Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ChBE at Georgia Tech Lorraine, Summer 2014

This program (initiated in summer, 2006) is designed for students who have finished the sophomore level ChBE courses. Professor Meredith will lead the effort. Two ChBE courses will be offered: Thermodynamics II (ChBE 3130), and Transport Phenomena I (ChBE 3200). In addition, students will have the option to take technical, social science, or humanities electives. In the last four years, 16-22 ChBE students have participated in the program each year, and registered for ~10 credit hours. Several scholarships have been provided in the past through the generous support of Shell Oil Company. It is anticipated that Shell will again be awarding the scholarships for the Summer 2014 program.

You should apply as soon as possible by visiting Based on the past experience, students who apply late may not have space available. Last year, many ChBE students were left out due to lack of dorm space. The only way to deal with this is to register for the program as early as possible. We are recommending that you apply by September 15, 2013.

If you have any questions, let me or Ms. Ami Ivanecky know. You may also contact Dr. Meredith for the GTL program.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Join Engineers Without Borders

We are a humanitarian engineering organization that works to design and implement health and infrastructure solutions in developing countries. Our projects are almost entirely student designed and lead. We currently have projects in Uganda, Cameroon, and Navajo Nation as well as a cook stoves project. We are accepting new members this semester and welcome students from all disciplines. There are many aspects necessary to the success of our projects, so students of all majors are encouraged to join.

If you would like to learn more about our organization please attend our Information Session this Thursday August 29 at 6:00 in Klaus 2447. We will also have a New Member Orientation Thursday September 5 at 6:00 in Klaus 2447.

If you are interested in being part of an organization that will offer you hands on experience and an opportunity to make a difference, please visit our website at

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another way to communicate...

We are always trying to determine what methods of communication are the most effective--which is why the BLOG was started!  However, there are some types of information that may not be as well suited to the blog as others. 

So, the Student Advisory Board decided to give something else a try!  We have set up a CHBE Interactive website through T-Square--and you should be able to access it...

You all use T-Square, right?  So, while you're there, check out the new site.  It will only be as useful as we make it.  There will be announcements, a calendar for events, and in the Forums, there will be a section for Scholarship opportunities, Job/Internship announcements, Corporate Partner information sessions, Research opportunities, and whatever else seems appropriate. 

Give us your feedback and your suggestions!

Engineers for a Sustainable World

ESW's First Meeting of the Semester!
Who: Anyone who wants to attend!
When: Tuesday, August 27th, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: IC (Instructional Center) room 209
Other Details: There will be free Pizza and drinks!

2014 Petit Scholars: Looking for Top Undergrads!

Please follow this link to learn more about the application process  for Petit Undergraduate Research Scholars.

GT Student Hospital Connections

To current and prospective Pre-Health students alike: do you want exposure to the field of medicine but don't know how to get started? How about weekly shuttle rides to local hospitals or opportunities to meet with medical professionals?

GT Student Hospital Connections offers all that and more! A student-run Pre-Med organization, GT SHC sets up volunteering opportunities at Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta Medical Center. Interviews and orientations are conducted on campus and weekly transportation is provided for those who require it. Not only do we provide medical exposure, but also offer further opportunities to explore the field with guest speakers, chance to interact with other Pre-Health students, and more!

General orientation will take place in Klaus 1456 at 7:00pm on Thursday, August 22nd. The orientation is open to anyone who wants to learn about GT SHC. We strongly encourage attending the orientation to anyone who plans to volunteer through SHC for the first time.

Online membership application will be posted at the GT SHC site ( at 5pm on Wednesday, August 21st. Application is due by 11:59 p.m. August 23rd.

Accepted members will be notified by 5pm on Sunday, August 25th regarding on-campus interviews with the volunteering directors from Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta Medical Center.

For more information, check out our site: Contact SHC Secretary Ashley Lockwood ( should you have any questions! Be sure to check us out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Any student who is pursuing the Biotechnology concentration in CHBE who is planning to use research to fill the Biotech elective:  READ THIS!

