Welcome, from the Mines CBE family!
Want to know what makes a great department? Our 75-year history was written “by the family, for the family,” as coined by new department head Anuj Chauhan. The book was composed from student and faculty interviews, surveys of the Oredigger yearbook and commencement bulletins, department records, and registrar data, among other sources. The book can be found under our department history tab or by clicking here.
The CBE Department is excited to welcome our two new Assistant Professors, Nikki Farnsworth and Stephanie Kwon!
Dr. Nikki Farnsworth joined the department in Fall 2019. She previously held a position as a Research Instructor at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus in the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder in Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Her thesis work focused on the development of biomaterials for cartilage tissue engineering, under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Bryant. In 2012, Dr. Farnsworth began her postdoctoral work focusing on pancreatic islet biology and quantitative microscopy techniques to study islet function in health and disease, directed by Dr. Richard Benninger. Her current research focuses on understanding mechanisms of pancreatic islet death and dysfunction during the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes using biomaterials as a tool to facilitate this research.
Dr. Stephanie Kwon joined the department in Spring 2020. She is worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Enrique Iglesia at the University of California, Berkeley. One of her recent projects involved mechanistic assessments of HCOOH decomposition routes on metals and oxides by combining kinetic, isotopic, spectroscopic studies with density-functional theory calculations. She also worked on understanding O2 activation pathways on metal oxides and the specific properties of oxides that determine the rates and selectivities of such routes. She obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University in South Korea and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. Her Ph.D. work with Professor Randall Q. Snurr and Peter C. Stair focused on the nature of active oxygen species during selective oxidation catalysis.
Excellent teaching, cutting-edge research
We are offering an updated ABET-accredited degree in chemical engineering. This revision modernizes our curriculum, offers increased flexibility in elective options and provides optional specialty tracks in Process Engineering and Biological Engineering for those who want to focus their degree.
In addition, we maintain a high-quality, well-funded research program ($7-8 million per year in research awards) with strong participation from students at both graduate and undergraduate levels. About 80 graduate and postdoctoral students study within a broad research menu, including major programs in conventional and renewable energy, soft materials and biotechnology, catalysis and separations, simulation and modeling and pedagogy with top-notch faculty, including one PECASE award winner and seven NSF CAREER Award winners.
These research and educational activities take place in one of the most scenic locations in the United States. With over 300 days per year of sunshine and the proximity to Denver and the Rocky Mountains, this area provides a combination of year-round cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities that are virtually unmatched anywhere.
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Melissa Krebs, associate professor in chemical and biological engineering, explains how hydrogel bandages can improve the healing time in diabetic wounds.
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“Current products on the market for diabetic foot ulcers are not meeting the clinical need," Chemical & Biological Engineering Associate Professor Melissa Krebs said.
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The assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering is developing an optical sensing platform – with nanosensors small enough to fit in the spaces between bacteria.
- Advancements in bio-technology provide more customized approach to medical care
As medical care becomes more personalized, Mines researchers are forging ahead in the field by developing nano-sized biotechnology that was once the stuff of science fiction.