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Graduate students recognized for excellence in polymer colloid research

(from left to right) Megan Casey, Mohamed El-Aasser, Lisa Spagnola and Jinmo Hong at the EPI awards dinner.

Three graduate students have received the annual Kenneth A. Earhart Award from Lehigh’s Emulsion Polymer Institute (EPI) in recognition of their research.

Megan B. Casey, Jinmo Hong and Lisa M. Spagnola, all Ph.D. candidates in chemical engineering, received the award at EPI’s annual review meeting dinner in March. The award carries a prize of $1,000 to help recipients present their research findings at a national or international conference.

Casey’s research project is titled “Study of Monomer Droplets in Miniemulsions.” She is advised by Mohamed El-Aasser, university provost and professor of chemical engineering, and E. David Sudol, EPI principal research scientist.

Hong studies the “Effect of Agitation on Coagulum Formation in Emulsion Polymerization.” He is advised by Andrew Klein, professor of chemical engineering, and by Sudol and fellow EPI principal research scientist Eric S. Daniels.

Spagnola’s advisors are El-Aasser, Klein, Daniels and EPI principal research scientist Victoria L. Dimonie. Her research topic is the “Miniemulsion Polymerization of Fatty Acid-Derived Monomers.”

Each of the award winners will present their work at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Philadelphia in August.

The Earhart award was made possible by Neal J. Earhart ’89 Ph.D. in memory of his father, Kenneth A. Earhart ’30, who worked for EPI from 1975 to 1987 following his retirement from the chemical industry.

Three other graduate students won poster-presentation awards and cash prizes at the recent EPI annual review meeting. The posters were evaluated by EPI’s industrial partners.

Zhipeng Song, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering, took first prize for a poster titled “Seeded Dispersion Polymerization.” His advisers are Klein, El-Aasser, Daniels and Sudol.

Su Jeong Han, a graduate student in chemical engineering, won second prize for her poster “Ion Exchange Latex Particles by Emulsion Polymerization.” Her advisers are Klein, Daniels, Dimonie and Sudol.

Samantha N. Braganza, a graduate student in polymer science and engineering, took third prize for a poster titled “Role of Reactive Surfactants in Miniemulsion Polymerization.” She is advised by El-Aasser, Klein, Daniels and Sudol.

Lehigh’s EPI, founded in 1975, carries out interdisciplinary research into the preparation, characterization, properties and applications of latex polymers. The EPI is world-renowned for its industrial liaison program and its one-week short course “Emulsion Polymerization and Latex Technology,” which is held each June at Lehigh and each August in Davos, Switzerland.

--Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Monday, April 07, 2008

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