If you plan to apply research (CHBE 4699) to fulfill the Biotech elective, you MUST get this pre-approved by Dr. Agrawal to confirm that the research is bio-related.  To get this approval you will:
Submit a one-page abstract describing your research.
Include the term in which the research was completed.
Obtain the signature of your supervising professor on the abstract.
Turn this in to Dr. Agrawal.

After he reviews it, he will email you (and me) to confirm (or deny) your research will fulfill the Biotech elective requirement.  If it is approved, HOORAY--and I will make this note on your degree audit in Degreeworks.  If NOT, the research will be removed on Degreeworks (even if it is currently fulfilling the requirement). 

Please note that all graduating seniors must submit a graduation application, and these applications are approved by degree certification and by the CHBE department.  We will NOT approve CHBE 4699 to fulfill the Biotech elective if you have not obtained approval from Dr. Agrawal.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Variable Hour Courses/Research

So, you are planning to do research this semester, and you have turned in your signed approval form from your professor.  You receive the email notification that you can now register for the course.
When you register for a variable hour course (i.e. research), the registration will default to 1 hour; it is your responsibility to change the hours based on the agreement you have made with your supervising professor.  Your advisor CANNOT change the hours for you.

How do I change the number of hours for a variable hour course?
  1. Log into Buzzport
  2. On the Home tab locate the "REGISTRATION AND STUDENT SERVICES" channel
  3. Select the "Registration - OSCAR" link
  4. Select "Student Services & Financial Aid"
  5. Select "Registration"
  6. Select "Add/Drop Classes"
  7. Select "Term"
  8. Select "Change Course Options" at the bottom of screen
  9. Enter the desired number of hours.

Wait List Notifications INFO

Students--if you are currently on a wait list for a class, please be aware that the registrar's office has not opened the WAIT LIST NOTIFICATION process yet!  This means that if you see seats in a class, but you are on a wait list--DON"T JUMP OFF THE LIST!  The open seats are frozen and cannot be accessed UNLESS you are on the waitlist.  Starting Friday afternoon, approximately 4pm, the waitlist notifications will begin.  After that time, if you are the first person on a waitlist you will receive notification when a seat is available for which you can register via email.  You must register for the open seat within 12 hours or you lose the spot.  When registering for a seat, you should enter the CRN# into the space available at the bottom of the Add/Drop worksheet in OSCAR and click SUBMIT. 

Remember also that being on the wait list does not guarantee a seat.  Especially for CHBE 4200 and 4400, the wait list will be prioritized based on anticipated graduation. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Research position: Kawajiri group

The Kawajiri research group is looking for an undergraduate researcher who is interested in developing an hydrogen energy production process over multiple semesters. We are working with the Atomistic Simulations and Energy Laboratory in Mechanical Engineering for thermogravimetric testing. The goal of this testing will be to identify high preforming oxygen storage materials (OSM) for hydrogen production. Currently this lab is leading an ARPA-E in the Department of Energy focused on the construction of a concentrated solar powered reactor. This reactor will utilize an OSM to produce hydrogen through a reversible metal oxide cycle.

 1. Completed or simultaneously taking ChBE 4300 Kinetics & Reactor Design.
 2. Minimum GPA at Georgia Tech 3.2.
 3. Interested in continuing work on this project in Spring or Summer 2014 semester(s) for further credits or pay.

If you are interested, please send (1) your resume and (2) expected graduation date to Colby Jarrett (

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fall 2013 Unit Ops and Process Control registration

Many seniors plan to take these classes in their final year.  The prerequisite for both classes is CHBE 3210 Transport II, and you can take them concurrently with ChBE 3225 Separations and/or CHBE 4300 Kinetics.  Since both of these classes are labs, we usually recommend taking them in two separate semesters when possible. 

You need to sign up for both the lecture and lab sections of this class when seats are open.  However, many of the sections are filled following Phase I registration.

Remember: CHBE 4200 is for standard option; CHBE 4210 is Biounit Ops for the biotechnology option.

If you plan to graduate in Fall 2013 and still need to take either of these classes, I hope you are either in the class or on the waitlist.  If you are NOT on the waitlist, you MUST register yourself for the waitlist of the LAB SECTION of the class you can take, and email me to let me know that you are graduating in the fall and must be prioritized on the wait list. You will not be able to register for the lecture section of the class until seats are opened if you are on the waitlist. 

