has tremendous potential to curb CO2 emissions and to provide clean energy for all. The talk will focus on two particular areas of sustainable technology development in this light: (1) Solar water-splitting for the direct, renewable production of H2, and (2) CO2 electrolysis to convert CO2 into carbon-based fuels and chemicals using renewable electricity as input.

In particular, this talk begin by describing research efforts to develop H2 evolution catalysts that are active, stable, and comprised of only earth-abundant elements.1-3 Next, we will describe recent efforts to integrate these catalysts onto semiconductor surfaces to provide corrosion protection as well as enhanced interfacial catalysis for PEC water-splitting.4The talk will then focus on electrocatalyst development for CO2 conversion to fuels and chemicals.5-7 Based on advanced methods that we have developed to identify and quantify reaction products, we characterize a wide range of catalyst surfaces for CO2 electrolysis and establish a framework for describing their catalytic activity and selectivity to hydrocarbons and alcohols.


Thomas Francisco Jaramillo is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. A native of Puerto Rico, Prof. Jaramillo first came to Stanford University to pursue his B.S. in Chemical Engineering, followed by graduate school at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Prof. Jaramillo then conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Physics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as a Hans Christian Ørsted Post-doctoral Fellow prior to returning to Stanford to embark on his independent research career.

Prof. Jaramillo's research efforts are aimed at developing materials and processes that can accelerate important chemical transformations related to energy conversion with improved efficiency and durability. The overarching theme is the development of cost-effective, clean energy technologies that can benefit societal and economic growth while minimizing impacts to the environment. In pursuit of these goals, Prof. Jaramillo conducts fundamental studies into semiconductors and catalyst materials to understand the physical and chemical factors that govern their performance, insights which he then leverages to engineer improved materials and devices for sustainable energy.

Prof. Jaramillo has won a number of awards for his efforts, including the Resonate Award from the Resnick Institute (2014), the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers (PECASE, 2011), the U.S. Dept. of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Program Research & Development Award (2011), the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2011), and the Mohr-Davidow Ventures (MDV) Innovator Award (2009).

ChE Seminar Series: "Process Simulators in Chemical Engineering" Julio Briano (UPRM)

Dr. Julio G. Briano, from the Department of Chemical Engineering -UPRM, will be offering a lecture titled "Process Simulators in Chemical Engineering".

Date: March 24, 2015

Time: 10:30 am – 11:00 am

Place: INQU 004 - Amphitheater

This presentation will cover an overview of the use of Process Simulation in Chemical Engineering.  Through this talk, the participant will become familiar with: (1) the structure of modern simulators, (2) the models to characterize physical properties of conventional and unconventional (i.e. petroleum fractions, electrolyte systems, solids with psd, etc.) components, and (3) the modeling of units such as chemical reactors, separation columns, heat exchangers, etc..
In addition, we will discuss convergence problems due to recycling streams, optimization techniques and the way that Aspen Plus and Hysys deal with process dynamics and control.
The new Aspen Process Economic Analyzer (APEA) which is currently the most advanced program of this kind will be used to transform a simplified process into a realistic design.
Organizes: AEGIQ (Asociación de Estudiantes Graduados de Ingeniería Química)
Nota adicional: habrá pizza!

NSF funds REU site in Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials at UPRM

National Science Fundation (NSF) has awarded the proposed REU site in Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials at UPRM.   Congratulations to the PIs, Dr. Ubaldo M. Córdova-Figueroa and Dr. Patricia Ortiz-Bermúdez.

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials (RMSM) at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM) will fund 10 undergraduate students for a 10-week summer research and educational experience. Students will be recruited primarily from schools that cannot provide them with opportunities for STEM research and will focus on promoting a vibrant, top-notch research culture by showcasing meritorious local scientists while strengthening partnerships with world-class research institutions. REU programs, in general, are designed to advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning through hands on research and educational experiences for undergraduates. The RMSM REU program will continue fostering this legacy and will help students to strengthen their scientific communication skills through a series of seminars that focus on professional development. They will have the opportunity to learn a second language and immerse themselves in a different culture, while taking advantage of the beautiful scenery of Puerto Rico. Finally, the participants will help to broaden dissemination to the next generation of researchers through participation in the UPRM Science on Wheels program and “Ciencia Puerto Rico” website.

The RMSM REU will contribute to the pool of underrepresented scientists, inspiring young students to enter disciplines with transformative potential, such as finding methods to develop smart soft materials for new consumer products and biomedical applications. Students will conduct individual research projects in the development and characterization of soft materials and their ability to respond away from equilibrium. Knowledge in this area will open doors in a broad range of scientific disciplines, which encompass the major challenges in the development of novel materials. The chosen projects are relevant to ongoing research at UPRM yet were selected because they were suitable for REU participant to make unique contributions during a summer session.

Madeline Torres-Lugo To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Madeline Torres-Lugo, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical Engineering, UPRM, Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Torres-Lugo was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For exceptional contributions to nanoscale drug delivery systems and cellular response to novel therapeutics.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. The most accomplished and distinguished engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs, comprise the College of Fellows.

AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research, and innovation. AIMBE Fellows have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation and many also are members of the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

A formal induction ceremony will be held during AIMBE’s 2015 Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, DC on March 16, 2015. Dr. Torres-Lugo will be inducted along with 150 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2015. For more information about the AIMBE Annual Meet, please visit

AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence in, and advocate for, the fields of medical and biological engineering in order to advance society. Since 1991, AIMBE‘s College of Fellows has lead the way for technological growth and advancement in the fields of medical and biological engineering. Fellows have helped revolutionize medicine and related fields in order to enhance and extend the lives of people all over the world. They have also successfully advocated for public policies that have enabled researchers and business-makers to further the interests of engineers, teachers, scientists, clinical practitioners, and ultimately, patients.

For questions regarding the College of Fellows and AIMBE, please contact Milan P. Yager, AIMBE Executive Director at, or call the AIMBE office at 202-496-9660.


American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering:
Providing Leadership & Advocacy for Medical and Biological Engineering for the Benefit of Society