Chemical Engineering Approaches to Challenges in Energy and Biomedicine

Chemical Engineering Approaches to Challenges in Energy and Biomedicine

Friday, March 30, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

 

Scientific advances fundamentally affect the way we live, contributing solutions to pressing problems as well as creating some challenges for society. Two areas in which this phenomenon has never been more evident are in energy and healthcare. The ability to harness the energy of coal, natural gas, and petroleum enabled the development of the highly complex societies of today. At the same time, the recognition of the growing problem of climate change has pushed scientists to find better ways to work with these natural resources as well as to harness alternatives. Similarly, the development of vaccines, drugs, and other medical treatments has increased the human life span to such an extent that diseases that disproportionately affect older people, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, have replaced infectious diseases as the leading killer in many societies.

The field of chemical engineering—poised at the interface of chemistry, engineering, and biomedicine—is well positioned to solve these challenges. This symposium will review the role of chemical engineering in energy and healthcare research as well as focus in on cutting-edge research in alternative and traditional energy, drug formulation, and biomaterials.

Registration Pricing

Member$25
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Member$10
Nonmember Academia$60
Nonmember Corporate$80
Nonmember Not for Profit$60
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Nonmember$40


Registration for this event includes admission to the full-day program as well as the reception and poster session.

The Chemists' Club is a proud sponsor of the Networking Reception for the "Chemical Engineering Approaches to Challenges in Energy and Biomedicine" symposium. To register to attend ONLY the Networking Reception, please click here.

Platinum Sponsor




Gold Sponsors

  • The City College of New York
  • The Columbia University School of Engineering


Bronze Sponsor

  • AIChE

Agenda

* Presentation times are subject to change.


Friday, March 30, 2012

8:00 AM

Registration and Poster Set-up

8:45 AM

Welcome and Introduction

Session I: Energy and Environment

9:00 AM

Keynote:
The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy: A New Paradigm in Transformational Energy Research
Eric Toone, PhD, ARPA–E

9:45 AM

Electrofuel Production Using Ammonia or Iron as Redox Mediators in Reverse Microbial Fuel Cells
Scott Banta, PhD, Columbia University

10:15 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 AM

Keynote:
Engineering and Constructing Today's and Tomorrow's Large Energy Infrastructure Projects
Amos Avidan, PhD, Bechtel Corporation

11:30 AM

The Quest for the 100,000 Cycle Battery: Using Low Cost Materials for Grid Energy Storage Applications
Dan Steingart, PhD, The City College of New York, CUNY Energy Institute

12:00 PM

Lunch

Session II: Bioengineering

2:00 PM

Keynote:
The Role of Academics in Pharmaceutical Process Development
Mauricio Futran, PhD, Rutgers University

2:45 PM

Engineering Nano-composites by Mimicking Nature's Ability to Self-assemble Biomolecules
Raymond Tu, PhD, The City College of New York

3:15 PM

Population Balance Modeling of Biological Systems
Rohit Ramachandran, PhD, Rutgers University

3:45 PM

Biomaterials for Stem Cell Tissue Engineering
Treena Arinzeh, PhD, New Jersey Institute of Technology

4:15 PM

Closing Remarks

4:20 PM

Reception and Poster Session

6:20 PM

End of Program

Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Amos Avidan, PhD

Bechtel

Amos Avidan is a Senior Vice President and Bechtel's Corporate Manager of Engineering and Technology. Prior to assuming his current role in 2010, Avidan was General Manager of Strategic Planning, Marketing & Business Development and Technology for the Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. His previous assignments in Bechtel included Manager of Technology, Project Director of the Equatorial Guinea LNG project, and General Manager of Operations, LNG.

Avidan joined Bechtel in 2000, and was elected a Principal Vice President and a Bechtel Fellow in 2001. He was elected Senior Vice President of Bechtel in 2007. Prior to joining Bechtel, Avidan was employed by Mobil Technology Company in a variety of assignments, including manager of Catalytic Cracking, manager of Upstream Surface Engineering, and VP of LNG technology.

Avidan has received a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the City University of New York in 1980. He has authored and co-authored more than 70 books and technical publications and 31 US patents. Amos has served as a director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He is a Fellow of the AIChE, and in 2009 he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering.

