MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The academic year 1998—99 was one of continued high productivity and visibility. We again were number one amongst chemical engineering departments in the U.S. New and World Report academic survey. We graduated 24 doctoral candidates together with 38 M.S. students, totaling 62 advanced degrees. The research dollar volume of over $23 million was reached to support department research activities.

The leadership of the Administrative Service Organization (ASO) which continues to function as a joint administrative unit for both the Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences and Engineering Departments, underwent a staff turnover in March, 1999. Ms. Robin Elices, formerly Director of the Earth, Air and Planetary Sciences Department became the new Administrative Officer for the ASO. Former ASO Director, Ms. Elizabeth Cooper, recognized for her many contributions to the start-up and smooth running of the ASO, moved on to a position in the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The department's total undergraduate enrollment stands at 272 students with approximately 100 students per graduating class and an equal balance of men and women. Preregistration for the next year indicates that class size will be approximately 75.

The graduate student enrollment is stable at 199 students with 140 in the doctoral program and 59 master's students, most of whom are in the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice. This year we received 375 applications for our graduate program, offered admission to 76 students and had 52 accept our offer. The yield of 68 percent is the highest of any chemical engineering department in the country.

The department, in collaboration with the Sloan School of Management has received approval to initiate a new doctoral degree program in Chemical Engineering Practice. This program will jointly accept students interested in this unique curriculum which includes a year of core and elective subjects in chemical engineering, a term in the Chemical Engineering Practice School, a research program leading to preparation of a doctoral thesis and the first year of a Sloan MBA program. Students completing the program will have the option of continuing for an additional year to complete the MBA degree. We believe that this unique degree program compliments our traditional Ph.D. program and will provide leaders that are well trained to manage the changing chemical and related industries.

The new Division of Bioengineering and Health Sciences has become fully operational and three of our faculty hold two-key appointments in the Division. These are Professors Deen, Griffth and Lauffenburger. In addition, the Department and Division have recently hired Professor K. Dane Wittrup from the University o f Illinois to begin in August of the 1999—00 academic year.

Our faculty have continued to distinguish themselves with numerous high level awards. Professor Howard Brenner has been selected for the prestigious Warren K. Lewis Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers to be presented in November, 1999. Professor George Stephanopoulos was elected into the National Academy of Engineers. Professor Clark K. Colton will receive this year's Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Professor Robert Langer was awarded the America Chemical Society's Award in Polymer Chemistry.

Two of our faculty, Professors Paul Laibinis and Paul Barton have been promoted to Associate Professor without tenure during the past year. Prof. Arnold Stancell from the Georgia Institute of Technology taught with Professor Karen Gleason as a Martin Luther King Visiting Professor during the Fall, 1998.


Undergraduate Enrollment over the Last Seven Years








































The undergraduate program remains strong, with a continuing supply of excellent students. In support of undergraduate education, we completed a new computing cluster with 32 PCs for use in undergraduate teaching. This was in part a gift of Intel PCs with the department providing renovated space, monitors, drives and software to support the cluster. This cluster, in addition to the availability of the Athena network, gives our students excellent accessibility to the full range of computing power. The cluster PCs are loaded with software needed for both undergraduate and graduate subjects.

A continuing trend is the broadening of the industrial base into which our students go to work. A minority now go into the traditional chemical and petroleum industry, with wide involvement in such industries as biotechnology, semiconductor fabrication, personal care products, consulting (technical, environmental and business), and the financial industries. The broad strength and applicability of Chemical Engineering training continues to be demonstrated.

UROP activity remains high, with about one-third of our students participating each term. Much of this activity is in the biomedical and biochemical areas.


Enrollment by Graduate Degrees over the Last Seven Years

































The total for 1998—99 includes 63 foreign students, 46 female students, and 12 minority students (not including Asian Americans). Graduate admissions data suggest that graduate enrollment will climb into the low 200s and remain there for the foreseeable future.

