In the News


  • Congratulations to third year PhD students Natalia Rodriquez Quiroz and Elvis Ebikade on winning the 2018-2019 CCP poster competition! Natalia will present her work at the 2019 CCP symposium as part of the award.
  • Congratulations to 4th year PhD student Joshua Lansford for being one of only twenty to win an AICHE travel award from the Chemical and Reaction Engineering Division (CRE). He will be recognized for his work during the conference at the CRE division dinner on October 28.
  • Congratulations to Alexander Mironenko for winning the Kadanoff-Rice postdoctoral fellowship from the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Chicago. This award, for those interested in interdisciplinary work, is used to attract postdoctoral students to the University of Chicago.
  • Congratulations to second year PhD student Yifan Wang for winning the Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award. He is one of four students across the university to win this award, which recognizes outstanding graduate teaching assistants.
  • A collaboration between the Vlachos and Epps labs of UD, along with Virginia Tech and Bridgestone Americas, has resulted in developing a new process for making tape from biomass. This eco-tape, made from lignan, performs equally as well as existing commercially available products derived from petroleum.
  • Congratulations to first-year PhD student Himaghna Bhattacharjee for winning the Laird Fellowship! This fellowship recognizes Himaghna for his excellent scientific career to this point as well his pursuits for personal growth outside of the lab. These pursuits include adding an eighth language to his repertoire and photographing meaning in every day life. One award is given every year by the University in the memory of George W. Laird.
  • Graduate students Jiayi Fu and Joshua Lansford each received competitive travel grants funded by the National Science Foundation to attend the 25th International Symposia on Chemical Reaction Engineering in Florence, Italy. The generous grant allowed both students to attend their first international conference and facilitate collaboration across the Atlantic.
  • Congratulations to PhD students Alexander Mironenko for earning the Saurabh A. Palkar Graduate Award for Mentoring and Joshua Lansford for being awarded the 2018 Phillip and Ruth Evans Chemical Engineering Fellowship! Both Alex and Josh will be honored on May 5th at the College of Engineering Academic Honors Ceremony.
  • Third year graduate student Jiayi Fu was awarded the very competitive 2018-2019 University Doctoral Fellowship Award. Awards are based solely on academic achievements during time spent at UD.
  • Congratulations to groups members Weiqing Zheng and Steven Giles whose featured article in udaily was one of the top 5 University Articles on the DOE’s Office of Science homepage in 2017! The article covers a new method of making and embedding tungsten carbide nanoparticles into a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. This novel catalyst increases currents and extends the lifetime of the membrane.
  • 2017

  • Congratulations to third year PhD students Angela Norton and Jonathan Lym on winning the 2017-2018 CCP poster competition!
  • Dionisios G. Vlachos has been named one of the 10 most highly prolific authors in ACS catalysis over the last 5 years.
  • Second year PhD candidate Angela Norton won the competitive 3-year DOD SMART scholarship. She will have the opportunity to intern in DOD laboratories over the summer and is guaranteed employment upon graduation.
  • Congratulations to first year PhD student Gerhard Wittreich, who was one of only four students to win the university-wide Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award! Gerhard was awarded for teaching a course in applied mathematical modeling. This course provides key tools for solving complex engineering problems.
  • Second year PhD candidate Joshua Lansford received an Honorable Mention from the National Science Foundation for his Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) application. A total of 2,000 scholarships and 1,803 honorable mentions were awarded in 2017.
  • Fifth year PhD candidate Alexander Mironenko has been selected to participate in the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting. He is one of only 400 students and post-doctorial researchers from around the world to be invited. The focus of this year’s meeting is chemistry and at least 31 Nobel Laureates will attend
  • Professor Dion Vlachos will give his inaugural lecture as the Allan and Myra Ferguson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at 4 p.m. on April 17 in 204 Kirkbride Hall. He will discuss global energy, water and food needs with a reception to follow in the DuPont Hall Lobby. Click here to find out more and RSVP.
  • 2016

