The University of Alabama

UA Engineering Student Recognized for Research Work

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Michelle Hindman, a senior in chemical and biological engineering at The University of Alabama, was recognized for research presented through a poster at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, or AIChE, 2012 annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

Hindman, who came to UA from Jacksonville, was awarded third place in the fuels, petrochemicals and energy category for her work in the lab of Dr. Jason Bara, an assistant professor in the department of chemical and biological engineering at UA. Hindman has been published in highly respected chemistry and engineering academic journals such as Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research and Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data.

“She has been such a strong contributor that she is an author on four peer-reviewed publications with me, an absolutely tremendous achievement for an undergraduate,” Bara said.

Bara’s research group is focused on the development of processes for clean energy generation that utilize new solvents with little or no volatility for scrubbing CO2 emissions. In Bara’s laboratory since January 2011, Hindman has worked on the project “Novel Solvent System for CO2 Capture,” funded by the United States Department of Energy and ION Engineering, a start-up company based in Colorado.

Hindman is also working with other students, including some from other universities, through a program funded by the National Science Foundation designed to encourage undergraduate researchers. The NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduate program, “Engineering Solutions for Clean Energy, Generation and Consumption,” is directed by Dr. Heath Turner, an associate professor in chemical and biological engineering, with Bara a co-director.

Funding from DOE and NSF paid for Hindman and five other students in the REU program who worked at UA during the summer to attend the AIChE convention. Two of the students, Morgan Bakies from the University of Illinois and Benjamin Ivey from the Georgia Institute of Technology, also won awards for their work with Drs. Margaret Liu and Hung-Ta Wang, respectively, both assistant professors in chemical and biological engineering.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,900 students and more than 110 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Mitchell and Truman scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.