Faculty News

August 12, 2019

CBE Faculty Promotions


The Chemical and Biological Engineering Department are pleased to announce the promotion of Drs Heather Canavan and Eva Chi to the rank of professor. Dr. Canavan joined the then Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering in Fall of 2005. Her research focuses on cell/surface interactions, bioactive polymers and biocompatibility, and the design of adaptive tools and devices for enhanced mobility. She is also extremely active in engineering and scientific education. Her funding is primarily from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Chi became a member of the ChNE faculty in 2008 adding her research expertise not only to the deptment but to the Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBME). Professor Chi's research focuses on understanding the structure, dynamics, and stability of proteins.

New CBE Faculty


Joining the Chemical and Biological Engineering Deptment for the fall semester are assistant professors William P. Bricker and Shuya Wei. Both Dr Bricker and Dr Wei did postdoctoral research at MIT. Dr Bricker in the Biological Engineering Department where he utilized computational chemistry to research novel synthetic excitonic devices using DNA as a scaffolding material, analogous to the natural biological light-harvesting complexes. At UNM, Bricker plans to develop new computational tools to study the molecular-scale structural and electronic interactions which are responsible for efficient energy transport in natural and synthetic biosystems. At the molecular scale, chromophore aggregation and geometrical organization can lead to unique electronic effects which will be studied and optimized using these computational tools. At the network scale, he hopes to accurately predict and optimize molecular energy transfer pathways using multi-scale computation. An active collaboration with the Center for Advanced Research Computing at UNM will enable these calculations.

Dr Wei did her postdoctoral fellowship at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Wei's research interests are understanding the fundamentals of electrochemical processes in electrodes and at electrode/electrolyte interfaces, and on that basis developing next generation high-energy batteries for energy and environmental applications. Current research projects include developing cheap chemical waste batteries by using earth abundant materials that can capture/convert greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and at the same time generate/store electricity.