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Chemical engineering graduate Daniel Connolly ’02 has won second place in the National Student Paper Competition sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Connolly presented his paper yesterday at the annual AIChE meeting being held this week in Indianapolis, Ind.

“This is a tremendous coup for the department of chemical engineering at Lafayette and the College in general,” says James Ferri, assistant professor of chemical engineering, who mentored Connolly for the honors thesis that provided the basis for his paper, “Calibration of Process Shear Conditions Using Shear Marker Fluids: Hybridoma Cell Death as an Indicator of Hydrodynamic Shear.”

Completed in collaboration with engineers at Air Products and Chemicals Inc. in Allentown, Pa., Connolly’s thesis may help the chemical industry bolster the quality of fluids shipped through pipelines.

Connolly notes that Ferri “always took the time to go through a derivation or a concept and explain it when I didn’t understand it completely. I also had Dr. Ferri for two classes at Lafayette — both great experiences where I learned a lot. I was able to apply what I learned in industry during my internships.”

He competed with seven other chemical engineering undergraduates and recent graduates from each of the seven AIChE national regions. The other schools represented in the competition were Georgia Tech, University of Washington, UCLA, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Ohio University, and Northeastern. In addition to receiving a cash prize, the winners were recognized during an honors luncheon.

Connolly advanced to the national competition after taking first prize for his research presentation at the mid-Atlantic AIChE regional conference.

He notes that Lafayette offers “a good environment for extensive and independent research mainly due to its faculty-student ratio. With the small numbers, students are able to learn who their professors really are, and that’s not something you get from just going to a lecture.”

A Marquis Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Connolly graduated from Lafayette summa cum laude in May with honors in chemical engineering, earning a 4.0 grade point average. He was a recipient of Lafayette’s Eugene P. Chase Phi Beta Kappa Prize, for demonstrating scholarship as a first-year student; Dr. E.L. McMillen –K.K. Malhotra ’49 Prize, awarded to juniors who have earned a high cumulative grade point average in chemical engineering and a high level of proficiency in the unit operations laboratory; and Donald U. Noblett Prize in Chemical Engineering, based on high academic achievement in chemical engineering and outstanding promise of career excellence.

He coauthored a paper published by Proceedings of the Third NSF International Symposium and Technology Expo Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems and presented his work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

As a student, Connolly served an internship in emulsions manufacturing at Air Products Polymers Group in Piedmont, S.C. He is a scientist at Rohm & Haas, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals in Springhouse, Pa.

Connolly’s activities at Lafayette included membership in the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society, AIChE, Lafayette Organization of Science and Technology, Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection, and Lafayette Christian Fellowship. He also volunteered through Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles