CISTAR Congratulates Ranga Rohit Seemakurthi and Zewei Chen on CISTAR Fellowships

Event Date: January 6, 2021


(January 6, 2021) – CISTAR Congratulates Ranga Rohit Seemakurthi and Zewei Chen, CISTAR Graduate Fellows at Purdue University, as they have each been selected for a fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year from CISTAR. CISTAR awards two fellowships annually – both of which are funded by Purdue Chemical Engineering alumni: The Dick Reitz CISTAR Fellowship, funded by Mr. Reitz (class of 1963) and the Bill Murray CISTAR Fellowship funded by Mr. Murray (class of 1961). The fellows are nominated by CISTAR faculty members based on their academic performance and research accomplishments.

Ranga Rohit Seemakurthi, 2020-2021 Dick Reitz CISTAR Fellow

Ranga Rohit Seemakurthi, 2020-2021 Dick Reitz CISTAR Fellow, is advised by Dr. Jeff Greeley. Seemakurthi’s research areas include Density Functional Theory (DFT) analysis of propane dehydrogenation on alloy catalysts, theoretical analysis on the effect of zeolite framework and metal ion for ethylene oligomerization on metal-exchanged zeolites, and heterogeneous catalysis. He has co-authored one peer-reviewed publication, and has two more in preparation. Additionally, he has presented on the topic, “Structure Sensitivity Analysis of Propane Dehyrdogenation on Pd Alloys” at the North American Catalysis Society Meeting (2019), the Natural Gas Conversion Symposium (2019) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting (2018). 

Seemakurthi is actively involved with CISTAR as he has mentored three CISTAR undergraduate students and two CISTAR Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students. Previously, he was awarded best poster presentation for his research thrust at the 2018 CISTAR Annual Meeting

Zewei Chen, 2020-2021 Bill Murray CISTAR Fellow

Zewei Chen, 2020-2021 Bill Murray CISTAR Fellow is advised by Dr. Rakesh Agrawal. Chen’s research on synthesis and intensification of CISTAR processes has significantly contributed to three CISTAR patent applications. Dr. Agrawal explained Chen’s role on the patent application, “Systems and processes for upgrading natural gas liquids from shale gas,” which was filed provisionally in 2019.

“He invented a low-cost absorption system utilizing a portion of the liquid product as the absorbent. This absorption system achieves over 99% C2+ recovery from a gaseous stream, which is a key step towards making small scale CISTAR plants attractive,” Dr. Agrawal said in his letter of recommendation for Chen.

Specifically, Chen’s research areas include synthesis and intensification of shale gas valorization at remote areas, optimization and intensification of distillation systems and synthesis and optimization of membrane cascades. He has published two, peer-reviewed papers and presented on one topic at the AIChE Annual Meeting (2019), and two topics at the virtual AIChE Annual Meeting in 2020.

As a CISTAR Graduate Fellow, he has served as a mentor to three REU students. Additionally, Chen participates in CISTAR-related courses such as the Dow Industrial Engineering Course.