College of Engineering Hosts Candidates for Chair of Department of Chemical Engineering

The College of Engineering will host four candidates for the position of Chair of the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Sachin Patil will visit campus on April 11th, Dr. Jasim Uddin on April 12th, Dr. Jaime Ramirez-Vick on April 13th, and Dr. Alex Yokochi on APril 14th. The candidates' biographies are listed below.


PatilDr. Sachin Patil is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Widener University. Dr. Patil received his PhD in Chemical Engineering with specialization in Alzheimer’s disease from Michigan State University. He is the recipient of the outstanding PhD student award and the national award for best Master’s thesis. Dr. Patil served as both Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the School of Engineering at Widener University. As Interim Dean, he led the launch of Robotics Engineering major at Widener, one of only few such innovative programs nationwide. He also played a central role in the launch of Widener’s another successful undergraduate major in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Patil currently serves as the Director of the NanoBio Laboratory, training multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students on cutting-edge drug discovery projects. His research, supported by foundations and industry, is primarily focused on a clinically important field of “Interactome Engineering”, with applications against numerous challenging disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and coronary heart disease. Dr. Patil currently serves as an invited guest editor of a special issue on this important topic for the journal Pharmaceuticals.

UddinDr. M. Jasim Uddin obtained his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Tech (University of Turin, Italy) and BS degree in Chemical Engineering. He is currently serving as an interim chair of the Department of Chemistry and Director of Photonics and Energy Research Laboratory (PERL) at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is founding co-Director of Materials Science and Engineering PhD program (to be launched in spring 2023). He completed one year of extensive fellowship training from Texas Academic Leadership Academy (TALA), Houston.

As an interim chair, he managed a handsome financial support to increase the undergraduate and graduate student enrollment within a year. To grow the program’s (undergraduate and graduate) enrollment, he implemented undergraduate research fellowship, graduate research enhancement scholarship, best undergraduate research award, best dissertation award, graduate tuition award, etc. Dr. Uddin was able to enhance the general graduate fellowship from $20k to $33.1k, which enhanced the graduate enrollment remarkably in this fall (AY 2022-2023). He remarkably strengthened the systemic outreach program (industry and partner) to grow the undergraduate program. He received (PI/coPI)more than  $12M external grant from deferent agencies. He published 70 research papers, 100 referred presentations, 19 invited speaks, and 4 patents. He worked at Tulane University, LA, and Florida State University, National Mag Laboratory, Florida. He is known for the invention of three-dimensional solar cells, and self-cleaning, antimicrobial textiles, and photochromic textiles.  He was recently awarded(alone and team): Fair Champion award by 2021 Governor’s Science and Technology Academy, Texas, Grand Champion, 60th Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Texas, 2020, CoS Excellence in Research Award 2020, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX, High Scholar Research Competition Award 2016, 2018, & 2020 (UTRGV), Outstanding and Sustainable Research in Science Award 2016 (UTRGV), United Group Research Award 2016 (International), UGC Award in 2010 (International), etc.

RamirezDr. Jaime E. Ramirez-Vick is Professor of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering at the Wright State University. Formerly, he was Chair of the department and of the Engineering Science and Materials Department at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez. He has graduate and undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering from University of Puerto Rico–Mayaguez and Arizona State University, with postdoctoral training at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Cancer Center of the University of California – San Francisco. 

He is co-founder of two microarray-based diagnostic companies in northern California, Iris Biotechnologies and Daedalus Biotechnologies. As technical lead of the companies he was awarded seventeen patents for their core technologies. Dr. Ramirez-Vick is member of the Editorial Board of various peer-reviewed journals and is ad hoc editor over sixty others. He co-authored a textbook titled Bioseparation Process Science. He is also a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a great distinction in the field.

YokochiDr. Alex Yokochi is the Director and Founder of the Chemical Engineering Research and Energy Sustainability Lab at Baylor University. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1997 and began his career as a Chemical Engineering Professor at Oregon State University receiving promotion to the rank of Full Professor in 2015. His research and teaching interests focus on process and reaction engineering, energy and sustainability, advanced materials and material processing, the development of advanced electrochemical approaches to energy conversion (e.g., fuel cells and batteries), grid scale energy storage and water treatment. Dr. Yokochi’s work includes advanced chemical process intensification and modular chemical engineering such as the direct conversion of methane to chemicals and liquid fuels using corona discharge which he advanced as PI of a $2.5M ARPA-E Grant.

Dr. Yokochi chaired, organized and hosted the 1st AIChE/IEEE Solar Energy Systems Conference, in Waco, TX, Dec 12-13, 2019, which continues annually. His work has been supported by state and federal agencies including the US-DoE/ARPA-E, NSF (including a CAREER award), the US Navy, the Bonneville Power Administration and Chemical Engineering industrial partners including PTT.