College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CBE grad students honored with research, teaching awards

Four chemical engineering graduate students have been honored with the department’s annual Research Excellence and Teaching Excellence Awards.

Jose Miguel Suastegui (right) receives his piece of congratulatory cake from CBE Director of Graduate Education Eric Cochran at the department reception.

Jose Miguel Suástegui (Fall 2016) and John Matthiesen (Spring 2017) received awards for effort and results in their respective research projects, while Benjamin Schlichtmann (Fall 2016) and Li Zhe (Spring 2017) were honored for their engagement with students in helping them to receive the most out of their education and research experiences. A reception and ceremony with faculty and fellow graduate students was held April 27.

Benjamin Schlichtmann was not available for the ceremonies, but was honored for his Teaching Excellence Award.

Suástegui and Matthiesen, who will be receiving their Ph.Ds this semester, presented their research as part of the final Graduate Seminar Series event for chemical engineering graduate students. Suástegui discussed “Metabolic Engineering Strategies

for High-Level Production of Aromatic Amino Acid Pathway Derivatives in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.” Matthiesen presented “Electrochemical Conversion of Muconic Acid: Application to the Production of Biorenewable Polyamides and Polyesters.”

Suástegui’s major professor is assistant professor and Jack and Carol Johnson Faculty Fellow Zengyi Shao; Mattiesen’s major professor is assistant professor Jean-Philippe Tessonnier; Schlichtmann, who was unable to attend the ceremonies, has studied under professor and Vlasta Klima Balloun Chair Balaji Narasimhan; while Zhe’s major professor is Herbert L. Stiles Associate Professor Yue Wu.

Li Zhe (left), recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award, is shown with his major professor Yue Wu.
John Matthiesen (left) receives his Research Excellence Award from Professor Jean-Philippe Tessonnier.
Jose Miguel Suastegui is congratulated by his major professor Zengyi Shao.