Sigma Xi chooses three WPI graduate students for awards

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - May 19, 2003 - The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) chapter of Sigma Xi, the National Research Society, selects worthy master's and Ph.D. students each year to receive awards based on their graduate research and theses. One master's-level award and two Ph.D. thesis awards were presented this year.

Vinendra Warke of the Mechanical Engineering Department received an award for his research, "Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulations for the Rotary Degassing of Molten Aluminum." His advisor is Prof. Mahklouf Mahklouf.

John Benco of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department received an award for his thesis, "The Rational Design and Synthesis of Ionophores and Fluroionophores for the Selective Detection of Monovalent Cations." His research has led to the creation of several molecular targets that are more sensitive and selective for various blood analytes than current industry standards. His advisor is Prof. Grant McGimpsey.

Michiel Nijemeisland of the Chemical Engineering Department received an award for his thesis "Influences of Catalyst Particle Geometry on Fixed-Bed Reactor Near-Wall Heat Transfer Using CFD." His research tackles a classic problem in chemical engineering. His advisor is Prof. Anthony Dixon.

All WPI graduate students are eligible for these Sigma Xi awards. WPI faculty are asked to nominate individual students.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support Master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.