Chair's Welcome

August 2017

Laurence R Weatherley PhD Chair and Spahr Professor of Chemical Engineering

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas. We are sure that you will find your experience here exciting and valuable. We are very proud of our track record of excellence in both teaching and research which is underpinned by the department’s outstanding faculty and teaching and research facilities. These support our department’s key areas of activity in Kinetics and Catalysis, Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine, Enhanced Oil Recovery and Reservoir Engineering, and Electrochemical Engineering.

We are also proud that our undergraduate programs in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering are ABET accredited and as such, a BS degree from KU will be recognized nationally and internationally. Graduates from our degree programs continue to attract some of the highest starting salaries of all new graduates in the US and overseas. The demand for places in our two undergraduate programs continues to be very high. As I write this, our current undergraduate count amounts to over 600. Over 30% of our undergraduate cohort are women.

This is an exciting time for Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas!  Our discipline has been recognized for its importance to the local, regional and national economic interests of the US, and over the last several years we have seen completion of a major laboratory overhaul with new facilities for petroleum engineering, tissue engineering research, fuel cell research, catalysis, process intensification, and plasma etching, all areas in which you may discover undergraduate and graduate research opportunities.

Along with the other programs in the School of Engineering we are also major beneficiaries of the multi-million dollar Building on Excellence program which is providing new buildings, facilities and additional professors for our program.

Fall 2015 saw the opening of the new Engineering LEEP2 building. In addition to extensive new teaching and research facilities, C&PE has a new extensive teaching laboratory for chemical engineering unit operations. A new research suite housing Dr Shiflett’s research team hosted its inaugural Open Day in April 2017. Very soon, towards the end of 2017 we look forward to the opening of the new Earth, Energy and Environmental Center building on the east side of Learned Hall. This a  multi-million dollar purpose built building to house new laboratories and faculty space for Petroleum Engineering teaching, and to extend the capability of our Tertiary Oil Recovery Program. The building will also house extensive new facilities for Geological Sciences

We have been especially appreciative of the support we have received both from industry, from our advisory board and from our engineering alumni over many years.  This provides for many student scholarships, student prizes, new laboratories, endowed professorships and support for international activities. These have been made possible by contributions from companies such as Berexco, Conoco Philips, Exxon-Mobil, Koch Industries, Occidental, Devon Energy and from many generous private donors and alumni.

In January 2017 we were very pleased to welcome Dr Brandon Dekosky as Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering, joint with the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Dr Dekosky’s research interests are in the field of molecular immunology. In fall 2017 we are delighted to welcome as new faculty, Dr Alan Allgeier, joining us from DuPont as Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering.  Dr. Allgeier trained as an organometallic chemist and is widely known as an innovator in both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, including experience with a wide-range of porous inorganic and polymeric materials. In January 2018 we look forward to welcoming two more faculty colleagues who will provide additional strength to our programs in biomedical engineering and to our core teaching program in chemical engineering.

We are also very pleased to welcome on to our staff team, Samantha Raines as our student advising officer.

Other faculty news includes Distinguished Professor RV Chaudhari being admitted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Dr Kevin Leonard was appointed as the new Don Green Fellow for Teaching Excellence, Drs Stevin Gehrke and Arghya Paul received Fred Kurata Professorships.

Finally, if you are interested in seeing the department or would like further information, I would be delighted to hear from you by phone, fax or e-mail. If you want to set up a campus visit, please contact the KU Visitor Center at 785-864-3911 or our C&PE General Office at 785 864 4965.

Sincerely,

Laurence R Weatherley PhD
Chair of Chemical and Petroleum Chemical Engineering
Albert P Learned Distinguished Professor
University of Kansas

 


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