Mauricio Futran, PhD

Rutgers University

Mauricio Futran is Professor and Chair of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University. He came to this position after 28 years of pharmaceutical product and process development work at Merck and Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was Vice President of Process R&D. His areas of expertise include all aspects of process development, technology transfer, validation, regulatory compliance, new product registration worldwide, external manufacturing and partnership development. He has demonstrated scientific leadership in applying automation and modeling to process development. In charge of envisioning and designing a Pilot Plant which remains the only paperless, fully automated installation of its kind. Futran led the process development, scale-up, plant design or retrofit and validation of numerous commercial products.

As a consultant Futran works with pharmaceutical companies in technical issues, with legal firms in Intellectual Property cases, and with software developers seeking to improve modeling and project management for the pharmaceutical industry. Futran has Chemical Engineering degrees from Rice University and Princeton University, where he obtained his PhD under the direction of Prof. Carol Hall.

Eric Toone, PhD

U.S. Department of Energy, ARPA-E

Eric Toone is the Deputy Director for Technology for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), responsible for oversight of all ARPA-E Technology and directs the ARPA-E's Electrofuels program. In addition to his role at ARPA-E, Toone is currently the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University. Toone is a scientific founder of two venture-backed companies: Aerie Pharmaceuticals, a research-based ophthalmology company, and Vindica Pharmaceuticals, a nitric oxide delivery company. He has served as a permanent member of the Bioorganic and Natural Products Study Section at the National Institutes of Health, and is currently a member of the NSERC Organic & Inorganic Review panel (Canada).

Toone has authored over 100 scientific papers and over 30 patents. He is an associate editor of the journal Biopolymers and the editor in chief of the monograph series Advances in Enzymology.

He studied chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Guelph, graduating in 1983. That same year he moved to the University of Toronto to begin graduate studies with Professor J. Bryan Jones. Toone graduated from the University of Toronto in 1988 and moved to Harvard University to continue his studies with Professor George Whitesides.

Speakers

Treena Arinzeh, PhD

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Treena Arinzeh received her BS from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ in Mechanical Engineering, her M.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and her PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a project manager at a stem cell technology company, Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. Arinzeh joined the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in 2001 as one of the founding faculty members of the department of Biomedical Engineering. Arinzeh has been recognized with numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2003, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2004, Outstanding Scientist Award from the NJ Association for Biomedical Research in 2004, People to Watch in 2005 in The Star Ledger and the Coulter Foundation Translational Award in 2010. Her research support is from the National Science Foundation, Coulter Foundation, Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Repair and medical device/biotechnology companies.

Scott Banta, PhD

Columbia University

Scott Banta is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. His research focuses on applying protein engineering and metabolic engineering tools to solve a variety of important problems in bioengineering. Banta received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2002. He was awarded the James D. Watson Investigator Program Award from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) in 2005.

Rohit Ramachandran, PhD

Rutgers University

Rohit Ramachandran is Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University. Ramachandran received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2008. His research interests span the areas of modelling, simulation, experimental validation, optimization and control of chemical and pharmaceutical processes.

Dan Steingart, PhD
The City College of New York, CUNY Energy Institute

Dan Steingart is an assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering at the City College of New York, and a founding faculty member of the CUNY Energy Institute. He has developed printing processes for electrochemical energy storage, distributed sensors for large scale electrochemical processes, and power conversion circuitry for wireless sensor nodes in both academic and industrial laboratories. As a co-founder of Wireless Industrial Technologies (WIT) he spent considerable time probing conductors carrying over 50 kA in commercial electrowinning plants while trying to remember what not to touch or breathe.

Raymond Tu, PhD

The City College of New York

Raymond S. Tu is an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at The City College of The City University of New York. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from The University of Florida, and his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California – Santa Barbara in 2004. At Santa Barbara, he studied with Matthew Tirrell examining the design and self-assembly of peptide functionalized molecular architectures. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in 2005 at Georgia Institute of Technology investigating rheological properties of biologically functionalized polymer-based materials. The focus of his research program at CUNY is the synthesis of surface-active molecular building blocks, which are derived from the combination of elements that direct interfacial assembly with components responsible for selective binding. This methodology is proving to be an effective tool for engineering complex composite materials that contain structures with multiple length-scales. The research in his group has been supported by AFOSR, NSF, NSF-PREM, DOE and industry.

