Monicka Kullappan, John Chen Fellow 2022-2023

Monicka received her B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from Pondicherry Engineering College in 2014, she received a “Best outgoing student” award from her university and also received a Silver medal for securing the second rank in her university. Following this she pursued her masters in Petroleum refining and Petrochemicals from A.C.Tech, Anna University, India. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. As a John Chen Research Fellow in the group of Prof. Manoj Chaudhury, she made significant contributions in the fields of water purification technology, electrochemistry and turbulence hydrodynamics.

John Sakizadeh, John Chen Fellow 2021-2022

John received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2017 and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. As a John Chen Research Fellow, he worked under the guidance of Prof. Steve McIntosh during which he developed biogenic pathways for producing nanoscale photocatalysts with the goal of improving the sustainability and scalability of nanoparticle synthesis. Additionally, John received the Rossin Doctoral Fellowship during his time at Lehigh. After receiving his doctorate, he began a postdoctoral research position at Princeton University working with Prof. Michael Hecht.

Christopher Rzepa, John Chen Fellow 2021-2022

Christopher earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Minor: Math) at Penn State University-University Park, and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. Advised by Prof. Srinivas Rangarajan, and co-advised by Prof. Jeetain Mittal, he was recognized as a John C. Chen Research Fellow for his work in understanding the role of confinement in zeolite catalysis by using a combination of Density Functional Theory and Machine Learning. In addition to this recognition, Christopher was awarded the Leonard A. Wenzel award, the Kokes award, and placing highly among several poster competitions.  Upon graduating, he began his career at Air Products and Chemicals within their PhD Career Development Program.

John McGlynn, John Chen Fellow 2021-2022

John received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 2017. While at Penn State, he participated in research on protein fouling of membranes used in pharmaceutical manufacture under Professor Andrew Zydney. John then joined Lehigh University’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering where he worked in Prof. Kelly Schultz’s lab. John’s work focuses on understanding how human mesenchymal stem cells encapsulated in an implantable hydrogel remodel their surroundings. His work has applications in accelerated wound repair and tissue regeneration. While at Lehigh, he was awarded the Leonard A. Wenzel award, the Kenneth Earhardt Award and is a P.C. Rossin Doctoral Fellow. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Daniyal Kiani, John Chen Fellow 2020-2021

Daniyal received his B.S. in chemistry from Georgetown University, DC, USA in 2017 and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Lehigh University under the guidance of Prof. Jonas Baltrusaitis in 2021. For his dissertation project, he worked on synthesizing, characterizing (in-situ, operando), computationally modelling (DFT), and testing tungsten oxide-based catalysts for the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) to generate direct structure-function relationships. Besides his dissertation project, he has also studied catalytic ethylene dimerization/oligomerization over heterogenized ammine-molecular catalysts, dry methane reformation via DBD-plasma activation, and nutrient recovery via struvite crystallization from wastewater. Daniyal was awarded the Leonard A. Wenzel award and the P.C. Rossin Doctoral fellowship during his doctoral tenure. He also served as the student representative to the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan NY (NYCS) during 2020-2021. Daniyal now works as the Catalyst Measurement Technical Specialist in the emissions solutions division of Cummins Inc.

Huijie Tian, John Chen Fellow 2019-2020

Huijie got his BS from Univ. Science and Technology of China. He then obtained an MS from the Illinois Institute of Technology. His PhD at Lehigh was at the intersection of machine learning, optimization, and catalytic modeling under the guidance of Prof. Srinivas Rangarajan. As a John Chen Fellow, Huijie developed new mathematical methods that leverage novel machine learning and optimization methods to harness experimental and computational data to build detailed and accurate mathematical models of catalytic processes. He plans to defend in Dec 2021 and will soon after take up a Data Scientist position at a health startup in Boston, MA.

Gregory Dignon, John Chen Fellow 2018-2019

Greg received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2015 and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. As a John Chen Research Fellow in the group of Prof. Jeetain Mittal, he made large contributions to the understanding of liquid-liquid phase separation of disordered proteins. Greg was awarded the Leonard A. Wenzel award and Chevron scholarship during his doctoral tenure at Lehigh. After graduating, he started a postdoc position in the lab of Ken Dill at Stony Brook University, and is pursuing a career as a professor.

Leah Spangler, John Chen Fellow 2017-2018

Leah received a BS/MS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 2013 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University under the guidance of Prof. Steven McIntosh in 2018. As one of the inaugural John Chen Fellows, she studied the single enzyme biomineralization of semiconductor nanocrystals for biomedical and energy applications. She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Prof. Gregory Scholes group in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University, as well as a Writing in Science and Engineering Postdoctoral Fellow as part of the Princeton University Writing Center. She recently accepted an Assistant Professor position for Fall 2022 at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Her research interests include the engineering of de novo proteins with enzymatic activity for application in scalable biomaterial synthesis and energy production. She is also interested in using time resolved spectroscopy to elucidate the photophysical mechanisms of newly discovered light absorbance and energy transfer in supramolecular protein systems. Leah plans to start her research group at VCU that will investigate the engineering of protein biomaterials for energy applications and more.

William Tiafan, John Chen Fellow 2017-2018

William earned his B.S. degree in 2013 from Chemical Engineering from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia. Prior to starting his PhD program, he completed a MS program from Cal. He started a PhD program at Lehigh University under the guidance of Prof. Jonas Baltrusaitis studying the complex reaction mechanism of ethanol conversion to 1,3-butadiene over MgO/SiO2 catalysts. After completing his PhD in 2018, William took a position as a research engineer in Platinum Resins Indonesia, a company specializing in performance polymer materials for coating and lubricants with emphasis on environmentally-benign applications. In 2018, he also started a startup which develops computerized, electrified minimobility that has since raised over $100 million of funding from VCs and private investors.