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Message from the Chair

Andre PalmerAndre F. Palmer, professor and chair

Greetings From Ohio State!

We are enjoying another busy Autumn Semester, and along with that, some excellent developments in the CBE program.

Ranking increase

First, the ranking of our graduate program in the US News & World Report has risen from #26 to #23.

New faculty welcomed

Second, but even more important than the first -- we have hired three new faculty.

Eduardo ReáteguiEduardo ReáteguiAt a time when fierce competition for chemical engineering faculty and a tight funding environment have created enormous challenges in hiring the star-quality faculty we have come to expect at The Ohio State University, we are very fortunate to be able to welcome Eduardo Reátegui to the department.

Professor Reátegui's research focuses on the development of translational microtechnologies combining microfluidics, biomaterials and molecular imaging techniques to help better diagnose, study and treat cancer and infectious diseases.

Working at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center under the mentorship of Dr. Mehmet Toner and Dr. Shannon Stott, he developed a non-invasive "liquid biopsy" microfluidic device that sorts out circulating tumor cells and extracellular tumor vesicles present in the blood of cancer patients, enabling minimally-invasive cancer diagnostics. 

His experience and talent were a perfect match for us, ending our three-year search for an assistant professor in the Cancer Cluster tenure-track position, which is shared with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Andrew MaxsonAndrew MaxsonWe are also grateful to hire Andrew Maxson as a clinical assistant professor in the Unit Operations Laboratory. Dr. Maxson works with Dr. John Clay, who last year won the highest teaching honor available at Ohio State - the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Maxson is already distinguishing himself as a go-getter who has student interests foremost in mind. He has made a number of improvements to Unit Operations, and plans many more. Read about one improvement that any alumnus of Unit Operations will surely appreciate!


Andrew TongAndrew TongFinally, we are very pleased to expand duties for Andrew Tong, currently a research assistant professor who has been working with Professor L.-S. Fan. Andrew will assume a teaching role as a clinical assistant professor, and split his time between the two roles. His services in this role could not come at a better time, as our undergraduate enrollment continues to surge.



Faculty Expansion Plan

These hires represent the early stages of a plan to invest in our world-class faculty by engaging in an aggressive hiring campaign.

The department currently has three tenure-track faculty position openings:

1. Another position in the Cancer Cluster - endowed position for an associate or full professor;

2. Reaction Engineering - assistant or associate professor;

3. Sustainability and Manufacturing / Process Engineering - assistant or associate professor. 

More information about these open positions can be found on our website.

The target for faculty net growth, anticipating several retirements, is to hire two to three new faculty/year for five years for a target nect growth to 30 faculty.

This will be a challenge in our current funding scenario, but one that is not only well worth the effort, but critical to the long-term success of the program and our students. (Alumni, if you'd like to support the department, contributing to our faculty development fund is one way in which you can help!)


A few highlights for 2017

In other news, our faculty continue to win new research grants and awards.

Aravind Asthagiri published in Science magazine.and Stuart Cooper is now serving as president of Sigma Xi, the world's largest scientific society. 

Alumni Linda Broadbelt, Bill Lowrie, Daniel Gallego-Perez, Adina Sterling, Bill Leipold, and Hannah Zierden won various awards, including national-level awards from the American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation.

And on a personal note, I received my fourth R01 from the National Institutes of Health, bringing my total R01 funding to $8.4M for the year. 

There's lots more to tell, but these might be the most salient points to report at this time.

Best regards from Columbus, Ohio!

Andre F. Palmer, Professor and Chair

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and The Ohio State University College of Engineering below, you’ll find some interesting facts below, such as:



  • CBE's graduate program is ranked #23 in U.S. News and World Report's ranking of 120 chemical engineering programs in the nation.
  • Ohio State is ranked #25 in Reuters' 2017 Top 100 - The World’s Most Innovative Universities. This puts Ohio State ahead of CalTech, Cornell and even Oxford universities.
  • In 2016, Columbus, Ohio won the US Department of Transportation "Smart City" challenge and received $40 million dollars to develop smart technology in the city. With another $10 million from Vulcan Inc., a company founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, Columbus is poised to become the blueprint for the future of urban planning.
  • Columbus, Ohio was named the “Most Intelligent City in the World” by the Intelligent Community Forum in 2015, as well as Forbes’ “World’s Top 7 Smart Cities. 
  • Columbus was named to the Top Ten Cities for New College Grads list in 2013.

These rankings are just one indication of the margin of excellence you can expect to find here at Ohio State and its home base of Columbus.  


