Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Chemical and Petroleum Engineering department at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering was established in 1910, making it the first department for petroleum engineering in the world. Today, our department has over 40 expert faculty (tenure/tenure-stream/joint/adjunct), a host of dedicated staff, more than 20 state-of-the-art laboratories and learning centers, and education programs that enrich with strong fundamentals and hands-on experience.

Chemical engineering is concerned with processes in which matter and energy undergo change. The range of concerns is so broad that the chemical engineering graduate is prepared for a variety of interesting and challenging employment opportunities.

Chemical engineers with strong background in sciences are found in management, design, operations, and research. Chemical engineers are employed in almost all industries, including food, polymers, chemicals, pharmaceutical, petroleum, medical, materials, and electronics. Since solutions to energy, environmental, and food problems must surely involve chemical changes, there will be continued demands for chemical engineers in the future.

Read our latest newsletter below


2020 ChemE Faculty

Chemical & Petroleum, Open Positions

The Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the assistant professor rank. Successful candidates are expected to show exceptional potential to become leaders in their respective fields, and to contribute to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Department has internationally recognized programs in Energy and Sustainability, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Materials, Multi-Scale Modeling, and Biomedical engineering. Active collaborations exist with several adjacent centers, including the University of Pittsburgh Center for Simulation and Modeling, the Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, The University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory. The department also has a broad strategic alliance with the Lubrizol Corporation, a leading specialty chemicals company, with a particular focus on process intensification. We are seeking faculty who can contribute strategically to departmental strengths, but outstanding applicants in all areas will be considered. Applications will only be accepted via submission through the following Interfolio link: http://apply.interfolio.com/72527. To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by February 28, 2020. Please address any inquiries (but not applications) to che@pitt.edu. Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply. One of the major strategic goals of the university is to “Embrace Diversity and Inclusion”; therefore, the candidate should be committed to high-quality teaching and research for a diverse student body and to assisting our department in enhancing diversity in all forms. The University of Pittsburgh is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vet/Disabled employer.


Pitt’s Taryn Bayles Receives James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching Chemical Engineering

Chemical & Petroleum

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 18, 2019) — In recognition of her remarkable mentorship and teaching, Taryn Bales, PhD, vice chair for education and professor of chemical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has been awarded the James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching Chemical Engineering. The Pommersheim Award was established by the Department and James M. Pommersheim '70 to recognize departmental faculty in the areas of lecturing, teaching, research methodology, and research mentorship of students. Dr. Pommersheim, formerly Professor of Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University, received his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in chemical engineering from Pitt. “Taryn excels in every area of Chemical Engineering education. She is not only a leader in our Department but also a leader nationally,” says Steven R. Little, PhD, chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. “Our students rave about her in her teaching evaluations, but also rave to me about how she is an exceptional mentor and a friend. We are proud to have Taryn as a colleague.” Bayles’ research focuses on engineering education, increasing awareness of the engineering field and understanding how to help students succeed once they choose engineering as a major. She co-authored the INSPIRES (INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering and Science) curriculum, which introduces high school students to engineering design through hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning. In addition to her impressive teaching record and education research, Bayles has been a strong advisor for Pitt’s AIChE Chem-E-Car team, which has excelled in recent years. This year, Pitt’s team qualified to compete in the national competition, finishing 12th overall and winning the Chem-E-Car Poster Competition. ### About Taryn Bayles Taryn Melkus Bayles is a non-tenure stream (NTS) Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and serves as the Chair of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Education Division. She has spent part of her career working in industry with Exxon, Westinghouse and Phillips Petroleum. Her industrial experience has included process engineering, computer modeling and control, process design and testing, and engineering management. She has also spent over 20 years teaching Chemical Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno, University of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland Baltimore County. In her courses she incorporates her industrial experience by bringing practical examples and interactive learning to help students understand fundamental engineering principles. Her research focuses on Engineering Education and Outreach to increase awareness of and interest in pursuing engineering as a career, as well as to understand what factors help students be successful once they have chosen engineering as a major. She is the co-author of the INSPIRES (INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering & Science) curriculum, which introduce high school students to engineering design through hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning with real world engineering design challenges. This curriculum targets the International Technology and Engineering Education Association Standards as well as National Next Generation Science Standards and aligns with the Framework for K-12 Science Education.
Maggie Pavlick

