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Shirts Winner of 2020 CoMSEF Impact Award

Professor Michael R. Shirts from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder is the winner of the 2020 CoMSEF Impact Award. He is cited “for increasing the utility, power, and reliability of molecular simulation as a chemical engineering tool through development and improvement of statistical mechanics methods and programs.” Prior to joining the faculty at Colorado in 2016, Michael was a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Shirts received his PhD from Stanford University in 2005 with Vijay Pandey. For his post-doctoral research, he worked with Richard Friesner at Columbia University. Michael delivered a presentation describing his research during the CoMSEF Plenary Session at the 2020 AIChE Annual Meeting. The CoMSEF Impact Award is given annually to a CoMSEF member who is within 15 years of completion of their highest degree.

White Winner of the 2020 CoMSEF Young Investigator Award

Professor Andrew D. White from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester is the 2020 winner of the CoMSEF Young Investigator Award. He is cited “for excellence in scholarly research in computational molecular science and engineering on the topics of multiscale modeling, molecular simulation methods and modeling of peptides.” Andrew joined the faculty at Rochester in 2015. Before that he worked with Professor Greg Voth at University of Chicago as a Post-doctoral fellow in the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics from 2013-2014. Andrew received his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Washington in 2013. Andrew delivered a presentation describing his research during the CoMSEF Plenary Session at the 2020 AIChE Annual Meeting. The CoMSEF Young Investigator Award is given annually to a CoMSEF member who is within 7 years of completion of their highest degree.

 

Mittal elected Vice-Chair of CoMSEF

The annual CoMSEF election recently concluded. Congrats to Jeetain Mittal who was elected Vice Chair, Joe Golab who was elected Secretary-Treasurer, and to Kayla Sprenger and Poornima Padmanabhan who were elected Liaison Directors! 

Alamdari and Anderson win 2020 CoMSEF Graduate Student Awards

The CoMSEF Graduate Student Awards in Computational Molecular Science and Engineering were awarded to participants in the CoMSEF poster session at the virtual annual AIChE Meeting: Sarah Alamdari (Washington, Advisor: Jim Pfaendtner) and Ryther Anderson (Colorado School of Mines, Advisor: Diego Gomez-Gualdron). This year the forum also named two Honorable Mentions: Andrew S. Rosen (Northwestern, Advisor: Randall Q. Snurr) and Karun Kumar Rao (Houston, Advisor: Lars Grabow). The CoMSEF Graduate Student Awards recognize excellence in research by graduate students in the field of computational molecular science and engineering. The awardees were selected based on the nomination letters received from each student’s advisor, their CV, and a poster presented during the CoMSEF poster session.

 

Elections 2020

This year we will elect a Vice Chair, a Secretary-Treasurer, and 2 Liaison Directors. A link to the ballot will be sent to you by email.


The Vice Chair shall:
  • Formulate and implement long-term plans and strategic activities for the Forum.
  • Implement projects in coordination with the Chair.
  • Serve as the Forum liaison to the Institute.
  • Be responsible for the programming activities of the Forum. The Vice-Chair, incollaboration with the Chair, shall prepare for the symposia and other programs. Responsibilities include coordinating Forum activities with the National Programming Committee and other programming groups. The Vice-Chair shall be the representative of CoMSEF to the National Program Committee.

The Vice Chair becomes Chair after the two-year term.

The candidates for Vice Chair are:


The Secretary-Treasurer shall:
  • Handle the general correspondence of the Forum, and shall, at the direction of the Chair, issue all notices of all meetings.
  • Handle and record the collection and disbursement of funds as authorized by the Executive Committee of the Forum.
  • Coordinate, with Headquarters, the preparation, electronic mailing, and tallying of annual election ballots.
  • Submit a report covering the finances and activities of the Forum at the end of each year to the Executive Committee of the Forum and the Secretary of the Institute.
  • Prepare a proposed budget for the upcoming year, for review and approval by the Executive Committee.

The candidate for Secretary-Treasurer is:

  • Joe Golab (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy)

The Liaison Directors shall:
  • Facilitate programming with other organizations by identifying opportunities for co-sponsorship
  • Communicate and advocate CoMSEF activities with other organizations.
  • As members of the Executive Committee, aid the other officers in developing and carrying out CoMSEF activities and preparing the CoMSEF newsletter.

The candidates for Liaison Director are:

Peters Winner of 2019 CoMSEF Impact Award

Professor Baron Peters from the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Illinois is the winner of the 2019 CoMSEF Impact Award. He is cited for “simulation techniques using special "rare events" that deepen understanding of crystal nucleation and growth, catalysis by amorphous materials, and of reactions in polar solvents.” Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois in 2019, Baron was most recently a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Peters received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004. For his post-doctoral research, he worked with Bernhardt Trout at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and with Berend Smit at the Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire. Peters was on the chemical engineering faculty at UCSB from 2007 to 2018. Baron received his award during the CoMSEF Plenary Session at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting. The CoMSEF Impact Award is given annually to a CoMSEF member who is within 15 years of completion of their highest degree. 

Haji-Akbari Winner of the 2019 CoMSEF Young Investigator Award

Professor Amir Haji-Akbari from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Yale University is the 2019 winner of the CoMSEF Young Investigator Award. He is cited for “his pioneering contributions to developing and utilizing advanced sampling techniques to study crystallization, including colloidal self-assembly and ice nucleation.” Prior to joining the faculty at Yale in 2017, Amir was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University in Pablo Debenedetti’s group. Amir received his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2011. Amir received his award during the CoMSEF Plenary Session at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting. The CoMSEF Young Investigator Award is given annually to a CoMSEF member who is within 7 years of completion of their highest degree.

