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Fall 2014 Chemical and Materials Engineering Newsletter


Dear Alumni, Students and Friends,

The past year or so has brought some significant changes. We hired three new ChE faculty members: Haiyan Zhao (Idaho Falls) this fall; Soumya Srivastava and James Moberly in fall 2013 (Moscow); you will read more about them below and in the future. Woody Admassu stepped down as chair, having served several terms during the previous two decades; and I became interim chair for this academic year while we conduct an external search for a permanent replacement. Vivek Utgikar is interim director of the Nuclear Engineering program based in Idaho Falls while they conduct a search. We are also searching for a new MSE faculty member for electronic and/or energy materials. Our 2014 graduating class of students grew to 30 — second only to Mechanical Engineering — with a double-digit percentage increase of enrollment overall.

Many things have not changed. The ChE and MSE programs have successfully received continuing accreditation from ABET for another six years. Both programs have the continuing concern of not being supported enough by institutional resources. We remain focused on fully funding The Lou Edwards Endowed Chemical Engineering Chair, and we continue to work with our development office to increase our capacity to recruit and support graduate students for growing our research efforts toward education — neither of which are possible without your support. Outstanding seniors Ben Carleton (BS ChE 2014) and Quinn MacPherson (BS MSE, BS Physics 2014) both graduated summa cum laude and are currently graduate students in ChE (U of I) and Physics (Stanford), respectively. Design teams are still winning local and international awards; funded projects keep coming through and our alumni (that’s you!) remain the most supportive of any U of I academic program.

We look forward to hearing from you throughout the year and maybe even seeing you, if you are in our neighborhood. Please update your contact information with us at or We are planning to transition our newsletter to an electronic version that will be emailed and later posted on our website. Updating your email information with us will ensure that you continue getting our newsletters.

— Eric Aston,
Department Chair


Contact Us

Buchanan Engineering Building Rm. 308

Mailing Address:

Chemical and Materials Science Engineering
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1021
Moscow, ID 83844-1021

Phone: 208-885-7572

Fax: 208-885-7462

Email: or