March 3, 2008

Briana Hecht ’08 and Korin Kohen ’08 Will Present Research at International Conference

Chemical engineering majors will discuss their research on nanotechnology in San Francisco

Marquis Scholar Briana Hecht ’08 (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) and Korin Kohen ’08 (Istanbul, Turkey), who are both majoring in chemical engineering, will present their honors thesis research at the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society in San Francisco, Calif., from March 24-28.

The meeting is an international exhibit highlighting products and services of interest to the material community.

Both Hecht and Kohen will give an oral presentation and present a poster on their projects. Hecht will present “Towards Programmable Autodegradable Nanomembranes: Self-Assembly, Mechanics, Transport, and Decomposition,” while Kohen will present “A Metric for Measurement of Finite Elasticity of Asymmetric Polymer Nanocomposites.”

Kohen and Hecht worked with each other on both of these projects, as well as with James Ferri, associate professor of chemical engineering. Ferri also introduced them to this research in fall 2006 as EXCEL Scholars.

In her thesis research, Hecht is exploring the experimental and physical aspects of a nanomembrane made of the protein fibrin, which is essentially a blood clot. After Hecht creates the physical systems, Kohen works to create a mathematical model for the characterization of nanocomposite membranes.

When Hecht and Kohen are not presenting at the five-day conference, they will be attending other talks and poster presentations on other research projects being completed by material research scientists.

Hecht currently serves as president of the executive board of the Residence Hall Council. She is a board member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a member of the Lafayette Leadership Education Committee. Hecht also served as team captain of club tennis and is a peer tutor for calculus. She participated in the Technology Clinic from fall 2006 to spring 2007.

“My research has broadened my view of chemical engineering and has allowed me to experience firsthand the synergy between medical and engineering principles, which has always been an interest of mine,” says Hecht. “Through my research, I have acquired many useful skills in experimental design and analysis, which I will carry with me next year at Merck Research Laboratories, where I will be doing biochemical engineering research in pharmaceutical and vaccine development.”

Kohen is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, International Student Association, Society of Women Engineers, Minority Scientists and Engineers, and Delta Gamma Fraternity of Women. She has served as a teaching assistant for biology. Kohen also helps in the Student Movement Against Cancer, Adopt-A-Grandma, and the Boys & Girls Club of Easton.

After graduation, Kohen will work for Procter&Gamble in research and development for the company’s consumer goods division.

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Creative Projects
  • EXCEL/Undergraduate Research

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