Please note:  if you are on the waitlist for either of these classes and you are NOT graduating in Fall 2013, we cannot guarantee seat availability.  Graduating seniors will be given priority, and not all students on the waitlist will get a seat in the class.  In general, it will be easier to find seats in Unit Ops in the fall term as the number of seats in PC is more limited.

Georgia Tech Athletic Association needs Tutors!

The Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) will be hiring tutors for Fall 2013. Prospective students can apply online at  and gain more information about the GTAA tutoring program.  Please look for more information coming soon to the GTAAN T-Square site.

Point of Contact:
Christen Steele
Education Support Manager
Georgia Tech Athletic Association
(404) 894-7585 Office
(404) 353-7784 Cell
(404) 894-6478 Fax

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Waitlisting Pointers

There are many questions about how wait listing works for a class, so here are a few thoughts:

Waitlisting allows departments to see which classes are in demand, and hopefully, adjust the schedule by either adding seats to current sections or adding sections.  If you need a class and it's full, add yourself to the waitlist!  Keep in mind that this doesn't guarantee you a seat, but it's a good idea, especially in Phase I.

Here's a good rule of thumb to use:  If there is even 1 person waitlisted but there are 20 open seats...  you cannot take one of those open seats.  You must wait in line.  Classes with waitlisting cannot be "stalked".  Do NOT jump off the waitlist and try to grab a seat if you see one open--you won't get it and you will lose your place in line.

Think of it this way.  You go into a restaurant and see 10 open tables. You ask the hostess for a table but are told you cannot have one because there is a waitlist. You must go on the list behind the others already waiting, as they will get their chance for the table first.  At the restaurant this is typically about 5-10 minutes.  If they do not answer, then the next person on the list goes.  Here at Tech you get 12 hours to answer for your "table". (class)

You cannot waitlist for multiple sections of a class, so pick the one that would work with your schedule if a seat opens.  Remember: if you get the email which says a section has a seat, you have 12 hours in which to register.  To register, go to the add/drop worksheet and enter the CRN # of the class and click Submit Changes.  (The C will not go away, so you can't click the box and register...)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Research Positions for Undergrads Fall 2013

The Bommarius lab seeks undergraduate students interested in challenging research!

The Bommarius laboratory (ChBE, CHEM, Bioengineering) specializes in biocatalysis, green chemistry, protein stability, and biochemical engineering.  We seek self-motivated, hard-working student researchers interested to continue for a PhD and/or MD after college, to work on cutting-edge research problems and to learn new skills.

i)    graduation date (B.S.) between 05/14 and 12/15 in BIOL, BMED, CEE, ChBE, or CHEM
ii)    GPA at Georgia Tech > 3.30, preferably > 3.5
iii)    basic laboratory skills, enthusiasm, self-motivation, flexibility, independence
iv)    start in Fall 2013 for credit, continuation during 2014 possible and expected

Interested?:  Please email resume (incl.i) major, ii) GPA, and iii) expected graduation date) to mentor and to Prof. Andreas S. Bommarius (

Interviews with mentor: any time; feedback: less than 1 day later; decision asap after agreement among student, mentor, and faculty advisor. 

We have a position available on the following projects:

1.  Deep eutectic solvents for the pretreatment of cellulose
Cellulose is the most abundant biomaterial known and is considered a key target for replacement of fossil fuels.  Due to its partially crystalline nature, cellulose is not soluble in water or most organic liquids. Eutectic mixtures of salts sometimes melt below room temperature.  We will investigate the solubility and structure (crystallinity) of cellulose in such liquids.
The student will learn to compose and identify a eutectic medium, measure and interpret crystallinity of cellulose, and to employ cellulose and lignocellulosic materials.  Key experiments will involve testing renewable materials as components of the eutectic system, testing cellulose crystallinity via X-ray diffractometry, and measuring hydrolysis to oligosaccharides.  The work will require some knowledge of physical chemistry.
Mentors: Yuzhi Kang (, Dr. Minjeong Sohn (minjeong.sohn@chbe.