Pitt Research Featured on December Cover of Environmental Science: Nano

Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 12, 2019) — Research from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering will be featured on the cover of the journal Environmental Science: Nano. The research, titled “Leveraging Electrochemistry to Uncover the Role of Nitrogen in the Biological Reactivity of Nitrogen-Doped Graphene,” (DOI: 10.1039/C9EN00802K) was led by Yan Wang and co-authored by Nathalia Aquino de Carvalho, graduate students in the Gilbertson Group, managed by Leanne M. Gilbertson, PhD, assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department with a secondary appointment in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. The research will appear on the cover of the December 2019 issue with graphics developed by Gilbertson and Kutay Sezginel, doctoral candidate working in the Wilmer Lab.
Maggie Pavlick

National Academy of Inventors elects William J. Federspiel as Fellow

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 11, 2019) … With 12 issued U.S. patents in the medical device industry and five more pending, University of Pittsburgh Professor William J. Federspiel is among 168 distinguished academic inventors to be named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced on December 3, 2019. Federspiel, the John A. Swanson Professor of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, directs the Medical Devices Lab in the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. His lab primarily develops much needed clinical devices for the treatment of lung failure, including most recently, compact wearable artificial lungs for adults and children suffering from acute and chronic lung disease. “I am honored and humbled to be named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” he said. “Our work in the lab and its translation into the clinic has demonstrated that critical care patients can be treated with the innovative medical devices that we have invented. This honor would not have been possible without the help of an outstanding team of bioengineers over the years and my long-time designer and fabricator, Brian Frankowski. We continually improve upon our technology so that we can best address the needs of critical care patients with pulmonary disease.” Federspiel’s research in artificial lung technology eventually led him to co-found ALung Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based medical device startup company that develops technology for treating respiratory failure. He serves as head of the scientific advisory board for the company, which is currently undergoing clinical trials for their Hemolung® Respiratory Assist System (RAS), a dialysis-like alternative for or supplement to mechanical ventilation which removes carbon dioxide directly from the blood in patients with acute respiratory failure. The Hemolung RAS originated in the Federspiel lab and has already helped more than 500 patients. The demonstrated worldwide need for the Hemolung is over one million patients per year. “I am proud to have Bill as part of our bioengineering faculty,” said Sanjeev G. Shroff, distinguished professor and Gerald E. McGinnis Chair of Bioengineering at Pitt. “His long-standing interest in and commitment to developing novel respiratory support devices has culminated in technology that has saved the lives of critically ill patients, and his innovations will continue to impact the medical community for many years to come. He is most deserving of this prestigious recognition.” In addition to his U.S. patents, Federspiel has 60 foreign patents issued and pending, and eight completed licenses. He has published over 120 peer reviewed journal articles, prepared nine books/book chapters, and serves as an editorial board member for three journals. He is also an elected Fellow of several prestigious professional organizations such as the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs. The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, over $1.6 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries. Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research, was also recently elected fellow for the National Academy of Inventors. He pioneered the first set of practical computer tools for nondigital integrated circuit design and commercialized these via his startup, Neolinear, Inc. Acquired in 2004, the Neolinear team is today the nucleus of Cadence Design Systems’ large Pittsburgh research and development site. He also pioneered novel computer architectures for high-speed speech recognition, which is today available commercially from his startup Voci Technologies, Inc. Voci, located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, currently delivers the world’s fastest appliances for enterprise voice analytics, helping a wide range of companies listen to their customers and translate these conversations into useful business intelligence. Rutenbar, who has secondary faculty appointments in computer science and electrical and computer engineering, holds 14 U.S. patents, has started two companies and has created more than 100 jobs. He has published almost 200 papers in elite journal and conference venues and has been cited nearly 11,000 times, according to Google Scholar. The complete list of NAI Fellows is available on the NAI website. About the National Academy of Inventors The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI has a close collaborative relationship with the USPTO and is one of three honorific organizations, along with the National Medals and National Inventors Hall of Fame, working closely with the USPTO on many discovery and innovation support initiatives. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. www.academyofinventors.org


