News: CBE

Giselle Roca, woman with long light hair and a brown shirt

‘Ezra’s Bridge’ to increase minority students in chemical, materials sciences

By: Cornell Chronicle

The story of talented minority students struggling to advance in higher education is one that is all too familiar in STEM-related fields, and one that has inspired the launch of Ezra’s Bridge – a transitional M.S. program that addresses challenges faced by students underrepresented in chemical and materials sciences by providing them with a full-tuition scholarship, research opportunities, mentoring, and professional development. Ezra’s Bridge was launched in August 2021 after Cornell was selected as an American Chemical Society Bridge Program site, with the greater goal of addressing the gap... Read more

virtual meetings have power to lower carbon emissions

Virtual meetings have power to lower carbon emissions

By: Sustainability Times

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, academics and business professionals were shifting away from in-person travel to conference events because of the related carbon costs, especially for air travel. Climate leaders from Sweden’s Greta Thunberg to Dr. Peter Kalmus, the founder of “No Fly Climate Sci,” were calling attention to the environmental impacts of these gatherings. Whether it’s the 118 private planes that took leaders to COP26 in Scotland, or the high-emission foods on the menu at Davos, the public now notices too.But pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions accelerated the change, and... Read more

Fengqi You

A New Design for Quantum Computer-Monitored Electrical Grids

By: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

With support from the Quantum Computer User Program (QCUP) at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), researchers from Cornell University have developed a new quantum computer–based artificial intelligence (AI) system for identifying and diagnosing faults in electrical power grids. The framework promises much faster response times and smarter solutions than current state-of-the-art systems and hints at the impact that quantum computers may have on daily life once the technology matures. Fengqi You, the Roxanne E. and Michael J. Zak Professor in Energy Systems Engineering in Cornell... Read more

Peter Harriott

Peter Harriott ’49, chemical engineering pioneer, dies at 94

Peter Harriott ‘49, an emeritus professor of chemical engineering who taught for 48 years at Cornell and co-authored the defining textbook on unit operations, died Sept. 23 in Ithaca. He was 94. Harriott joined the faculty of what was then the School of Chemical Engineering in 1953 and worked closely with some of the school’s founders, including professors Fred H. “Dusty” Rhodes and Julian Smith. Harriott spent the next 48 years teaching undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering students about process control, chemical reactor design, and membrane and synthetic fuels. He supervised... Read more

EV Batteries in car

Retired electric vehicle batteries could be used to store renewable energy

By: National Science Foundation

December 9, 2021 Researchers at Cornell University, partially funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, recently published a study that outlines ways to sustainably repurpose used lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries to reduce their carbon footprint. The researchers investigated how battery chemistry, reuse and recycling influence the energy output and environmental impact of lithium-ion EV batteries. The analysis, published in Science Advances, found that the carbon footprint of a lithium-ion EV battery can be reduced by up to 17% if it is reused before being recycled. Batteries with... Read more

Nicholas L. Abbott

Functional Soft Matter Designed using Non-Equilibrium Interfacial States of Liquid Crystals

Abstract Soft matter provides the basis of a wide range of consumer products (from skin creams to salad dressings), yet our ability to engineer dynamic interfacial phenomena that underlie the structure and function of many of these products remains primitive. This presentation will explore how liquid crystalline oils can provide new methods to study non-equilibrium states of oil-water interfaces and new designs of functional soft matter. A first example will describe surfactant-driven flows at interfaces of liquid crystals, revealing how liquid crystals enable optical characterization of the... Read more