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Cathy Fromen (left) and Aditya Kunjapur are assistant professors in UD’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Two UD engineers make “35 Under 35” list

Photo by illustration by Joy Smoker

Cathy Fromen, Aditya Kunjapur recognized by American Institute of Chemical Engineers

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), a professional society with more than 60,000 members from more than 110 countries, has named two University of Delaware chemical engineers to its 2020 “35 Under 35” class.

This award honors engineers under the age of 35 who have made significant contributions to AIChE and the chemical engineering profession.

The organization selected Cathy Fromen and Aditya Kunjapur, both assistant professors in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, for their excellence in bioengineering.

“I’m pleased that Cathy and Aditya are being recognized by the chemical engineering community for their early leadership in the field,” said Eric Furst, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. “The department’s ability to recruit and retain talented faculty like them has sustained a long tradition of excellence at Delaware, and I feel confident that, based on their accomplishments in scholarship and strong contributions to teaching and service, Delaware will continue to thrive in the coming years.”

Cathy Fromen

Fromen uses engineering tools to study human airways, using techniques from fluid dynamics to mucosal immunology. Her lab works to develop new therapeutics and analytical tools to treat a range of diseases specific to the lungs.

In the era of coronavirus (COVID-19), a disease that ravages lung tissue, this work is more important than ever. Fromen and her team are developing an inhalable microparticle system for the sequestration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within the lung airspaces. This work is supported through a grant from the Delaware Clinical and Translational Research Program (DE-CTR) ACCEL’s COVID-19 Rapid Science Grant Program and is in collaboration with Jason Gleghorn, associate professor of biomedical engineering.

Fromen is gaining recognition for her work. In 2020, Fromen received the American Society for Engineering Education Chemical Engineering Education Young Faculty Grant. In 2019, she was selected to attend the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. In 2018, she was named to the ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering’s Inaugural Early Career Editorial Board.

Fromen joined UD in 2017 after a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. She holds a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester.

Aditya Kunjapur

Kunjapur studies synthetic biology and is interested in healthcare and sustainability applications. His lab seeks to teach cells to create and harness building blocks that contain chemical functional groups that are often only used in non-living environments by chemists. Products of interest include chemicals, materials, therapeutics, and live vaccines.

In 2019, Kunjapur was named to the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security’s Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative fellowship program.

In the COVID-19 era, Kunjapur is also developing unique online course lectures, which you can view on the Kunjapur Lab Academy Youtube channel.

Kunjapur joined UD in 2019 after a postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He holds a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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