Our Students

The average freshman ACT Composite score for incoming freshmen is 30.1 and the overall percentage of students participating in the honors program is 40.4%. Student retention in the freshman engineering honors program is high – 91.7%. These are exceptional numbers, and the number of awards our students have received reflects this. 

Over the last ten or so years, our students have won a total of:

18 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

5 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships

2 Fulbright Scholarships, and

1 Morris K. Udall Scholarship.

Students have abundant opportunities to participate in research in our new, state-of-the art facilities under the tutelage of some of the finest faculty in the profession.


Our Faculty

We have 22 tenure-track faculty, six emeritus faculty (two active), four clinical professors, and one research professor. The department is known for its award-winning teaching, and we are also proud of these key achievements:

  • Three members of the National Academy of Engineering
  • Ten faculty have received the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award.


Research Areas and Expenditures

There are vast opportunities for research and collaboration here at Ohio State, ranging from bioengineering to polymers and nanomaterials. Please visit our Research page for more information. You can also search for faculty and their research pages directly using the directory


Research achievements include:

  • World leader in chemical looping processes that conserve resources and reduce emissions;
  • Groundbreaking research in self-cleaving affinity tag technology for protein purification;
  • Leadership in nanobiotech and the development of magnetic quantum dots for diagnostics;
  • Innovative membranes for gas separations;
  • Immunomagnetic cell separation, cancer diagnostics and cell migration;
  • Tissue engineering and biomaterials for transfusion medicine;
  • Cutting-edge research in catalysis;
  • Polymer-based nanoengineering which has led to new materials and devices benefitting manufacturing processes and medical diagnostics;
  • Sustainable engineering.

Last year our research expenditures were $7,127,633 – an average of $339,000 per faculty.  Major funders include the Department of Energy, NIH, NSF, and DARPA.



The new, $125M Koffolt Laboratories - which opened in Winter 2015 thanks to alumnus William G. Lowrie and hundreds of loyal alumni - offers 225,000 square feet of spacious, state-of-the art laboratories. The facility fuels Ohio's economy through partnerships with industry, boosts Ohio State's profile as a leader in 21st-century research, and attracts top-notch faculty and students, who enjoy the modern equipment, quiet work environment and loads of natural light. 

The design of the building facilitates communication between various groups of researchers, faculty and students, and a common event space in the lobby as well as multiple meeting rooms provide collaborative meeting spaces.

Undergrads enjoy hands-on learning in our huge Unit Operations laboratory, as well as configurable classrooms, day lockers, group workstations and a student lounge on the 6th floor with a great view of downtown.


About Ohio State

Ohio State is one of the largest universities in the nation. As Ohio's best and one of the nation's top-20 public universities, it is also home to a diverse group of the best and brightest people in the world. The Ohio State University is further recognized by a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. As a land-grant university, Ohio State has a physical presence throughout the state, with campuses and research centers located around Ohio. The university's main campus is one of America's largest and most comprehensive. 

Ohio State prides itself on establishing a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, encouraging all members of our learning community to reach their full potential. 


About Columbus, Ohio

Columbus offers a vibrant quality of life, economic prosperity, and a low cost of living: 6.3% below the national average.

Columbus is home to the highest metropolitan concentration of Fortune 1000 companies in America.

In naming Columbus the “Most Intelligent City in the World,” the think tank Intelligent Community Forum cited the city’s “rebirth of hope” and “revolutionary community” approach and relentless pursuit of new ideas. Columbus was selected after a year-long evaluation that included a quantitative analysis of extensive data, site inspections, and votes from an international jury made up of experts from around the world.

Columbus was also included on Forbes’ 2015 list of the World’s Top 7 Smart Cities

Columbus and the Ohio State campus offer a multitude of green spaces, water and recreational activities, museums, music, art, cultural events, and, of course, some of the best football competitions seen in the world. There are numerous nearby attractions, including the Hocking Hills State Park, a national landmark.


Our Alumni

Graduating students have some of the best opportunities in the world awaiting them, as evidenced by our thousands of succesful alumni.   

In 2013, Columbus was named one of the top 10 cities in the U.S. for new college grads. Graduates are recruited by industry giants such as Intel, Shell, DuPont, General Mills, and many others, while other students continue on into academia at such institutions as Georgia Tech, University of Wisconsin, Carnegie Mellon, and Northwestern University. Three of our alumni are now chemical engineering department chairs.


I hope this gives you a taste of what the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is all about. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Go Bucks!