Thirty five students participated in the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice program during the 1998—99 sessions. New permanent stations were opened at GE Plastics, Mount Vernon, IN, and Cargill, Minnetonka, MN, in Fall 1998 and Spring 1999. GE Plastics will continue being a year-round station, while Cargill will run during spring semesters only. This summer we opened a summer station for seven students at Alkermes, Cambridge, MA, while ten students also attended the third summer of operations at the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Mizushima, Japan. Five students from Tokyo University will join the MIT group in August to experiment with a joint program between the two universities. This upcoming fall, students will be hosted for the second time by Rhone Poulenc in Decines, France. We will be operating a station at Cabot Corporation, Billerica, MA, during January, 2000, and will be returning to GE Plastics and Cargill in the Spring of 2000. Dr. Chris Quinn opened the GE Plastics station before leaving in the spring, 1999, to take up an industrial position in Houston. Dr. Shahin Ali, a recent graduate of our department, helped run this station in Spring 1999 while we were searching for a replacement Director. Dr. Paul Bryan, a graduate of UC Berkeley, and most recently on the research staff at Union Carbide in Charleston, WV, has now taken over responsibility for the GE Plastics station. Dr. John Friedly directed the Cargill and Alkermes stations, and will return to France to oversee operations at the Rhone Poulenc station this coming fall. Dr. Barry Johnston directed the Station in Japan, assisted by Alejandro Cano-Ruiz as Assistant Director. Professor Alan Hatton continues to direct the Practice School from Cambridge, assisted by Carol Phillips, Administrative Secretary. MIT faculty have continued to serve in an advisory capacity to the Thai Chemical Engineering Practice School program initiated two years ago.


Professor Robert Armstrong continued as Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering during the academic year 1998—99. He gave invited lectures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Levich Institute at CCNY, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Ninth Annual Merck Distinguished Lecture at Rutgers University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He served on the Visiting Committee for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto.

Professor Paul I. Barton was promoted to Associate Professor without Tenure effective 1st July 1999. He gave keynote addresses at Automatic Control of Food and Biological Processes IV in Göteburg, Sweden and at the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Tools and Methods for Pollution Prevention in Prague, Czech Republic. He gave an invited paper at the 13th International Symposium on Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems in Padova, Italy. He gave invited lectures at ETH-Zurich, Carnegie Mellon University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and for the Boston chapter of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He was appointed as the American Institute of Chemical Engineer's Group 10C Programming Co-ordinate. He will be listed in the next edition of Who's Who in Science and Engineering.

Professor Blankschtein was an invited speaker at: the International Conference on "Surfactants: Latest Research and Development for Skin and Hair Care" held at Short Hills, NJ in August 1998, the Symposium on "Properties of Colloids and Other Complex Fluids" held at the University of California at Davis in March 1999, and the Second Consumer and Diversified Products Conference sponsored by the Controlled Release Society held in Boston in June 1999. He also organized a Symposium on "Self-Assembly in Solution" (eight sessions) at the 73rd American Chemical Society Colloid and Surface Science Annual Meeting held at MIT in June 1999. Professor Blankschtein served in the Editorial Boards of Langmuir and Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, and as Advising Editor of Marcel Dekker's Surfactant Science Series.

Professor Howard Brenner was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Science. He was Keynote Lecturer at the 5th International Symposium on Fluid-Particle Systems," Distinguished Lecturer at the New Jersey Institute of Technology as well as at Texas Tech University, in addition to presenting an invited all-day series of lectures as part of the "Fluids Lecture Series" sponsored by the National Center for Microgravity Research (NASA). Invited seminars were also presented at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, Ohio State, and SUNY Buffalo. He chaired the Awards Committee of the National Academy of Engineering, and was a member of the Visiting Committee of the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas Tech University.

