The 2024 Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York (CSNY) Spring Symposium was a one-day event held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology with participation from researchers representing various academic institutions in the north-east region of the U.S., as well as industry representatives closely involved in catalysis. The main event was filled with invited talks from both academia and industry, followed by a poster session showcasing graduate students and post-doctoral research.
A total of 8 graduate students from Lehigh’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department (ChBE) participated: 4 from the Rangarajan research group (3 out of 4 presented posters), 4 from the Wachs research group (All 4 presented posters). Their research poster details are as follows:
Rangarajan Group:
- Johari Dramiga: Thermodynamic and Kinetic Investigation of S Impurities in Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell Feed Flow
- Aojie Li: Elucidating the Essential Role of Hydrogen Bonding and Direct H-transfer in Transfer Hydrogenation on Transition Metal Catalysts
- Adhika Setiawan: Microkinetic Modeling-driven Density Functional Theory Exploration of Ethylene Epoxidation on Partially Oxidized Silver Catalyst Surfaces
- Joseph Thompson: [NO POSTER]
Wachs Group:
- Neelesh Kumar: Spectroscopic Elucidation of Phase Evolution in NiO/YSZ and LaFe0.9Ni0.1O3 under Oxidative and Reductive Gas Environments
- Dang Nguyen: Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Ethane (ODHE) to Ethylene by the Bulk MoVNbTe (M1 Phase) Mixed Oxide Catalyst: Surface and Bulk Properties
- Eli Ream: Direct Conversion of Ethylene to Propylene through Simultaneous Ethylene Dimerization and Olefin Metathesis with 8%NiSO4/8%ReO4/γ-Al2O3 Catalyst
- Erin Sobchinsky: Ethylene Dimerization to n-butene with Nickel Sulfate on Zirconia: Investigation of the Molecular Structure and Activity of Surface Nickel and Sulfate Species
7 total awards were given out at the event, 2 sharing the "1st Best Poster" award title, and 5 sharing the "3rd Best Poster" award title. Adhika Setiawan was one of the recipients of the 3rd best poster award, winning a $100 cash prize in the process.
Originally from Bandung, Indonesia, Setiawan completed his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a research focus on lignocellulosic biomass depolymerization. Upon graduating, he continued his studies at Purdue University, obtaining a M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, and achieving the best master’s student research project award with his research in catalytic upgrade of light alkane/olefins. Currently, Setiawan is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Lehigh’s Chemical and Biomolecular Department, working with Professor Srinivas Rangarajan.
While his background was purely in experimental research, for his Ph.D. thesis, Setiawan made the transition to computational/theoretical research, with a research focus on the mechanistic elucidation of the selective oxidation of ethylene. Setiawan received the Leonard A. Wenzel prize for his excellent performance in his qualifying examination in 2020, and more recently, Setiawan was awarded the Kenneth A. Earhart Travel Award based on his achievements in research, as well as his contribution to the activities of the department. Upon completing his thesis at the close of 2024, he plans to continue his career in academia with a postdoctoral research position, and eventually, a research professorship.
Setiawan and his 7 fellow Lehigh ChBE researchers will also be attending the upcoming 2024 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia (CCP) Annual Spring Symposium and Poster Session in Claymont, Delaware this month.

Fifth-year Ph.D. student 
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering