For the third time in the past five years, a Hope College student has won a first place award at the Annual Meeting and National Student Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Josephine Surel, a junior from Chelsea, won first place in the “Materials Engineering & Sciences 1” category.  At least one student who participated in Hope’s summer research program has received an award in this national competition in 10 of the last 13 years.

Two Hope College students who participated in research this past summer had their work selected for presentation during the conference. In the past 12 years, a total of 70 Hope students have participated in the undergraduate research session of this national conference, a number exceeded by only seven other colleges or universities nationally.

The only other Michigan institutions with students participating in the undergraduate research sessions of this year’s conference were Michigan State University, which also had two presentations, and the University of Michigan, which had three.

The National Student Conference ran as a virtual conference online, Friday-Monday, Nov. 13-16, and the Annual Meeting ran Sunday-Friday, Nov. 15-20.  The undergraduate poster session took place on Monday, Nov. 16, and featured work grouped within a variety of categories within the field of chemical engineering.

The preliminary program for the student poster session listed 104 posters.  The primary presenters represented institutions in 25 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 7 other countries.  Of the 58 colleges, universities and laboratories listed as affiliation of the primary presenter, only 10 institutions had more posters listed in the event than Hope College.

The participating Hope students are engineering majors or intend to declare an engineering major in either the chemical engineering concentration or the environmental engineering concentration.  Surel also has declared minors in chemistry and mathematics.  Two Hope faculty in engineering were mentors for the projects.

Surel won her award for the presentation “Exploring Halide Perovskite Structural Tunability to Design Materials for Dynamic Photovoltaic Windows,” which she co-authored with Dr. Jeff Christians, assistant professor of engineering.

In addition to Surel, sophomore Natalie Rowe of Kalamazoo had an abstract accepted for the poster presentation.  Rowe’s abstract, “A Power Series Approach for Heat of Vaporization Predicted by the SRK Equation,” was co-authored with Dr. Michael Misovich, associate professor of engineering.  It appeared in the “General Engineering and Engineering Education” category.

AIChE is the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 60,000 members from more than 110 countries.