Professor Robert A. Brown began service as Provost at MIT effective August 1, 1998. He was the Robert L. Pigford Lecturer at the University of Delaware and was the William N. Lacey Lecturer at the California Institute of Technology in the spring of 1999. Bob concluded his term as chair of the "Frontiers of Engineering" meeting sponsored jointly by the US National Academy of Engineering and the German American Academic Council: the 1999 meeting was held in Irvine California in April. Beginning this fall, he will co-chair, with Professor Ronald Breslow of Columbia University, the National Research Council decade report on the Frontiers in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Professor Robert E. Cohen presented invited lectures to Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Chemical Engineering; University of Connecticut, Institute of Materials Science; the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering; the Materials Society, San Diego, California; and to the General Electric Research — GE CPTL Seminar Series, Schenectady, New York. He was recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Montreal Regional Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers and the GenCorp Foundation Signature University Award "for outstanding research in polymer sciences and technology". Professor Cohen was elected to the position of "Director" in the Materials Division of AIChE.

Professor Charles L. Cooney continues to serve as the Executive Officer of the Department. He is on the Board of the Community Services Fund. He was a 70th Anniversary lecturer at the AICHE Annual meeting. He is the Director of the Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals (CAMP) an industry consortium jointly run with Purdue University to support research on pharmaceutical manufacturing and continues as Co-Director of the Program on the Pharmaceutical Industry. He was elected to the Board of Astra AB in Stockholm.

Professor William M. Deen gave a seminar in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the City University of New York, and an invited talk at a symposium sponsored by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the graduate students in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Professor Karen K. Gleason was an invited lecturer at Stanford University, Colorado State University, and Colorado School of Mines. She presented the keynote address at the Dielectrics for ULSI Multilevel Interconnection Conference held in San Jose, CA and chaired the 1998 Gordon Conference on Diamond Synthesis in Oxford, UK. Other invited lectures were given at the International Symposium on the NMR Spectroscopy of Polymers (Colorado), the International Symposium on Plasma Processing of Polymers (Italy), the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting (Boston), the Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, D.C.) and at Tokyo Electron Limited (Japan).

Professor William H. Green recently received the NSF CAREER award and the Edgerly Science Partnership award. He gave invited lectures at both the ACS and the AIChE national meetings, and initiated several research collaborations with industrial scientists and other MIT faculty.

Professor Linda Griffith continues to serve as PI on a $5M grant from DARPA to develop tissue-based sensors for biological warfare agents. She was invited to give a lecture in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) "Frontiers of Engineering" annual meeting, and was then one of two participants in that meeting invited to represent the "Frontiers" symposium at the annual NAE meeting. She was elected as a Fellow in the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, and was asked to serve on a special panel at NIH to evaluate and report on ways to improve NIH funding in bioengineering research and technology development. At MIT, she was one of 3 co-recipients of the Class of 1960 Award for Innovation in Teaching.

Professor Paula T. Hammond was one of a select group of young faculty members nominated and invited to attend the Fifth National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium in September, 1998. Dr. Hammond gave an invited talk at the 1999 Gordon Conference on Polymers in Ventura, California in January on the surface directed adsorption of polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer assembly. She also spoke at the 1999 Liquid Crystals Gordon Conference in June concerning the phase behavior and morphology of liquid crystalline diblock copolymers, as has given a number of invited lectures at universities and industrial sites. New collaborative efforts have evolved this year, including a DARPA funded project with the Dow Chemical Company on LED and other electronic applications, and a Multiple University Research Initiative (MURI) on tunable optical polymer systems. Dr. Hammond is currently the co-organizer of a symposium on nonlithographic approaches to patterned structures to be held this December, 1999.Professor Jack B. Howard continued to serve as Director of the Center on Airborne Organics which, in July, held a Symposium on "Fine Particles in the Atmosphere". He served on a NASA panel evaluating the design for research facilities on the International Space Station. He was inducted into the University of Kentucky Engineering Hall of Distinction and was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa at University of Haute-Alsace in Mulhouse, France.

Professor T. Alan Hatton continued to serve as Director of the School of Chemical Engineering Practice at MIT, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Chemical Engineering Practice School program of the King Mongut University of Technology Thonburi in Bangkok, Thailand. He was Co-Chair of the 73rd ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium held at MIT in June 1999 (with Professor Laibinis), and of the second Engineering Foundation Conference on ‘Structured Fluids and Interfaces' to be held in April 2000. Invited talks were given at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ohio State University; University of Melbourne, Australia; Imperial College, London; and the University of Lund, Sweden. He presented a Plenary talk at the CHEMECA ‘98 conference in Port Douglas, Australia.

