Over 40 students showcased their research

Lehigh’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department (ChBE) held their 9th Annual Student Research Symposium with 40 graduate students showcasing their research within the topics of functional materials and nanotechnology; energy and the environment; biomolecular science and therapeutic; colloids, emulsions, and interfacial science; computations, systems, and machine learnings. As part of their award honors, the 5 undergraduate summer 2023 Alumni Experiential Learning Award winners were also invited to partipcate in the event: Lauryn Holgado '24, Sebastian Zelaya '24, Meghan O'Brien '25, Teja Patrice '25, and Chiwon Yu '26.

The 2-day event kicked off with an evening reception. Sympoisum student chairs, Myeongyeon Lee and Kainan Feng, both PhD candidates, welcomed attendees and introduced plenary speakers: Mr. Gerard Baillely, Senior R&D Vice President of Proctor & Gamble; Dr. Bala Subramaniam, Professor and Director, Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysts at the University of Kansas; and Dr. Kathryn J. Wahl, Surface Chemistry Branch, Chemistry Division of the US Naval Research Laboratory.

Several of the plenary speakers, along with industrial and academic attendees, served as career panelists to provide guidance for students as they navigate their future professional paths. The symposium also gave the student presenters an opportunity to polish their communication skills as they discussed their research studies to a diverse audience. Posters received peer evaluations and constructive feedback during the judging session. The closing award ceremony honored poster winners and several gradudate student awards.

Wenzel Award for Exceptional Performance in the Qualifying Examination
Earhart Award for Scholarly Research and Peer Collaboration
  • Hao Gao
El-Aasser Travel Award
Inaugural Early-Stage Graduate Student Travel Award

ChBE Department Graduate Student Poster Prizes
Shared 1st Place
  • Aojie Li (Elucidating the role of direct hydrogen transfer in catalytic transfer hydrogenation using Density Functional Theory and Self-consistent Microkinetic Modelling)
  • Bohyeon Kim (The Preferential Electrochemical Activity of Two Dissimilar Catalysts on Conductive Carbon Support Boosts Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Hydroxymethylfurfural)
  • Chin-Fei Chang (Exploring Potential Covalent Organic Building Blocks Using High-Throughput Molecular Screening Framework)




2nd Place
  • Haoze Ren (Intermolecular Interactions and Composite Electrode Performance)
Runners Up
  • Hao Dong (Carboxyl-Alkyl Functionalization Conjugated Polyelectrolyte for High Performance Organic Electrochemical Transistors)
  • Eli Ream (Direct Conversion of Ethylene to Propylene with 8%NiSO4/8%ReO4/γ-Al2O3 Catalyst)
A special acknowledgement, the ChBE Graduate Student Leadership Travel Award, was given to Myeongyeon Lee for his exceptional service in leading the organization of the graduate student symposium.
Myeongyeon Lee is a fourth-year graduate student in Chemical Engineering at Lehigh University. His passion for chemical engineering ignited during elementary school through engaging in various chemical experiments. Being a first-generation college student, he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Inha University, Incheon, South Korea. During his master's program, he studied composites consisting of silica aerogel and polyurethane. Before embarking on his Ph.D. journey, his research extended to porphyrin-based Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) for adsorption and catalytic reactions. At Lehigh University, Lee's research revolves around data-driven strategies for advancing high-performance Organic Field-Effect Transistors (OFETs). "While I am glad the work of organizing the symposium is now behind us, it has been an incredible learning experience for me in a number of ways. I look forward to sharing this wisdom with the next leaders."

PhD Candidate
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering