Zack Privitera – President
I am currently a graduating senior Chemical Engineering student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and this year’s AIChE chapter President. I have been involved in AIChE since the start of my first year and this is my third year holding an officer position. I chose to study at UCSB because of the friendly community, rigorous academics, and leisurely lifestyle. I have spent the past three summers working in three vastly different fields to discover what my interests are. My summer after freshman year I worked on a dairy farm in New York where I picked up many skills including fixing machinery, making quick decisions, and hard work. The summer after sophomore year I interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where I worked as a Mission Design Engineer on a design team. This past summer I worked for a midstream natural gas company in Texas where I was able to gain field experience. From these experiences I’ve learned that I enjoy working outside with my hands, thinking critically, and solving important problems in a team setting. After graduation I plan to continue to work in the oil and gas sector.
Brian Owens – Internal Vice President
I am a fourth year student from Redding, CA. This is my fourth year as an active member of AIChE and second as an officer, having served as the Junior Class Representative/Social Chair last year. I have had summer internships over the past two summers; this past summer I interned with PreProcess, Inc., where I worked on optimization of reverse and forward osmosis units. The previous summer I interned at Rhodia, Inc. in Martinez, CA, where I worked primarily on an acid cooler cleaning system. I have also participated in undergraduate research in the O’Malley Lab in the UCSB Department of Chemical Engineering. I love being a part of this club and am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a leader once again.
Kyle Wu – External Vice President
I am a fourth year studying chemical engineering at UCSB. I have been in AIChE since my freshman year and have served as the sophomore representative, the Chem-E-Car chair, and the treasurer. For the last three years, I have been a member of the chem E car team working with petlier cells and proton exchange membrane fuel cells. I chose to join chemical engineering because I wanted to work with biofuels or other kinds of clean energies. In the past, I interned at Rising Sun Energy where I researched greener and more effective forms of home insulation, and how to improve the energy usage in private homes. Over the past summer, I worked with professor Trig Lundquist at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The research I did there focused on algae growth for waste water treatment and algae biofuels. Outside of AIChE I am also the president of the judo club at UCSB.
James Jordan – Senior Class Rep & Social Chair
I am currently a senior chemical engineer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am this year’s social chair. I took on this position because with UCSB’s social environment I felt that there was a great opportunity to coordinate fun events with students and faculty. I spent the past summer interning at Solvay, a sulfuric acid plant in northern California, where I gained experience in an industrial setting. After graduation I plan on working in industry or perusing a higher education in business or large scale energy production.
Michael Kile – Junior Class Rep & Outreach Chair
I am a third year chemical engineering student as well as the outreach chair for AIChE at UCSB. I came to UCSB to pursue my passion in the sciences and to develop myself in skills that go beyond the academia of a classroom. In order to meet these goals, I became involved in the engineering machine shop and the Chem-E-Car team. The machine shop has taught me how to handle industrial settings and heavy machinery, whereas competing on the Chem-E-Car team has allowed me to apply advanced engineering techniques to non ideal situations. I have also worked with thermo electric devices and hydrogen fuel cells as power sources for the Chem-E-Car. This past summer, I interned for the graduate school of education by interning at the local engineering academy. I gained experience managing teams of students in the high school machine shop and I worked with students of various ages and backgrounds to push them to accomplish the most they possibly could. My outreach events this year will be worked through the network I made working at the local schools this past summer.
Dilpreet Kaur – Sophomore Class Rep & Fundraising Chair
I am currently a second year Chemical Engineering major at UCSB. Last summer I worked as a Early Undergraduate Research and Knowledge Acquisition (EUREKA) intern in the Mitragotri lab in Chemical Engineering. I am currently continuing my research through the year on drug delivery to cancer cells using nanoparticles. I am open to exploring my career options and am looking forward to working a summer in industry in the future to better weigh my options. I have been a part of AIChE since my first year and I am excited to be more involved with the club this year as the Sophomore Representative and Fundraising Chair.