  • The University of Delaware will be key player in helping AICHE lead a new manufacturing institute, RAPID (Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment), funded by $140 million to increase domestic energy production and efficiency. The University of Delaware will head up a RAPID node to develop new technologies for catalysis and reactor engineering.
  • A University of Minnesota led research project, funded by the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, has invented and patented the “perfect soap molecule” made from natural products ( The new soap performs much better in both cold and high mineral content water. These properties allow it to be used without harmful additives and in lower concentrations than conventional soap, reducing the environmental impact.
  • Dionisois G. Vlachos has been awarded the first Ferguson Professorship and appointed to direct the UD Energy Institute (
  • CCEI’s research overview and quest has been published in University of Delaware Online Research Megazine (
  • Congratulations to first years for passing qualifier: Pierre Desir, Jiayi Fu, Joshua Lansford, Jonathan Lym, and Angela Norton
  • Nick Martin, a REU student, has been featured as a student of month of ChEnected. (
  • Stephen Giles, co-advised with Professor Yushan Yan, uncovered chemistry behind high-performing nickel catalyst supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube in his publication at Nature Communications, significance of which was highlighted as a new milestone for decreasing fuel cell cost in New Energy and Fuel, January 15,2016.
  • Huong Nguyen was the winner of the Graduate University Fellow Award from University of Delaware.
  • 2015

  • Tyler Josephson was awarded with the CRE Division Travel Award for the 2015 AICHE annual conference.
  • Wei Guo, a post-doctorate in the Vlachos group, has published an article in Nature Communications demonstrating that imperfect surface on the bimetallics core-shell catalyst offers higher yield and a easier synthesis process than the perfect concentric surface. (UDaily article)
  • Alexander Mironenko won the FOMMS Fellowship at the 2015 Conference on Foundations of Molecular Modeling and Simulation
  • Tyler Josephson received the Philip and Ruth Evans Chemical Engineering Fellowship.
  • Alexander Mironenko was the recipient of the Kokes Award at the 24th North American Catalysis Society (NACS) Meeting.
  • 2014

  • Tyler Josephson was the winner of the poster competition in the AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) Division.
  • Vassili Vorotnikov received a travel award from the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) Division.
  • CCEI received $12 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue its Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI), an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) that is developing technologies to convert biomass to biofuels and chemicals.

    UD was one of 32 EFRCs selected for funding totaling $100 million to further fundamental advances in energy production, storage and use, DOE announced in a press release. CCEI is one of 22 centers selected for continued funding from among the original 46 EFRCs funded in 2009, and one of 23 university-led projects.

    “This new four-year funding will enable CCEI researchers to build upon the foundations set in the first funding period and further the catalytic technologies that can transform widely abundant plant biomass into renewable chemicals and fuels,” said Dionisios Vlachos, CCEI director and Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

    “CCEI’s research has the potential to replace costly enzyme-based processes with more robust and economically viable solid catalysts. Expanding the portfolio of biomass-derived chemicals and fuels can have a major impact on the economy and the environment.”2013

  • Graduate student Nima Nikbin received the Eastman Chemical Student Award during the annual symposium sponsored by UD’s Catalysis Center for Science and Technology.
  • Dallas Swift, graduate student at the University of Delaware, received a travel award from the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) Division.
  • Graduate student Nima Nikbin was the recipient of the Kokes Award at the 23rd North American Catalysis Society (NACS) Meeting.
  • CCEI’s new high-yield process to make paraxylene featured in Plastic News article about Micromidas Inc., a start-up company in California.
  • 2012

  • Top cited article in 2011-2012 in Carbohydrate Research [S. Caratzoulas and D. G. Vlachos, Converting fructose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural: A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study of the mechanism and energetics, Carb. Res. 346, 664-672 (2011)].
  • Chemical Engineering News, Nov. 19th Issue, 2012; Commentary on biofuels production
  • Most Cited Author of Chemical Engineering Science in 2011, for the article “The roles of catalysis and reaction engineering in overcoming the energy and the environment crisis”.
  • The para-xylene work published in ACS Catal. 2, 935-939 (2012) was highlighted in Chem. Eng. News and The Catalyst Review, May 2012 pg. 9.
  • Our pyrolysis paper in Energy Env. Sci. 5, 5414-5424 (2012) was highlighted in Nature Chemistry 4, 68-69 (2012) and in Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) in March 2012.
  • Biofuels digest: January 2012.
  • 2011

  • In the Movers and Shakers, Catalyst Review by the Catalyst Group (September 2011)
  • 2010

  • Technology Review, published by MIT, March 19th, 2010, commentary of Dion Vlachos Increasing Yield from Gasification, A new process can make more fuel from biomass.
  • Chemistry World, April 25th, 2010. New strategy yields best ever catalyst for ammonia decomposition
  • Pacific Northwest National Labs, Chemical & Materials Sciences Division Research Highlights, October 2010. Getting the Catalysts You Really Need
  • 2009

  • Catalysis and Reactors for Decentralized Fuel and Biofuel Processing: A Perspective, The Catalyst Review Newsletter, January 2009.