Dr. Eric J. Amis
University of Akron
Advanced manufacturing: The 21st century materials challenge

Dr. Eric Amis

Dr. Eric J. Amis is the Dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron. Previously, he was an associate professor at the University of Southern California and held several leadership roles at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Polymers Division and the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. Most recently, Dr. Amis served as the Director of Physical Sciences at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), where he led a research and development team of over 140 scientists and engineers, working in areas including advanced manufacturing, chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, and applied physics. He coordinated these efforts as well as developing external partnerships and internal technology capabilities to further the goals of UTRC in energy and sustainable materials research. We are excited to feature Dr. Amis at our symposium because of his experiences managing large-scale research teams and his diverse background in academia, government, and industry.

Dr. Sally M. Benson
Stanford University
Transitioning to a sustainable energy system: Opportunities and challenges for CO2 capture, storage, and recycle

Dr. Sally Benson

Dr. Sally M. Benson is the Executive Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) and a professor of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University. She previously also served as Deputy Director of Operations at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Research in Dr. Benson’s group focuses on CO2 storage in geologic formations, as well as technologies and energy systems for a low-carbon future, influence of climate change on critical habitats, biogeochemistry of selenium, and geotechnical instrumentation for subsurface characterization and monitoring. We are excited to feature Dr. Benson at the Graduate Student Symposium because of her environmental research and her work with GCEP. This large-scale project involves fundamental research in a broad variety of energy-related areas, conducted by researchers at Stanford and other universities around the world and supported by major international corporations.

Dr. Pratim Biswas
Washington University in St. Louis
Energy-environment nexus: Global challenge problem being tackled by international collaborations

Dr. Pratim Biswas

Dr. Pratim Biswas is the chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and the director of the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environmental Partnership (MAGEEP). His research is in the field of aerosol science and technology, with projects involving nanoparticle synthesis, clean coal technologies, solar energy, and biomass conversion. We are excited to feature Dr. Biswas at the Graduate Student Symposium because of his dedication to energy research and his international work with MAGEEP. As director of this partnership, he leads a consortium of 28 universities and corporate partners from around the world, working together in energy, environmental and sustainability research, education, and operations. The group’s mission is to collectively identify and collaboratively tackle important global energy and environmental challenges in an integrated and holistic manner.

Dr. Robert P. H. Chang
Northwestern University
How can global research collaboration benefit the world's citizens?

Dr. Robert Chang

Dr. Robert Chang is a professor of materials science and engineering and Director of the Materials Research Institute at Northwestern University. His research interests include unconventional high-efficiency photovoltaics, carbon-based nanomaterials, and oxide films and nanostructures for energy and sensing applications. We are excited to feature Dr. Chang at the Graduate Student Symposium because of his role as director of the International Materials Institute for Solar Energy and Environment (IMI-SEE), which involves materials research focused on solar energy and related topics at institutions in the U.S. and China. The IMI-SEE’s mission is to foster and coordinate international collaborative research efforts, especially between the U.S. and China, through networking events, research exchange programs, leadership development, and the creation of online infrastructure for collaboration. Dr. Chang is also the General Secretary and Founding President of the International Union of Materials Research Societies and has recently helped launch the Global Materials Network (IUMRS-GMN) to encourage collaboration among materials researchers around the world. Additionally, he is very active in science education and outreach, and serves as the director of the Nanotechnology Center for Learning and Teaching (NCLT).

Dr. Vicki H. Grassian
University of Iowa
Mineral dust aerosol: Its surface chemistry and impacts around the world

Dr. Vicki Grassian

Dr. Vicki H. Grassian is a professor of chemistry with secondary appointments in the Departments of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering and Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on environmental chemistry, especially as it relates to the surface chemistry of environmental interfaces, atmospheric aerosols, and health and environmental aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Dr. Grassian is involved in many collaborative research efforts through the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, and the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Iowa. Recently, she was named the co-Director of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE). CAICE is a National Science Foundation funded Center for Chemical Innovation. She also serves as a scientific advisor for a variety of international conferences and projects. We are excited to feature Dr. Grassian at the Graduate Student Symposium for her interdisciplinary environmental research and its global impacts.

Dr. Young-Kee Kim
University of Chicago
My journey from a small town to big science

Dr. Young-Kee Kim

Dr. Young-Kee Kim is a professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. She also was the Deputy Director of Fermilab from July 2006 to June 2013. Her research focuses on understanding the origin of mass for fundamental particles. We are excited to feature Dr. Kim at the Graduate Student Symposium because she has been very involved in large-scale projects in national and international settings, including at Fermilab, Argonne National Lab, and CERN. These efforts to answer fundamental physical questions and tackle complex problems involve broad collaborations among diverse groups of researchers.

Dr. Pradipsinh K. Rathod
University of Washington
Probing genetic plasticity of Plasmodium falciparum: Evolution of malaria parasite drug resistance, and beyond

Dr. Pradipsinh Rathod

Dr. Pradipsinh K. Rathod is a professor of chemistry and adjunct professor of global health at the University of Washington, and the Director of the NIH International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) in South Asia. His research focuses on understanding and developing possible treatments for malaria, especially targeting new drug-resistant strains. Through his work with the South Asia ICEMR, he brings these same goals outside the lab and to a region directly impacted by malaria. Part of a global network of independent research centers in malaria-endemic settings, the South Asia ICEMR focuses on the genetic adaptability of malaria. We are excited to hear more about how Dr. Rathod works with international research teams and gets involved with the direct global impacts of his research.

Dr. Robert E. Sievers
University of Colorado
Development of needle-free and water-free inhalable dry powder aerosol vaccines

Dr. Robert Sievers

Dr. Robert E. Sievers is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado. He is also a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and leader of the CIRES Global Health Research Group. His research involves fundamental and applied studies of nanoparticle and microparticle aerosols, including the development of inhalable vaccines for use in developing nations. Needle-free vaccine delivery is one of the Grand Challenges in Global Health posed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Working with Aktiv-Dry LLC, a company Dr. Sievers co-founded, his group has developed an inhalable measles vaccine. In collaboration with groups in India and South Africa, he is working to bring this technology through clinical trials and extend the aerosol approach to vaccines for other diseases.