Energy Storage Symposium is a Success

Leaders in energy storage technology converged on the Oregon State University campus Nov. 5-6 for a symposium to discuss opportunities and challenges for next-generation, large-scale grid energy storage systems in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide.

CBEE Professor Zhenxing Feng gives an introduction to energy storage for undergraduate students at the symposium.

The meeting, which drew more than 80 participants, served as a forum for industry representatives, utility companies, academic and government researchers, and policymakers to discuss energy storage and potential major applications in the region.

“This meeting exceeded our expectations,” said conference chair Zhenxing Feng, assistant professor of chemical engineering in OSU’s College of Engineering. “We are creating new possibilities for collaboration among the leaders in energy storage systems for sustainable energy technologies.”

The symposium was organized by Oregon State with assistance from the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a public/private partnership established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2012. Presenters included researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Industry representatives from 10 companies were in attendance, including Organo Corporation from Japan, China’s Neware Technology, Nissan North America, and Lebanon, Oregon-based Entek Manufacturing.

An afternoon panel discussion brought together representatives from academia, industry, and national research laboratories.

A poster session showcased work by graduate and undergraduate students from Oregon State University and the University of Washington. Awards went to the top three presenters, all from Oregon State.

Ismael Rodriguez Perez, a graduate student in chemistry, received the top honor and a check for $250 for “Pure Hydrocarbon Cathodes for Dual-Ion Batteries – A Trend.” Justin Tran, a recent chemical engineering and sustainability graduate, took home second place ($150) for “Incorporation of Polymorphic Spacers to Inhibit Sintering of SrO/SrCO3 for Thermochemical Energy Storage.” Kofi Oware Sarfo, a graduate student in chemical engineering, was awarded third place ($100) for “Investigation of γ-Al2O3 Surface and Interface with Pt(111) Using Density Functional Theory.”

The full symposium program is available online at

CBEE Goes Big at AIChE Nationals

Members of the CBEE contingent wore their finest Beaver Orange and black to a Halloween celebration during the 2017 AIChE Student Conference in Minneapolis. 

A contingent of 16 CBEE students attended 2017 AIChE Student Conference, held Oct. 27-30 in Minneapolis.  The CBEE chapter once again volunteered to help run the meeting as a co-host chapter. AIChE national staff said they “love” our students, who have developed a well-earned reputation for being reliable, professional, and pleasant in carrying out their volunteer assignments.

National Awards

  • Freshman Outstanding Student Award: Joseph Hebert (sophomore, chemical engineering)
  • Sophomore Outstanding Student Award: Monika Hoke (junior, chemical engineering)
  • Othmer Oustanding Senior Scholarship ($1,000): Silvia Colussi-Pelaez (senior,  chemical engineering and environmental engineering)

ChemE Car Team

The CBEE ChemE Car Team (first place at the PNW regionals) came in a respectable 15th place out of 40 teams.

CBEE pulled off a remarkable recovery after its car received “no distance” in the first run (car went out of track and didn’t stop) because its iodine clock-stopping reaction didn’t work. The team went back to their work table and experimented for the hour between runs, coming back to land within 1.8 meters of the 23.5-meter total distance. Of the 14 cars with “no distance” in the first run, the OSU team came back with the very best second run.

“That’s great engineering problem solving and great teamwork,” said Professor Skip Rochefort, who accompanied the team “It was fun to watch them go through this process and even more fun to see them succeed.”

The team, led by co-captains Gillian Williams and Parker Busch, included Grant Kresge, Logan Slater, Ben Appleby, and Jasper Limon.

Undergraduate Poster Presentations

Six CBEE students presented poster, and two won awards out of more than 300 undergraduate student posters.

  • Conor Harris (senior, chemical engineering).  Faculty mentors: Walker and Rochefort. Third Place, Materials Engineering
  • Griffin Drake (junior, chemical engineering).  2017 UMaine Summer REU Program.  Second Place, Bioprocess
  • Ben Appleby (senior, chemical engineering, and member of ChemE Car Team) Faculty mentors: Walker and Rochefort. 
  • Kendra Jones (sophomore, bioengineering, first-year Johnson Intern). Faculty mentor: Owen McCarty (OHSU)
  • Gillian Williams (sophomore, bioengineering, and member of ChemE Car Team). Faculty mentors: Lew Semprini and Mohammed Azzizian. 
  • Christian Nevo (senior, chemical engineering).