Professor Klavs F. Jensen continued to do collaborative research with M.G. Bawendi (Chemistry) on quantum dot synthesis and devices, and Martin A. Schmidt (EECS) on microfabricated chemical systems. He gave several invited presentations on multiscale modeling of thin film deposition and microreaction technology at national and international meetings. He completed his terms as Chair of the Materials Engineering and Sciences Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Bawendi (Chemistry) on quantum dot synthesis and devices, and Martin A. Schmidt (EECS) on microfabricated chemical systems.

Professor Paul E. Laibinis served as Co-Chair for the 73rd American Chemical Society Colloid and Surface Science Symposium held at MIT in June 1999 with Professor Hatton. He gave invited lectures at Princeton University, Rice University, the University of Virginia, the University of Houston, Virginia Commonwealth University, various industrial laboratories, a NSF Workshop on Inorganometallic Chemistry, and the Mesilla Workshop on Interfaces. He was promoted to Associate Professor without Tenure.

Dr. Robert Langer received a number of awards in 1999, including the American Chemical Society's Award in Polymer Chemistry, the American Chemical Society's Northeast Section Esselen Award, and the American Pharmaceutical Association's Ebert Prize. Dr. Langer has also been honored as the Reilly Lecturer at the University of Notre Dame, and as the G.N. Lewis Medal winner and Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. He gave the Opening Plenary Lecture at the Ninth International Symposium on Recent Advances in Drug Delivery Systems in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Plenary Lecture at the Tutzing-Symposium in Bavaria, Germany, the Opening Plenary Lecture at the 1999 AIMBE Annual Meeting, the Plenary Lecture at the 26th International Symposium on Controlled Release of Bioactive Materials, CRS, in Boston, MA, the Keynote Lecture at the Tissue Engineering Conference for International Business Communications in Boston, MA, the Plenary Lecture at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry in Dallas, TX, and the Keynote Lecture at the Biomaterials of the Future Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco, CA.

Professor Gregory McRae, together with Professor Mario Molina of EAPS, has established a major new interdisciplinary research effort to understand the formation and transport of air pollution in major cities. With funding from Ford, Mexico City has been chosen as the first case study. The project involves a large collaborative team of more than 40 researchers from MIT, Harvard, Mexican universities and industry. Professor McRae is also one of the Principal Investigators of a new $150 million NSF program called the Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI). The goal of the 5 year project is to create a high performance distributed computing system across the United States. During the last year he has been asked to give many key note speeches describing his current research on product and process design to improve commercial and environmental performance.

Professor Gregory C. Rutledge presented invited lectures this year at the ACS International Symposium on NMR Spectroscopy of Polymers in Breckenridge CO, a technical symposium entitled "20-20 Vision of Polymer Science: the Next Two Decades", in honor of R.K. Eby, and the DOD workshop on "Emerging Methods in Computational Chemistry and Materials Science", as well as several lectures at universities and national meetings. He is currently acting as co-editor for a special issue of "Computational and Theoretical Polymer Science", and continues to serve on the editorial advisory board of the journal "Polymer".

Professor George Stephanopoulos was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 1999. He received the Best Paper Award: Designing and Systems at the 14th European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research, Vienna, 1998. He served as Keynote Speaker at the following conferences: Scientific Computing in Chemical Engineering; Technical University of Hamburgh-Harburg, Harburg, Germany, May 1999; and ESCAPE-9, Budapest, Hungary, June 1999 He was invited to the following Named Honorary Lectureships: Harry G. Fair Lecture, The University of Oklahoma (April 1999) and the Kelly Lectures, Purdue University (April 1999). Prof. Stephanopoulos was appointed Chair and Co-Chair of the International Programming Committees for the following international conferences:- DYCOPS-6, Sheju Island, Korea, June 2001- The 4th IFAC Workshop on "On-Line Fault Detection and Supervision in the Chemical Process Industries", Seoul, Korea, June 2001. He presented seminars at the University of Florida (March, 1999), Pohang Institute of Science and Technology, Pohang, Korea (March 1999), and Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea (March 1999). He continued his association as Honorary Fellow with the Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Processes, Patras, Greece.

