Six Hope College students who participated in research this past summer had their work selected for presentation during the recent Annual Meeting and National Student Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), with one of them receiving an award.

The presentations represented nearly half of the 13 undergraduate research presentations from colleges and universities in Michigan.  In the past six years, a total of 36 Hope students have participated in the undergraduate research session of this national conference, a number exceeded by only nine other colleges or universities nationally.

Daniel Vessells, a junior from Bloomfield, won second place in the “General Engineering and Engineering Education” category.  At least one student who participated in Hope’s summer research program has received an award in this national competition in six of the last seven years.

The National Student Conference ran Friday-Monday, Nov. 14-17, and the Annual Meeting ran Sunday-Friday, Nov. 16-Nov. 21, in Atlanta, Georgia.  The undergraduate poster session took place on Monday, Nov. 17, and featured work grouped within a variety of categories within the field of chemical engineering.

The preliminary program for the student poster session listed 362 posters.  The primary presenters represented institutions in 36 states, Puerto Rico, and 12 other countries.  Of the 111 colleges, universities and laboratories listed as affiliation of the primary presenter, only 12 institutions had more posters listed in the event than Hope College.

All of the participating Hope students are engineering majors in the chemical engineering emphasis option.  Two Hope faculty in engineering were mentors for each of two projects.  Two students completed their projects externally, one as a summer research intern at the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, and the other as a National Science Foundation REU (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) participant at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

In addition to Vessells, the students attending the conference to present their posters were junior Gavin Donley of Mansfield, Ohio; senior Scott Essenmacher of Metamora; junior Andrew Harrison of Minneapolis, Minnesota; junior Skylar Heidema of Kalamazoo; and senior Minchul Kim of Seoul, South Korea.

Vessells won his award for the presentation “A New Approach to Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium Property Prediction from Cubic Equations of State,” which he co-authored with Dr. Michael J. Misovich, associate professor of engineering.

Donley’s presentation, “Asphalt Recovery from Used Roofing Shingles,” was also co-authored with Misovich.  It appeared in the “Environmental Science and Engineering II” category.

Essenmacher’s presentation, “High Temperature Oxygen Sensors Based on Ruddlesden-Popper Type Oxides,” was co-authored with Emir Dogdibegovic, graduate student in chemical engineering, and Dr. Xiao-Dong Zhou, associate professor of chemical engineering, both at University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.  It appeared in the “Materials Engineering and Sciences IV” category.

Harrison’s presentation, “Synthesis and Electrochemical Characterization of Azulene Polymers for Use in Electric Double-Layer Supercapacitors,” was co-authored with Jonathan Yarranton, graduate student at Michigan State University in East Lansing, and Dr. Thomas F. Guarr, professor at MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland.  It appeared in the “Materials Engineering and Sciences I” category.

Heidema’s presentation, “Thermally Reversible Hydrogels,” was co-authored with Dr. Matthew Smith, assistant professor of engineering.  It appeared in the “Materials Engineering and Sciences III” category.

Kim’s presentation, “Ruthenium-Poly(Vinyl Pyridine) (RuPVP) Metallopolymer for Catalyzing Self-Oscillating Gels,” was co-authored with Dr. Matthew Smith, assistant professor of engineering, and also appeared in the “Materials Engineering and Sciences I” category.

The abstracts for the presentations are available by locating the author’s name using the page at .

AIChE is the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 45,000 members from more than 100 countries.

Information on the AIChE annual meeting is available at