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Alumni Achievements

achievementsAt both the undergraduate and graduate levels, alumni of the Department of Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering are using more than just skills related to the discipline of chemical engineering but also their creativity, critical thinking and capacity to learn to make an impact in their current positions.

Graduates of the department find employment with organizations such as Merck, MedImmune, the National Institutes of Health, Exxon, Life Technologies and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

Naomi Mburu, B.S. Environmental Engineering ’18

UMBC’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar. “Under the direction of my future doctoral supervisor, I want to design the diverter in a nuclear fusion reactor — the hottest part of the reactor. Right now, more research is going into how we can model this part on the computer instead of testing it in a facility.” (

Hollie Adejumo, B.S. Environmental Engineering ’16

Hollie conducted environmental microbiology research in the Lee Blaney laboratory for nearly four years. She is now a PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of Dr. Nancy G. Love. In August 2018, she conducted a pilot study in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to determine the occurrence and spatial distribution of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts in water distribution systems. She aims to understand the relationship between recurrent disinfection byproduct exposure and human disease. Hollie’s doctoral research is funded in part by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Rackham Merit Fellowship, and the International Institute Student Fellowship – African Studies Center Funding for Research Support in Africa.

Nikhil Ramsubramaniam, Ph.D. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’14

Nikhil works as a senior scientist at Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Dalton Hughes, B.S. Chemical Engineering ’14

Dalton was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F30 Fellowship) from to support his MD/PhD studies with Kafui Dzirasa (B.S. ’01) at Duke University

Katelyn Williams, B.S. Chemical Engineering ’12

Katelyn was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F30 Fellowship) from the National Cancer Institute to support her MD/PhD studies.

Barbara Beckingham, Ph.D. Environmental Engineering ’11

Barbara is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston.

Silviya Zustiak, PhD Biochemical Engineering ’09

Dr. Zustiak was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Biomedical Engineering Department at St. Louis University

Simon Gray, B.S. Chemical Engineering ’08

Dr. Gray completed his MD/PhD at Yale University and is completing his residency at the University of North Carolina in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology

Michael Hanson, Ph.D. Biochemical Engineering ’07

Michael is Senior Technology Engineer in the Manufacturing Science and Technology Department at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. His department currently supports the commercial process for Prevnar, a 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine for infants.

Vignesh Muthuvijayan, M.S. Biochemical Engineering ’04

After completing his M.S. from UMBC, Vignesh joined the Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University in fall 2004. He is working in biomedical engineering for Dr. Randy S. Lewis and his research specifically deals with modification of biomedical polymers to improve haemocompatibility. His work includes blood studies to understand platelet aggregation and he has presented his results at AIChE annual meetings.

Jingjin (Jean) Harms, M.S. Biochemical Engineering ’00

Jingjin received her master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Moreira, studying the recombinant retroviral production system for gene therapy. She is currently a senior process engineer at Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California where she works on late phase and commercial process transfer from development to manufacturing.

Sanjeev Ahuja, Ph.D. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’00

Sanjeev works as a senior scientist in the Late Stage Cell Culture Development group in MedImmune. His responsibilities include process characterization, scale up, technical transfer, commercial process support and scale down.

Gan Wei, Ph.D. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’99

Currently, Gan works at Shire Human Genetic Therapies, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he is director of bioengineering.

Kim Lemaster, B.S. Chemical Engineering ’98

Kim is the division head of the Superfund Division at the Maryland Department of the Environment. He works with the U.S. EPA to provide regulatory oversight of cleanup activities at sites in Maryland that are contaminated with hazardous substances.

Santosh Noronha, Ph.D. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’96

Santosh is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. His research interests are biochemical engineering, recombinant biotechnology and computational biology.

Wei Huang, M.S. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’93

Wei is a director of process engineering at Fluor Corporation, the world’s largest engineering firm, where she is working on the design and construction of a biotech and pharmaceutical facility.