Organizers

Alexander Couzis, PhD

City College of New York, CUNY

Dilhan M. Kalyon, PhD

Stevens Institute of Technology

Srinivasan S. Krishnan, PhD

Unilever

Sanat K. Kumar, PhD

Columbia University

Norman W. Loney, PhD

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Dominick N. Mazzone, PhD

Bechtel

Nat Ricciardi, PhD
Jose E. Tabora, PhD

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor




Gold Sponsors

  • The City College of New York
  • The Columbia University School of Engineering


Bronze Sponsor

  • AIChE

Promotional Partners

AIChE, Metro NY Section

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

Nature Chemistry



For sponsorship opportunities contact Brooke Grindlinger at brindlinger@nyas.org or call 212.298.8625

Abstracts

The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy: A New Paradigm in Transformational Energy Research
Eric Toone, PhD, U.S. Department of Energy, ARPA–E

In Spring of 2009 President Obama announced $400M in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for a new agency—the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, or ARPA–E, an Agency created in 2007 through the America COMPETES Act. ARPA–E was created to fund high risk, high reward transformational research to reduce energy related emissions, reduce imports of energy from foreign sources, improve energy efficiency in all economic sectors, and ensure American technological lead in advanced energy technologies. In less than three years the agency has awarded over $500M in support of 182 projects across the energy landscape, including renewable energy, biofuels, building efficiency, carbon capture, the grid and the electrification of transportation. This talk will describe the history and mission of ARPA–E, how the Agency and its projects differ from other branches of the Department of Energy, and highlight some of the revolutionary technologies currently supported by ARPA–E focused on sustainability.

Electrofuel Production Using Ammonia or Iron as Redox Mediators in Reverse Microbial Fuel Cells
Scott Banta, PhD, Columbia University

The production of electrofuels requires the efficient transport of electrons from an electrochemical system into a biological system. We have approached this challenge by identifying natural chemical mediators that 1) can be easily reduced electrochemically and 2) are natural substrates for different bacterial strains, thus eliminating the need to engineer this aspect of primary metabolism in the biological hosts. In our first project we have constructed a reverse microbial fuel cell using the ammonia oxidizing bacteria, N. europaea. These cells grow planktonically and they efficiently oxidize ammonia to nitrite while fixing carbon dioxide. We have developed an electrochemical reactor to reduce the nitrite back to ammonia so that we are producing biomass from electricity and air. We have recently engineered the N. europaea cells to produce isobutanol, which is a transportation infrastructure compatible biofuel. In a second project we are working with A. ferrooxidans, which is an iron oxidizing bacteria used in biomining operations. The oxidized iron can be readily reduced electrochemically, and efforts are underway to engineer these cells to make isobutanol as well. As these processes are developed and optimized, they may be able to produce biofuels and other petroleum-derived chemicals from electricity and air.

Engineering and Constructing Today's and Tomorrow's Large Energy Infrastructure Projects
Amos Avidan, PhD, Bechtel Corporation

Today's large energy infrastructure projects present more challenges to project developers and owners, engineering and construction contractors, governments and regulatory agencies, banks, local communities and society as a whole. Energy projects such as power plants, petroleum producing and processing and petrochemical facilities, LNG plants, and others are getting larger and more complex and they face increasing and occasionally uncertain regulatory and permitting regimes. At the same time, new technologies are presenting new opportunities to improve life-cycle efficiencies, lower emissions, increase safety and lower risk to the public. Automation continues to have a major impact on all aspects of project development, construction and operations, and increasingly, it is the management of information that is the focus of owners and contractors.
 
I will survey major current trends and future directions impacting large energy projects and use examples of technology breakthroughs in information management, project planning and execution, and the potential impact of new technologies such as modular nuclear reactors, renewables and the global impact of increasing supplies of non-conventional natural gas reserves.

The Quest for the 100,000 Cycle Battery: Using Low Cost Materials for Grid Energy Storage Applications
Dan Steingart, PhD, The City College of New York, CUNY Energy Institute

Electrochemical energy storage induces headaches in industrialists for the same reason it provides such fertile ground for academics: a working, rechargeable battery represents a tight coupling of multiphase phenomena across mechanical, thermal and electrical domains. The properties of battery materials have been well classified in the literature in an anatomical fashion, but systematic treatments of the composite battery electrode and complete storage device have been less rigorous. By understanding and compensating for certain material disadvantages through complete cell modification, we have preliminary evidence that the zinc alkaline system can meet grid scale requirements (for both cost and performance). We are now furthering these initial finding throughs the use of in situ mechanical testing and monitoring methods, where we hope to be able to better quantify battery failure modes.
 