2.  Green oxo synthesis: improvement of alcohol oxidase (AOX) to increased activity against butanol for conversion to butyraldehyde.
Aldehydes are commonly obtained through oxo synthesis or hydroformylation, via addition of CO and H2 to alkenes.  We propose to generate aldehydes via selective oxidation of the corresponding alcohols, many of them available inexpensively through their use as biofuels.
    We seek to improve the specific activity of alcohol oxidase from yeast as well as substrate binding and temperature stability, by applying the protein engineering toolbox established in our lab.  We will identify hotspots on the amino acid sequence that control activity and stability, and then proceed to create and assay variants for the trait we seek to improve.
The students will learn how to cultivate, express, and harvest proteins from Pichia pastoris and then learn how to use the FPLC system for protein purification. UV spec assays and protein assays will be taught for characterization of protein variants.  This project requires knowledge of biochemistry and some kinetics.
Mentor: Dr. Bettina Bommarius (

3.  Redesign of amine dehydrogenase via protein engineering
Amine dehydrogenase (AmDH), developed in our lab, catalyzes the reduction of ketones to enantiomeri-cally pure amines, which are important building blocks in syntheses of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).  Using the established library screen to investigate hot spot sites in amine dehydrogenase, the student will start with an already cloned library to screen colonies for expression and activity of the new variants in regard to higher activity and broader selectivity.  Approximately between 100-1000 colonies will be screened during the process of investigation of the 2 amino acid sites making up the hot spot.
     The student will learn protein expression and purification techniques along with assays to explore and confirm enzymatic activity using state-of-the-art technologies in protein engineering such as AKTA Explorer for protein purification, gas chromatography, circular dichroism, and mutational library construction. The work will require knowledge of organic chemistry, biochemistry, and kinetics.
Mentors: Dr. Bettina Bommarius ( and Samantha Au (

4.  Large-scale purification protocol for amine dehydrogenases
Application of amine dehydrogenase (AmDH) in the synthesis of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) requires its purification after fermentation.  We have conducted pilot-scale fermentation and now need to develop a purification protocol that does not require any chromatographic steps, as these are too expensive for large-scale downstream processing. 
Instead, we will focus on protein extraction in aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS), with ammonium sulfate in the top phase and polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymer in the bottom phase.  We will determine the phase diagram with and without enzyme, and its variation in temperature, salt and PEG concentration as well as pH of the solution. After determining the optimal conditions, we will then develop the detailed purification protocol, with protein purity and yield as our main targets, and conduct proof-of-principle trial runs on pilot scale.
    The student will learn the full range of protein purification techniques along with assays for protein content and activity, using state-of-the-art technologies in protein engineering such as AKTA Explorer for protein purification, UV/VIS spectroscopy, and gas chromatography.  The work will require knowledge of thermodynamics and separations.
Mentors: Dr. Bettina Bommarius ( and Samantha Au (

Interdisciplinary Research Opportunity for Undergraduates.

Project Title:  New Dielectric Materials for Microelectronics Packaging

Location: In the laboratory of Prof. Paul Kohl, Bunger-Henry Building, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Duration: The candidate must be available for at least two semesters, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. This position can be for pay, academic credit as a Technical Elective, or a combination of the two if the contact hours justify it.

Qualifications: The candidate should be currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Prior experience with working in a laboratory is an advantage but not required.  Candidate must have successfully completed ChBE 2100. 

Background: Funding is through the Opportunity Research Scholars' (ORS) program in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.  The program is sponsored by Intel, Semiconductor Research Corporation, SAIC, and more.  ORS is a group-based, interdisciplinary program designed to provide research experience for undergraduates. The undergraduate students work in groups of about three to a group. The groups are given a technical problem and expected to collaboratively solve the problem though experimental research.  

Job description: The candidate will work with two ECE undergraduate students in a group setting.  Students will be involved in a research project dealing with advanced dielectrics for integrated circuits and electronic packaging.  The project will require creative problem solving, especially in chemical routes to new dielectric materials and characterization of properties.  The student will gain knowledge in microelectronics, polymer chemistry, and dielectric materials.  Hands-on experience will be gained in microelectronics processing and polymer characterization techniques. 

Contact: Interested students should send his/her resume and transcript to Jared Schwartz at