Department of Chemical Engineering

ChE Seminar Series: "Clear Thinking Becomes Clear Writing" Rodolfo J. Romañach (UPRM)

Rodolfo J. Romañach, from the Department of Chemistry-UPRM will be offering a lecture titled "Clear Thinking Becomes Clear Writing


Date: April 24, 2014

Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Place: INQU 004 - Amphitheater



"Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other. It's impossible for a muddy thinker to write good English.”1  These words helped me realize that the problems that we see in scientific writing are not solely because English is our second language. Writing requires craftsmanship such as an adequate vocabulary, knowledge of how to use verbs, and the use of active or passive sentences. However, writing goes beyond the craft and requires a creative process. The creative process advances thinking. Thus, when a graduate student or professor decides to write later, unfortunately they are also postponing their thinking.


During the past few months, William Zinsser 's book; "On Writing Well", has helped me reflect about my past experiences in writing and coaching students in their writing. The book has helped me see what I have done correctly and my mistakes. I will describe Zinsser's approach and link it to my experiences in working with research proposals, theses, and research manuscripts.



Dr. Romañach is currently Professor of Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 12 years before joining the Chemistry Department in 1999. His research has produced over 30 publications and involves near infrared and Raman spectroscopy, and multivariate methods to assure that Quality Assurance is not an additional cost of manufacturing, but a means for continuous improvement in manufacturing, and an element to increase manufacturing competitiveness.  He was awarded an NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award to expand his research with the acquisition of a Near Infrared Chemical Imaging system. He has played a leading role in making the PAT and Quality by Design (QbD) known with 10 publications describing these initiatives and by organizing the IFPAC Summer Summit on PAT and Quality by Design for the past 9 years and through participation in a number of meetings and continuing education activities attended by industry personnel.   Dr. Romañach is also Adjunct Professor of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy at Purdue University, leads the Sensing project in the NSF Engineering Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (, is currently organizing the 2014 International Diffuse Reflectance Conference in Chambersburg, PA.

Córdova-Figueroa and experimental collaborator's paper appears in Nature Chemistry

Congratulations to Prof. Ubaldo M Córdova-Figueroa and his colleagues from Pennsylvania State University and the Institute of Continuous Media Mechanics in Russia for their contributions in the area of self-powered micropumps in the prestigious Nature Chemistry.

Samudra Sengupta, Debabrata Patra, Isamar Ortiz-Rivera, Arjun Agrawal, Sergey Shklyaev, Krishna K. Dey, Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa, Thomas E. Mallouk & Ayusman Sen.

Published online: 30 March 2014 | See paper here: doi:10.1038/nchem.1895


Self-powered micropumps that are turned on by the presence of their respective substrates are formed from surface-immobilized, ATP-independent enzymes. Coupling substrate-sensing with transport enables the design of devices that deliver cargo in response to specific stimuli. Demonstrated here is the release of insulin at a rate proportional to ambient glucose concentration.

NSF Awards CREST Center Phase II Grant to UPRM

CREST Phase 2 Logo

English Version: On March 17th, 2014 the Research & Development Center (RDC) unit of the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM) received notification of a grant award from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to support Phase II of the UPRM CREST: Nanotechnology Center for Biomedical, Environmental and Sustainability Applications. The grant award was made for $5,000,000/5 years. The Center executive committee members are professors O. Marcelo Suárez (PI, General Engineering), Arturo J. Hernández-Maldonado (Co-PI, Chemical Engineering), Madeline Torres-Lugo (CoPI, Chemical Engineering), Agnes Padovani (CoPI, General Engineering) y Oscar Perales-Pérez (CoPI, General Engineering). More than 20 faculty members of the UPRM, most of them from College of Engineering, will be spearheading the Center’s research and education activities.

Upon completion of Phase I of the Center, which is scheduled to end in August 2014 after a total budget of $5,200,000, Phase 2 represents the largest active NSF grant ever awarded to UPRM.

Versión en Español: El lunes 17 de marzo la Fundación Nacional de Ciencias (NSF por sus siglas en inglés) comunicó al Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo (CID) de la Universidad de Puerto Rico - Mayagüez (UPRM) el otorgamiento de una dádiva de $5,000,000 por cinco años para apoyar la Fase II de UPRM CREST: Centro  de  Nanotecnología  para  Aplicaciones Biomédicas, Ambientales y de Sustentabilidad. El comité ejecutivo del Centro está compuesto por los profesores O. Marcelo Suárez (PI, Ingeniería General), Arturo J. Hernández-Maldonado (Co-PI, Ingeniería Química), Madeline Torres-Lugo (CoPI, Ingeniería Química), Agnes Padovani (CoPI, Ingeniería General) y Oscar Perales-Pérez (CoPI, Ingeniería General). A cargo de las actividades de investigación y educación lo estarán mas de 20 profesores y profesoras de UPRM, en su mayoría del Colegio de Ingeniería.

Luego de la Fase I del Centro que concluye en agosto de 2014, con un presupuesto de $5,200,000, la Fase II representa la dádiva activa más grande otorgada por NSF al UPRM.

NanoDays 2014