Professor Greg Stephanopoulos continued his efforts advancing the field of Metabolic Engineering last year. His book, Metabolic Engineering: Principles and Methodologies, was published in October by Academic Press. Professor Stephanopoulos also launched a new journal titled Metabolic Engineering, also published by Academic Press. He delivered plenary lectures on this subject at the 7th International Conference of Computer Applications in Biotechnology (Osaka, 98), the Conference on Computer Foundation of Process Operations (Snowbird, 98), and the 11th Conference of Biochemical Engineering (Salt Lake City, 99). These efforts underline his continuing efforts to emphasize the importance of the integration of engineering with genetics and microbiology, the subject of his talk at the centennial conference of the American Society for Microbiology in Chicago last May.

Professor Bernhardt Trout has organized a nation-wide program on the production of fuels from natural gas hydrates with the Department of Energy and the MIT Energy Laboratory. His work on structure-property relationships in catalytic systems has led to collaborations with Ford Motor Company and Chevron Research and Technology Company.

Professor Daniel I.C. Wang was the Chairman of the Strategic Review Board on Biotechnology organized by Minister of State, Dr. George Shieh-Chien Yang, Republic of China. He was a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Biotechnology Research Institute and a member of the Visiting Committee, Department of Chemical Engineering, both at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was the Janice Lumpkin Memorial Lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD. He was on the Visiting Committee, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCLA. He was a member of on the Committee of Visitors for the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems at the National Science Foundation.

Professor Jackie Ying received a second Union Carbide Innovation Recognition Award in 1999 for her research in the synthesis of novel nanostructured catalysts. She delivered nineteen invited lectures at various international conferences and national meetings during the past year, including the 12th International Zeolite Conference, Gordon Research Conference on Separation and Purification, 1st Joint European Science Foundation/National Science Foundation Symposium on Aerosols for Nanostructured Materials and Devices, Engineering Foundation Conference on Nanocomposite Materials, and 6th International Union of Materials Research Societies Conference. She was the distinguished lecturer of the 5th International Conference on Composites Engineering. Prof. Ying was Visiting Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara during the Spring of 1999. She was an invited seminar speaker at the Chemical Engineering Departments of University of California (Berkeley and

Santa Barbara), University of Delaware, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, National University of Taiwan, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and at the Chemistry Departments of the University of Toronto and the University of California (Santa Barbara). She was recently appointed as an Editor for Advances in Chemical Engineering, and organized a three-day Symposium on Nanostructures and Composites for the American

Chemical Society National Meeting in August 1998.


Drug Delivery

Research in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT by Professor Robert S. Langer has as its aim the development of new materials-based drug delivery systems and the understanding of how to transport drugs through complex barriers such as the skin or lungs. This research has led to the first polymer-based systems that can slowly release macromolecules such as peptides or proteins, the first surface eroding polymers approved by the FDA, and the first polymer systems that can be regulated by external stimuli such as magnetism or electricity. From the standpoint of health care, new treatments for cancer and other diseases are possible because of these breakthroughs. In particular, a novel family of degradable polymers was synthesized. They were designed into small wafers that contain cancer chemotherapy drugs. These wafers can be placed in a tumor and used to locally deliver drugs to the tumor. This led to the first new approach for treating brain cancer approved by the FDA in over twenty years; in a recent clinical trial patient survival at two years was over five times higher in treated patients as compared to controls. In addition, research aimed at delivering drugs through the skin or lungs may someday eliminate the need for injections. In the case of skin, approaches using ultrasound or electroporation are used to create new temporary pathways in the skin through which drugs can permeate. In the case of lung delivery, a novel aerosol design–the creation of large, highly porous aerosols–has led to the first approach for achieving controlled release in the lung. Finally, the recent development of a controlled release microchip represents a potentially new approach to achieve a "smart" drug delivery system, or to put an entire pharmacy on a chip.

