The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has well established programs in Chemical Engineering at both undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S/Ph.D.) levels. The graduate program is designed to prepare student for careers in research or education. A choice of courses and research topics allows the student to become specialized in specific areas.
Research projects cover a wide area of chemical engineering and include both fundamental and applied topics. The major active research areas include pulping and bleaching processes, coating flows, flow in porous media, rheology, advanced materials, surface chemistry, molecular biophysics, advanced imaging and spectroscopic techniques, nanotechnology and heterogeneous catalysis. Significant recent funding has improved laboratories and supported students to do research on methods to produce fuels and chemicals from biomass.
The unique aspect of the department is the close contact with industrial sponsors. This interaction with industry gives the student real life exposure and good contacts. The Paper Surface Science Program is a consortia of companies that meet regularly to review student research. A number of other research projects receive direct support and input from industrial representatives. In addition to industrial support, the department receives significant funding from governmental agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Environmental Protection Agency. Some funding recently has been obtained from foundations interested to produce fuels from biomass as well as to use cellulose nanofibers in various packaging applications.
The Department has well equipped laboratories that include some specialized facilities such as a sum frequency spectrometer, two custom built confocal microscopes, and a comprehensive analytical chemistry suite. The department also has a fully equipped pilot plant linked to paper production. In addition, students have access to other equipment on campus such as equipment in the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology and the Advanced Wood Composites building.
The M.S. degree requires 30 semester hours of graduate work which must include two seminars and six term courses in addition to the thesis. Students holding a B.S. degree in science or other engineering disciplines are also eligible for admission to the M.S. program, although additional make-up courses may be required. The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 45 semester hours, beyond the B.S. level, comprising four seminars and at least eight graduate courses (24 credits) in addition to a research thesis. Ph.D. candidates are also required to pass a qualifying examination on chemical engineering fundamentals and to present and successfully defend a thesis proposal. Students who enter the program with a recognized Master’s degree may be allowed up to 30 course credits towards the Ph.D., subject to approval by the Graduate Committee of the Department. Required core courses for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are CHE 510, CHE 540, CHE 561 and CHE 580.
Financial assistance is available in the form of graduate assistantships which provide tuition and stipends. Application for admission should be submitted as soon as possible and at least five months in advance of the proposed starting date. Students applying for the fall semester should have their application in by the first of March of that year. Further details of the program and current research projects can be obtained from the Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, on request.
Douglas W. Bousfield, Ph.D. (California at Berkeley, 1986), Calder Professor. Fluid mechanics, rheology, numerical methods, coating processes, modeling of coating and absorption processes.
Albert Co, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1979), Associate Professor. Transport phenomena, fluid mechanics, polymeric fluid dynamics, rheology, applied numerical methods.
William J. DeSisto, Ph.D., (Brown, 1989), Professor. Advanced material, sensors.
Caitlin Howell, Ph.D. (University of Heidelberg, Germany, 2011) Assistant Professor. Biological interfaces, bacterial biofilm growth and control, surface-mediated tissue engineering, dynamic materials design.
John J. Hwalek, Ph.D. (Illinois, 1982), Associate Professor. Process information systems, heat transfer.
Michael D. Mason, Ph.D. (California at Santa Barbara, 2000), Professor. Photophysics of nanoparticles and molecular nanoprobes, single molecule imaging, time-resolved single photon spectroscopic imaging techniques.
Paul J. Millard, Ph.D., (University of Maryland, 1984), Associate Professor. Microbial biosensors, physiological genomics systems, fluorescence technology.
David J. Neivandt, Ph.D. (Melbourne, 1998), Professor. Conformation of interfacial species, surface spectroscopies/microscopies, binary polymer/surfactant solutions and lipid membrane structures.
Hemant P. Pendse, Ph.D. (Syracuse, 1980), Professor and Chair. Colloidal phenomena, paper manufacture, fluid particle systems, and instrument/sensor development.
Thomas J Schwartz, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 2015), Assistant Professor. Heterogeneous catalysis, reaction kinetics, in situ spectroscopy, biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals.
Karissa Tillbury, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 2015), Assistant Professor. 2-phonton microscopy, second harmonic generation microscopy, auto-fluorescence, extracellular matrix collagen.
Adriaan Van Heiningen, Ph.D. (McGill, 1982), J. Larcom Ober Professor. Forest products biorefinery, chemical reaction engineering in wood pulping and pulp bleaching, black liquor gasification and direct causticization with titanate.
G. Peter van Walsum, Ph.D. (Dartmouth College, 1998), Associate Professor. Renewable energy, fuels and chemicals, bioprocessing, process engineering.
Sarah Walton, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2009), Lecturer.
M. Clayton Wheeler, Ph.D.(Texas at Austin, 1997), Professor. Chemical Sensors, fundamental catalysis, surface science, and selective sensor materials.