The Role of Academics in Pharmaceutical Process Development
Mauricio Futran, PhD, Rutgers University

The Pharmaceutical Industry is undergoing major changes. More than $100 Billion in patent protected products are facing generic competition this decade. One of the most important changes in “Big Pharma” is an evolution from the vertically integrated model to a distributed one, where innovation, project execution and manufacturing are outsourced, often to Asia. Pharmaceutical process development and manufacturing are included in this trend. The new Pharmaceutical supply chain spans the globe, and involves companies with varying degrees of technical sophistication and operational discipline. Ensuring the supply and quality of pharmaceutical products requires a renewed emphasis on acquiring fundamental understanding during development so that the process can be controlled effectively in this array of suppliers. Furthermore the time and cost of development must be reduced.

This environment represents an opportunity for the academic community to contribute the science and technology needed in process development and manufacturing. While the FDA has created their “Quality by Design” initiative, it is not possible for every company around the world to develop this independently. The talk presents examples of current or potential academic contributions, such as predictive model control for crystallization, the science of particulate systems and the development of continuous manufacturing for solid oral dosage forms, and perspectives for the use of continuous approaches in developing biomanufactured products.

Engineering Nano-composites by Mimicking Nature's Ability to Self-assemble Biomolecules
Raymond Tu, PhD, The City College of New York

In nature, biological molecules form interfaces that assemble patterns of chemical functionality with exceptional precision. The role of dynamics during the assembly of biological molecules appears to be important for processes such as biomineralization. Our work applies periodically sequenced sheet-forming peptides at interfaces to explore the dynamics of assembly in order to template mineral growth. We rationally design a set of peptide molecules to have amphiphilic properties and a propensity for sheet like secondary structure. These model system allow us to explore our underlying hypothesis that the time scale of the phase-transitions of the peptide at the interface defines the length-scale of the crystalline phase, mimicking biology's strategy to grow composite materials.

Population Balance Modeling of Biological Systems
Rohit Ramachandran, PhD, Rutgers University 

Biological systems are intrinsically heterogeneous and, consequently, their mathematical descriptions should account for this heterogeneity as it often influences the dynamic behavior of the individual cells. For example, in the cell cycle dependent production of proteins, it is necessary to account for the distribution of the individual cells with respect to their position in the cell cycle as this has a strong influence on protein production. A second notable example is the formation of cancerous cells. In this case, the failure of regulatory mechanisms results in the transition of somatic cells to their cancerous state. Therefore, in developing the corresponding mathematical model, it is necessary to consider both the different states of the cells as well as their regulation. In this regard, the population balance equation is the ideal mathematical framework to capture cell population heterogeneity as it elegantly takes into account the distribution of cell populations with respect to their intracellular state together with the phenomena of cell birth, division, differentiation and recombination. Conventional numerical techniques are inefficient for the solution of the formulated population balance models and this warrants the development of novel, tailor-made algorithms. This work focuses on novel solution techniques toward population balance modeling of biological systems.

Biomaterials for Stem Cell Tissue Engineering
Treena Arinzeh, PhD, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Stem cells have become a promising cell source in the tissue engineering field. Intense studies have been focused at the cell and molecular biology levels on understanding the relationship between stem cell growth and terminal differentiation in an effort to control these processes. Recent discoveries have shown that the microenvironment can influence stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, which has had a tremendous impact on identifying potential strategies for using these cells effectively in the body.
 
This presentation will describe studies examining the influence of biomaterials on stem cell behavior with an emphasis on biomaterials design and chemistry that impart appropriate cues to stem cells to affect their behavior. Specifically, surface wettability can influence stem cell osteogenesis, which is relevant for bone repair applications. Hydrophobic polymers and their use with bioactive ceramics to create bioactive composites have been identified to greatly enhance the expression of bone cell markers. Biomaterial design such as fiber and pore size dimension can also greatly influence differentiation. Studies using electrospun polylactic acid (PLLA) having fiber dimensions varying from the nano to micron-scale influenced chondrogenic differentiation of stem cells. The resulting changes in pore size also had a significant effect, but variations in mechanical properties played a minor role. The effect of electromechanical properties of polymeric materials, specifically piezoelectric polymers, on stem cell differentiation along bone, cartilage and neural lineages will also be discussed.

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