Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Case Western Reserve University has a long history of leadership in chemical engineering.  In 1888, a student named Herbert Dow graduated from Case and founded a small chemical company.  Today the Dow Chemical Company is the largest in the United States. At Case Western Reserve, we continue to develop future leaders through innovative undergraduate and graduate programs that combine technical rigor with experiential learning.  And our cutting-edge research programs in energy systems, advanced materials, and biomolecular engineering are world-renowned. Please contact me if you have questions or would like to learn more about our programs.
Daniel Lacks
Chair, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Departmental News:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Case Western Reserve University $10.75 million over four years to establish a research center to explore “Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage” (BEES), with the intent of identifying new battery chemistries with the potential to provide large, long-lasting energy storage solutions for buildings or the power grid.  Read more here

Three chemical engineering students spent the summer in Lanzhou, China, conducting experiments on the electrostatic charging of wind-blown dust.  Read more here.

For centuries, scientists have tried to understand triboelectric charging, commonly known as static electricity. New research led by Case Western Reserve University indicates that tiny holes and cracks in a material—changes in the microstructure—can control how the material becomes electrically charged through friction. Read more here.

The Washington Post: Daniel Lacks, the C. Benson Branch Professor of Chemical Engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, explained the chemistry behind why adding water to whiskey gives it a better flavor. Link to the article.

This summer, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering hosted 25 rising young leaders from sub-Saharan African countries in a federal program aimed at empowering them through workshops, leadership training and networking. Read more.

Julie Renner, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was awarded a Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship. The fellowship program is a partnership between the Electrochemical Society and Toyota. Renner is one of just three researchers from across the country to be selected for the honor. Read more.

For years, CWRU chemical engineering students have traveled to African villages, to see a different way of life and, more recently, aiding those they visited by installing solar panels in their villages. What they didn’t realize, though, was the inherent problem with that model: If the system broke, the villagers didn’t know how to fix it.  Read more here...

Congratulations to Souvik Ghosh and Liz Stricker!  Souvik won the 2016 John Coburn and Harold Winters Student Award in Plasma Science and Technology, and Liz won the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research award.  Read more below...

Prof. C. C. Liu has been developing low-cost technologies to rapidly screen and monitor a range of medical conditions, including various cancers.  Associated with the medical conditions are particular biomarkers.  Prof. Liu and his team have established detection mechanisms for such biomarkers, and have designed and fabricated biomedical sensor prototypes based on these biomarkers. Read more about it here.

Clean renewable energy from solar or wind sounds great -- but what do you do when its dark out or not windy?  Prof. Savinell and Prof. Wainright are working on solving this problem.  They have been developing technology for cost-effective grid-scale batteries that could store energy from solar or wind for use when its dark out or not windy. Read more about this project here.