As the Interim Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (CBE), it is my pleasure to invite you to our cohesive department dedicated to providing a world-class education to our students in the field of chemical engineering and beyond. With personalized education, innovative research labs, and award-winning faculty, we offer our students a rigorous academic environment and a life-changing learning experience. Our medium-sized department ensures the success of our tradition of engaging undergraduates and graduate students at an intimate level while maintaining a strong sense of community throughout their time at CBE. This tradition is exemplified in programs such as the personalized student-centered curricula and the mentoring program for each of our Ph.D. students. This tradition also fortifies and energizes teamwork; for example, our undergraduate team has won the National ChemE Jeopardy championship of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) five times (2013, 2014, 2020, 2021, and 2023) and the AIChE National ChemE Jeopardy Runner-up four times in the 13 years of the competition.
In CBE, innovation is the central theme in our teaching and research. From class and senior-design projects for undergraduates to research endeavors for Ph.D. students, we invite our students to be innovative thinkers and to be creative in engineering problem-solving beyond the textbooks. Our research portfolios are centered on climate and sustainability engineering, with major research areas and in-house expertise in chemical process and safety engineering, air quality and climate engineering, biological and pharmaceutical engineering, polymer and advanced material engineering, remote and smart sensing, machine learning and simulation, and engineering for sustainable energy and clean water.
The department's close affiliations with the University of Iowa Technology Institute, the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, and the Center for Fundamentals and Applications of Photopolymerization provide unique educational and research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Our research expenditure is ~$3.3M in 2022-2023, and comes from a variety of sources, including NASA, NIH, NOAA, NSF, USDA, USGS, DoD, DoE, EPA, and industrial sponsors. We encourage our graduate students to take ownership of their research to establish multi-disciplinary interactions with their peers and other researchers from across the University of Iowa as well as across the country and around the world. Our faculty strives to support our graduate students in attending professional meetings and help them foster collaboration and networking with other researchers in their fields.
Whether you are a prospective student, an alum, an employer, or a friend of CBE, I encourage you to explore our website and to reach out and stay connected to our CBE community.
James E. Ashton Professor, College of Engineering
Interim DEO (Chair), Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Phone: Phone: 319-353-4483