The Swanson School’s Fall 2019 Design Expo Showcases Creativity in Engineering

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 10, 2019) … Twice each year, students from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering gather at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall to showcase their innovations at the Design Expo. Student teams use this opportunity to present research from their Capstone Design courses or highlight concepts and prototypes from the School’s Product Realization and Art of Making courses. More than 75 student projects were exhibited at the event on Dec. 5, 2019. This year’s Expo aligns with Pitt’s Year of Creativity, which highlights a unifying feature across all University departments - creativity is required not only in artistic endeavors but also for identifying inventive ways to solve real-world problems. The Design Expo highlights how creativity and innovation in engineering can impact the lives of others. Judges from industry selected the best project from each of the participating courses, and attendees casted votes for the "People's Choice" Award. New this year - as part of the Year of Creativity - a prize will be awarded for the most creative project. “The Design Expo is the Swanson School’s signature competition that shines a light on our students’ high-level academic performance and ingenuity,” said Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Nickolas A. Dececco Professor of Industrial Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “Our winners have truly demonstrated their engineering abilities. I am always impressed with the quality of work that I see at this event, and I look forward to what the future holds for this year’s winning innovations.” OVERALL WINNERS Best Overall Project AOM-3: TupperWhere: A Compact Sustainable Food ContainerJamie BarishmanJosh LneBridget MoyerBobby Rouse People’s Choice Award AOM-1: It’s Your Turn: Empowering People with Fine-Motor DisabilitiesNatasha GilbertMaureen HartMadison HenkelmanShirley JiangSydney LeonardDanielle Wu Year of Creativity Award AOM-3: TupperWhere: A Compact Sustainable Food ContainerJamie BarishmanJosh LneBridget MoyerBobby Rouse DEPARTMENT WINNERS 1st Place Bioengineering BIO-6: Post-Partum Hemorrhage TrainerTyler BrayJessica BrownMarlo GarrisonMaddie HobbsAlly McDonaldJake Meadows 2nd Place Bioengineering BIO-7: Patient Specific Endovascular TrainerDaniella Carter (Nursing)Elliott HammersleyMaddie JohnsonSara KenesLiam MartinCeline Rivera (Nursing)Cassie Smith 3rd Place Bioengineering BIO-3: Nurse-Assistive Patient Rotation Mechanism for Pressure Sore ExaminationPatrick BohseJordan Cobb (Nursing)Julie ConstantinescuChristy HeislerHaiden McDonald 1st Place Civil and Environmental Engineering CEE-5: PWSA - ClearwellTristan AbrahamTimothy ChebuskeAndrew DawsonRachel FayChristina RogersMason Unger 2nd Place Civil and Environmental Engineering CEE-1: Pittsburgh International Airport - New BuildingSeth AppelCole BurdenAdam ChidiacLiam StubanasMark Vrabel 1st Place Electrical and Computer Engineering ECE-4: Electric Vehicle to Grid: Microgrid IntegrationNate CarnovaleAqilah Mahmud ZuhriElizabeth RagerSeth SoStephen Wilson 2nd Place Electrical and Computer Engineering ECE-5: LUMINBen BirkettAustin ChampionChristopher EngelJared LinBrian McMinn 3rd Place Electrical and Computer Engineering ECE-6: ParkITJustin AndersonBen HarrisParker MaySam PetersonRob Schwartz 1st Place Industrial Engineering IE-3: GraneRx Performance DashboardAdvisor: Caroline KolmanMarlee BrownSean CallaghanAlex HartmanAdam Sneath 2nd Place Industrial Engineering IE-7: Tiered Approach for Increasing Inventory Accuracy of Raw Materials at AccuTrexAdvisor: Jayent RajgopalZach DissenMaiti KeenDina PerlicJenna RudolphConnor Wurst 1st Place Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science MEMS-1: Hockey Skate Laces Tension Retaining Device and Adaptation for Use with Athletic ShoesAdvisor: Brad Pelkofer – Panther LacesDaniel GunterDavis HerchkoKaylee LevineDavid Maupin 2nd Place Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science MEMS-9: Unripe Fruit Removal System for TomatoHarvesting RobotAdvisor: Mr. Brandon Contino – Four GrowersGabriel FruitmanJames MaierJoshua Pope 3rd Place Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science MEMS-10: Development of a System to Test Anterior Cruciate Ligament FailureAdvisor: Dr. Patrick SmolinskiAustin BussardAlexander HourietSydney LeonardGriffin Monahan 1st Place Product Realization PR-2: Body Camera Range ExtenderAmedeo HirataJoshua LineRyan BarrettTyler Smith 2nd Place Product Realization PR-1: Alarm and Safe IntegrationAlex DziakLindsey LauruneAlex BuonomoGaby Robinson 1st Place Art of Making AOM-3: TupperWhere: A Compact Sustainable Food ContainerJamie BarishmanJosh LneBridget MoyerBobby Rouse 2nd Place Art of Making AOM-1: It’s Your Turn: Empowering People with Fine-Motor DisabilitiesNatasha GilbertMaureen HartMadison HenkelmanShirley JiangSydney LeonardDanielle Wu 1st Place Medical Product Prototyping MPP-3: Acetone BreathalyzerBrinden EltonPhillip Harding 2nd Place Medical Product Prototyping MPP-2: ET3Nikki CwalinaLiam McNamaraBryce Norwood Click here to view the full collection of photos.

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