Basdogan and Shi Win 2019 CoMSEF Graduate Student Awards

Yasemin Basdogan (Pittsburgh, Advisor: John Keith, Poster Title: A Machine Learning Guided Approach for Studying Local Solvation Environments) and Kaihang Shi (North Carolina St., Advisors: Erik Santiso and Keith Gubbins, Poster Title: High-Pressure Phenomena in Adsorbed Films: A New Route to an Experimental Determination of Effective Tangential Pressure) won the 2019 CoMSEF Graduate Student Awards in Computational Molecular Science and Engineering at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando.

AIChE's Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (CoMSEF) graduate student awards recognize excellence in research by graduate students. The intent of the awards is to reward significant contributions to research in computational molecular science and engineering by students. The award consists of a certificate and an honorarium.

Elections 2019

This year we will elect 2 Liaison Directors and vote on 2 items related to changes to the by-laws. A link to the ballot will be sent to you by email. Please vote by Monday October 28.


The Liaison Directors shall:
  • Facilitate programming with other organizations by identifying opportunities for co-sponsorship
  • Communicate and advocate CoMSEF activities with other organizations.
  • As members of the Executive Committee, aid the other officers in developing and carrying out CoMSEF activities and preparing the CoMSEF newsletter.

The candidates for Liaison Director are:


Item 2: Based on the outcome of discussion at the 2018 CoMSEF/1a business meeting, the CoMSEF executive committee seeks your approval on a proposed change in the by-laws to address the situation where an active CoMSEF vice-chair or chair lose their eligibility for the CoMSEF Impact award during their term of service. The motivation for this change is that the present by-laws could cause us to lose potential candidates for these leadership roles, because serving in these leadership roles would prevent their consideration for this award, which is awarded only to individuals within 15 years from receiving their highest degree.  

After extensive discussion amongst the CoMSEF executive committee in which we compared many different options, including their potential impact on the operations of CoMSEF as well as the optics of a current CoMSEF vice-chair or chair being selected for one of our awards, the executive committee reached consensus to propose the following change to the by-laws that we believe will best address the potential loss of eligibility while avoiding a potential disproportionate gain in the effective years of eligibility. 

The executive committee proposes the following change to the CoMSEF Impact award regulations (found here: http://comsef.org/impact)

Current: 

Requirement: Nominees must be current members of CoMSEF. The CoMSEF Chair and Vice-Chair are ineligible for nomination while they hold these offices. Other CoMSEF officers are eligible for nomination.

Proposed Change: 

Requirement: Nominees must be current members of CoMSEF. The CoMSEF Chair and Vice-Chair are ineligible for nomination while they hold these offices. Other CoMSEF officers are eligible for nomination. If a CoMSEF vice-chair or chair loses their eligibility (i.e., reaches 15 years since completion of their highest degree) while they are currently serving in the role of vice-chair or chair, one additional year of eligibility will be granted after completing their CoMSEF service. However, in no case will the total years of eligibility be extended beyond 17 years (e.g., (1) someone elected as vice-chair with 12 years since completion of their highest degree will finish their 4 year term as vice-chair and chair and come up for the next Impact Award with 17 years since completion of highest degree and would be eligible, (2) someone elected as vice-chair with 13 years since completion of their highest degree will finish their 4 year term as vice-chair and chair and come up for the next Impact Award with 18 years since completion of highest degree and would not be eligible). 

Do you approve of this change?  Yes  / No 


Item 3: At the 2018 CoMSEF/1a business meeting, the membership also asked the executive committee to consider an extension of the years of eligibility for a CoMSEF member who has had a significant life event (e.g., a qualifying event that leads to extension of tenure clock or long-term career pause such as birth or adoption of a child or extended care of a sick family member). The executive committee discussed that there is a need to ensure such an extension applies equally to nominees coming from academia, national labs, and  industry. Therefore, the committee recommends applying to all CoMSEF members the typical standard used at most Universities in the US for extension of tenure clock. Namely that a one year extension of eligibility for all CoMSEF awards will be granted for each qualifying life event. 

The executive committee proposes the following additions to the Requirement and Nomination sections of both the Impact and Young Investigator Awards (http://comsef.org/awards)

Proposed Changes:

  1. Adding to the end of the Requirement section this text:  An additional year of eligibility will be granted for up to two cases of a qualifying life event such as the birth or adoption of a child or extended care of a sick family member, up to a maximum of 17 years since completion of their highest degree for the impact award, and up to a maximum of 9 years since completion of their highest degree for the young investigator award. 
  2. Adding to the Nomination section this text: If additional years of eligibility are requested, it is the responsibility of the nominator to provide a brief description of the life event, and the number of years of eligibility extension requested. The CoMSEF Chair and Vice-Chair will review the extension request prior to the award selection process and, as needed, request additional information to ensure that the eligibility is in line with typical standards used at Universities in the US. (i.e., all eligible members, whether from industry, national lab or academia, will receive the same ‘clock extension’ provision for life events that are typically provided to tenure track faculty).

Do you approve of this change?  Yes / No  

Mittall Winner of 2018 CoMSEF Impact Award

Professor Jeetain Mittal from the Department of Chemical and Bio-molecular Engineering at Lehigh University is the winner of the 2018 CoMSEF Impact Award. He is cited, “For development of at-omistic and coarse-grained models to study biological self-assembly processes for a fundamental understanding of the cellular organization and design of novel materials”. Jeetain has been a member of the faculty at Lehigh since 2009. Prior to this appointment, he served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health and earned a Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and a B.Tech. degree from Punjab Technical University. All of Jeetain’s degrees are in the field of chemical engi-neering. Jeetain received his award during the CoMSEF Plenary Session at the 2018 AIChE Annual Meeting where he also delivered a presentation de-scribing his research. The CoMSEF Impact Award is given annually to a CoMSEF member who is within 15 years of completion of their highest degree.

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