Dalton Turner – Freshman Representative
I am currently a first year Chemical Engineering student from Temecula, California. This is my first year as both a member and an officer of AIChE. I chose to study Chemical Engineering because of my interest in Chemistry and green technologies. I look forward to utilizing my involvement in AIChE to expand my knowledge and that of my peers on the field of Chemical Engineering as well as the numerous opportunities presented by this area of study.
Zach Sawaya – Freshman Representative
I am currently a first year Chemical Engineering student from San Diego, CA. I chose to come to UCSB because of the stellar location, great student body, and fantastic chemical engineering department. I am thrilled to be a freshman representative for AIChE; I plan to coordinate many events this year to help facilitate the other freshmen’s transition into college. I chose chemical engineering because I’m very passionate about both the environment and improving medical devices, and I feel this major could help me in either pursuit. I look forward to a great fall and spring quarter!
Benjamin Hawkins – Transfer Student Representative
I am a junior-level transfer student from Moorpark Community College in Ventura County. There I served as the administrative assistant of my school’s engineering club, known as the Moorpark Engineering Club of Higher Education. My involvement with the group spawned my interest in holding an officer position at AIChE. I was drawn to chemical engineering by my academic interest in chemistry and personal enjoyment of mechanical design. Because of my hands-on nature and passion for mechanics, I have developed a plethora of skills which involve metallurgy, DIY design and repair, and use of power tools. My decision to attend UCSB originated from my desire to study from the best UC Chemical Engineering Department, which would provide material relevant to industry application as well as a positive learning environment.
Maral (Marla) Nyamdorj – Transfer Student Representative
I am currently a third year chemical engineering student. I transferred this year from Laney College in Oakland, California and I am originally from Dayton, Ohio. I joined AIChE to become more involved with campus activities. As the Transfer Representative, I hope to serve as a liaison for other transfer students. My decision to study chemical engineering was motivated by my interest in the sciences and my curiosity to learn more about cosmetics and the production of consumer products. Currently, I am doing undergraduate research in Professor O’Malley’s lab working with membrane proteins. As I continue my studies, I have gained interest in many other aspects of chemical engineering and I am excited to explore the versatility in my career options. This summer I look forward to gaining experience in industry and I am eager to have an opportunity which will allow me to apply my studies.
Isaac Robledo – Treasurer
I am a second year chemical engineering student from San Diego, CA. This is my second year being involved with AIChE and first year as an officer. I chose to study chemical engineering because I love chemistry as I am fascinated by how life can be understood through the interactions of molecules. Also I am interested in chemical engineering because it is a great way to use chemistry to our advantage to create new things and design chemical processes from which the world can benefit. I chose to study at UCSB because of the great environment, beautiful campus, and excellent chemical engineering undergraduate program. One aspect of chemical engineering the interests me is the production of renewable resources.
Annie Ragusa – Mentor Chair & Historian
I am a fourth year Chemical Engineering student and this is my second year as an AIChE officer. As Mentor Program Chair I hope to bring all of UCSB Chemical Engineering closer as a group and help build relationships between classes. It is really great to be able to help the lower classmen make sense of college the way my mentor did for me when I arrived. I have worked in the Mitragotri Group as an undergraduate researcher, was a research and development intern at the Clorox Company this past summer, and am a photographer at UCSB Recreational Sports. After graduation, I will be returning to the Clorox Company as a full time employee.
Ryan Ng – Webmaster & Co-Mentor Chair
I am a fourth year Chemical Engineer from Cypress, CA. I have been involved with AIChE throughout my entire undergraduate career, and this is my second year holding a position. I have been researching under Professor Michael Gordon working on optimizing graphene growth via chemical vapor deposition for use as a substrate in tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy since the beginning of my second year. Over the past two summers, I also researched under Professor William Tang at UC Irvine and Professor Melissa Grunlan at Texas A&M University. Following graduation, I will be attending graduate school.