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WIP: A Summer Outreach Program in Chemical Engineering Emphasizing Sustainable Technologies Related to Plastic Materials

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 10

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Diane L. Nelson Carnegie Mellon University

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Diane Nelson is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and a Burroughs Welcome Fund Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering who is committed to exploring the unique properties of fluorinated materials and harnessing those properties to improve drug delivery vehicles to the lung. She has spent the last six years creating and testing her delivery system on various lung diseases and is currently defining the process of droplet coalescence with the lung lining for drug delivery.
As a previous biomedical engineer turned chemical engineer, Diane has developed a unique perspective when it comes to utilizing a broad set of tools in both her research and classroom. She aspires to share her enthusiasm for biology, mathematics, and engineering through teaching and mentoring in the next stage of her career as faculty.

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Ilhem F. Hakem Carnegie Mellon University

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Ilhem F. Hakem is the Director of Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Minor Program and a Teaching Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA since 2018. Dr. Hakem received her Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures and MS degree in Physics and PhD in Polymer Physics from the University of Abou Bekr Belkaïd, UABT (Tlemcen, Algeria). Dr. Hakem taught and supervised students as Professor at UABT until she joined the Department of Materials Science Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) as Visiting Professor in 2005.
Before joining CMU, Dr. Hakem made several short and long-term visits as a Visiting Professor at l’Institut Charles Sadron (Strasbourg, France), Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Mainz, Germany) and Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne, USA) where she worked on mean field theory applied to uncharged polymers and polyelectrolyte systems and small-angle neutron scattering of amphiphilic polymer systems in the presence of electrolytes, at the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS).
Dr. Ilhem F. Hakem joined the Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces (CPS) Program and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2018 as Teaching Professor to support and expand the educational activities of the CPS Program. This involves teaching of undergraduate and graduate level courses, supervising undergraduate and Master students in research projects related to soft materials and finally develop and get involved in K-12 outreach activities.

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This contribution will discuss some activities that were offered to high school students enrolled in the 2019 Summer Academy for Math and Science program at Carnegie Mellon University. During this program, students explored mainly the chemical engineering processes involved in soap manufacturing, polymer processing, their properties and applications. The goal was to raise student awareness in product design, manufacture and sustainability. Given the relevance and scope of the plastics crisis, we spent the majority of the class exploring how plastics contribute to waste and what strategies exist to alleviate this problem. Engineering aspects of the physical, mechanical and chemical properties of these materials were investigated. During the concluding ceremony of the SAMS program, a mini-symposium-style final project presentation gave students the opportunity to share their results and educate their peers about their insights on the role of sustainable engineering in their respective domain.

Nelson, D. L., & Hakem, I. F. (2020, June), WIP: A Summer Outreach Program in Chemical Engineering Emphasizing Sustainable Technologies Related to Plastic Materials Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35519

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