Nicole D. Jackson is a third-year PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and is a member of Megan Konar's group. Her research focuses on applying big data to understand the food-water nexus to promote food security. Also, she is currently a co-coordinator for the Illinois Female Engineers in Academia Training program as well as the Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science camp for environmental engineering and sustainability.
Kaitlin received her BS in Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in biomaterials from Michigan State University in 2012. She is currently working on her PhD at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign under Professor Paul Braun. Her research focuses on manipulating eutectic material microstructures for optical applications. She is also one of the co-coordinators for Girls Learning About Materials (GLAM), a summer camp for high school girls interested in engineering.
Yanfen Li is a Ph.D student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working under Dr. Kris Kilian. Her research focus is on biomaterials and tissue engineering.
Wan-Ting Chen obtains her Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wan-Ting received her B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the National Taiwan University and M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Illinois. Wan-Ting’s research work has been in the context of developing a synergistically integrated waste-to-energy system, Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2-Energy), that simultaneously produces biofuel, treats wet biowaste and captures carbon dioxide via algae growing and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). Wan-Ting’s ongoing work focuses on upgrading of the HTL biocrude oil converted from wet biowaste into transportation fuels by distillation, esterification, thermal cracking, and hydroprocessing with catalysts. Wan-Ting has been a SWE member since 2012 and is aiming for a future career in academia.
Rohit Bhargava is Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with affiliations across several departments (Primary – Bioengineering: Affiliated - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry) as well as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Rohit received dual B.Tech. degrees (in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science and Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 1996 and his doctoral thesis work at Case Western Reserve University (Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering) was in the area of polymer spectroscopy. He then worked as a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (2000-2005) in the area of biomedical vibrational spectroscopy. Rohit has been at Illinois since as Assistant Professor (2005-2011), Associate Professor (2011-2012) and Professor (2012-). Rohit was the first assistant professor hired into the new Bioengineering department and played a key role in the development of its curriculum and activities. He later founded and serves as the coordinator of the Cancer Community@Illinois, which is slated to become the first technology-focused cancer center in the nation. Research in the Bhargava laboratories focuses on fundamental theory and simulation for vibrational spectroscopic imaging, developing new instrumentation and developing chemical imaging for molecular pathology. Using 3D printing and engineered tumor models, recent research seeks to elucidate hetero-cellular interactions in cancer progression. Rohit’s work has been recognized with several research awards nationally. Among recent honors are the Agilent Thought Leader award (2016, election as Fellow of the AIMBE and SAS (2015), Meggers Award (Society for applied spectroscopy, 2014), Craver Award (Coblentz Society, 2013) and the FACSS Innovation Award (2012). Rohit has also been recognized for his dedication to teaching in the College of Engineering (Rose and Everitt awards) and he is routinely nominated to the list of teachers ranked excellent at Illinois.
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