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The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Hougen Symposium 2012

Olaf Andreas HougenOLAF ANDREAS
HOUGEN (1893–1986)

former Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was one of the outstanding original contributors to the science and practice of modern chemical engineering. He is remembered for his inspired teaching, his leadership in engineering education and research, and his volunteer work in retirement for the university and the profession. It is in his honor that this symposium is named.

In his research activities, Professor Hougen developed important original and fundamental principles for the mainstream of modern chemical engineering: heat transfer, gas adsorption, thermodynamics, catalysis, applied kinetics, and process design. In his teaching, Professor Hougen's warmth of personality and sincere interest in each student's future were a source of inspiration to chemical engineers around the world. He instilled in his students a sense of responsibility to their profession and to society. Professor Hougen's influence on chemical engineering education in the United States and abroad was achieved through his numerous publications, many of which established patterns for chemical engineering teaching and research. He was the author or coauthor of seven books and 156 papers.

His many honors included five awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Esso Award of the American Chemical Society, and the Lamme Gold Medal Award of the American Society for Engineering Education. From 1961 through 1963, he served as a scientific attaché at the American Embassy, Stockholm, Sweden, and in 1974 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

THE OLAF A. HOUGEN SYMPOSIUM is supported by the Hougen Professorship Fund of the University of Wisconsin Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Colleagues and former students of Professor Hougen, other friends and corporations have contributed to the fund to honor one of the founders of the modern chemical engineering profession. Professor Hougen believed that leading research departments have an obligation to provide leadership to their professions through activities that strengthen the crucial link between the generation and dissemination of new knowledge. It is in this spirit that we continue this symposium series by inviting distinguished colleagues to present public lectures on a topic of current interest and importance to the profession and to society generally.

Huimin Zhao

Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Institute for Genomic Biology,
and Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology,
University of Illinois at

Synthetic Biology: Putting
Synthesis into Biology

Synthetic biology is the deliberate design of novel biological systems and organisms that draws on principles elucidated by biologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers. It is a rapidly growing area with broad applications in medical, chemical, food, and agricultural industries. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work on the development and application of new synthetic biology tools. Specifically, I will discuss a new tool for rapid construction of large DNA molecules such as pathways and plasmids and its application in (1) discovery, characterization, and engineering of novel natural product biosynthetic pathways for drug discovery and development, and (2) engineering of recombinant yeast strains that can efficiently utilize lignocellulosic materials to produce biofuels and chemicals.

Dr. Huimin Zhao is the Centennial Endowed Chair Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998. Prior to joining UIUC in 2000, he was a project leader at the Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory of the Dow Chemical Company. Dr. Zhao has authored and co-authored over 120 research articles and 16 patents with several being licensed by industry. His primary research interests center on the development and applications of synthetic biology tools to address society's most daunting challenges in human health and energy, and in the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis and gene regulation.

Please see Dr. Zhao's website here.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Lectures in room 1610 Engineering Hall

9:00-9:45 am
Gregory Stephanopoulos
Metabolic Engineering: synthetic chemistry of the 21st century

9:45-10:30 am
Huimin Zhao, UIUC
Synthetic Biology: Putting Synthesis into Biology

10:30 -11:00 am Break

11-11:45 am
James Liao,
University of California, Los Angeles
A Tale of Two Butanols: Exploring Metabolism for Fuels and Chemicals

11:45-1:30 pm Lunch
(on your own)

1:30-2:15 pm
Chaitan Khosla
Assembly Line Biosynthesis of Polyketide Antibiotics

2:15-2:45 pm
Brian Pfleger
Integrating Systems and Synthetic Biology for Engineering Chemical Production in Bacteria

2:45-3:15 pm
Jennifer Reed
Tools for In silico Design of Microbial Biocatalysts

3:15-5:00 pm
Poster Session
Engineering Hall Lobby