Wayne State and BASF assemble lineup of renowned chemical engineers for fifth annual lecture series

The Wayne State University College of Engineering invited five prominent professors of chemical engineering to speak during the 2022-23 academic year for the fifth annual BASF Distinguished Lecture Series, a joint effort between BASF and the Wayne State Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

The hour-long lectures aimed to stimulate idea-focused conversations about exciting advances in areas such as microbial biosynthesis of cancer therapeutics; polymers that improve hydrocarbon transport and safety; computer-aided process engineering; recycling and upcycling of polymers; and sustainability in a circular economy.

Jay Keasling from the University of California, Berkeley, opened the series on Sept. 28.  Julia Kornfield from the California Institute of Technology kicked off the 2023 portion on Jan. 18. Lorenz T. (Larry) Biegler from Carnegie Mellon University and Sanat Kumar from Columbia University presented on March 8 and 22, respectively. Adisa Azapagic from the University of Manchester closed out the series on March 29.

"We are so grateful to BASF for their support, which allows us to provide a high-quality seminar series that has a significant impact on undergraduate and graduate student professional development," said Helen Durand, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University and coordinator of the BASF Distinguished Lecture Series.

The partnership between Wayne State and BASF — the largest chemical producer in the world, with a footprint in more than 80 countries — was established to create new channels that connect students with professional leaders and enhance interaction among industry experts.

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