Reaction Energy

Professor William H. Green, Jr. is developing methods for predicting and modeling complex chemical reaction kinetics, with a special focus on systems where organic free radicals are the important reaction intermediates. The practical applications include combustion, the thermal/oxidative processing of hydrocarbons, and smog chemistry. Because these systems are so complicated, the computer is required not only to calculate rates using quantum mechanics, and to solve the kinetic equations, but even to construct the simulation in the first place. Many of the most important free-radical reaction rates are very sensitive to the pressure. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, most experimental rate measurements and theoretical rate calculations must be performed at pressures far removed from the pressure range of practical interest. Prof. Green's group is currently developing and testing general methods to compute the pressure dependence of any given reaction. As a first step, his student David Matheu has computed the pressure dependence of the competing reactions OH+NO2 = HONO2 and OH+NO2 = HOONO. Although the first reaction is one of the most important reactions in atmospheric chemistry, its rate has been the subject of some controversy. His calculations have resolved some of the discrepancies between the experimental measurements.

Because the computer can very rapidly construct chemical kinetic simulations appropriate to any given conditions, one can imagine an "adaptive chemistry" simulation, where the kinetic equations employed change with time and spatial position as required to match the reaction conditions. This could dramatically expand the range of chemical processes which could be modeled numerically. Prof. Green has recently teamed with Prof. Barton to develop the software tools needed to make this appealing concept practical for large scale reacting flow simulations.

Chemical Vapor Deposition of ‘Teflon™-like' Films

The distinctive properties of poly-tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), known commercially as Teflon™, are attractive for a wide range of applications including insulating biomaterials, dielectric layers for microelectronics, non-fouling surfaces, and lubricity coatings. However, it is difficult to reproducibly achieve thin, adhesive coatings of the insoluble (CF2)n bulk polymer onto three dimensional substrates. To overcome these difficulties, Professor Gleason's group has invented new chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes to grow thin films having the molecular architecture of PTFE. They have also extended these methods to other classes of polymeric films. The CVD method is ideal for producing thin conformal coatings. Also, CVD eliminates the need for solvents which can have undesirable environmental, health, and safety risks. To achieve the deposition of polymeric chains rather than highly crosslinked and brittle fluorocarbon films, gases with the desired decomposition chemistry are used in conjunction with non-standard CVD excitation. The goal is partial fragmentation of the gaseous molecules within a chemical reaction network having a favored pathway to the preferred intermediate. The high-degree of non-selective dissociation present in conventional continuous plasmas, is reduced by pulsed plasma excitation or entirely replaced by pyrolytic decomposition.

Professor Karen Gleason's group has shown that pulsed plasma CVD, in addition to limiting the energy available for decomposition of the gas feed, exploits transient kinetics to maximize the concentration of desired neutrals, hence maintaining reasonable film growth rates. She and her students have also demonstrated that modulation of the plasma excitation limits the degree of surface modification during deposition, resulting in films with lower concentrations of free radicals. These so-called "dangling bond" defects lead to dielectric loss and undesirable aging effects. Using precursors, such as hexafluoropropylene oxide (C3F6O), that selectively produce difluorocarbene (CF2), pulsed excitation results in systematic control between highly-crosslinked fluorocarbon matrices to films containing substantial fractions of linear polymeric chains. This wide latitude in structure translates to the ability to impart specific properties to these films. For example, reducing the degree of carbon-carbon bonding below that prescribed by the percolation of rigidity, results in flexible fluorocarbon wire coatings. In addition, the composition of the film can be graded in real time, allowing deposition of a thin adhesive layer next to the substrate, while the bulk film composition is optimized for the desired application.

Because plasma exposure is absent in pyrolytic CVD, crosslinking and defect densities are reduced to the point where films can have the stoichiometry of conventional polymers. Gas phase reactions are initiated by a pyrolysis surface, such as a heated filament or plate, while the growth substrate remains at room temperature, allowing the adsorption of film precursors. The hot substrate required for conventional CVD, precludes such deposition as well as limiting the range of potential substrate materials. Pyrolytic CVD achieves rapid deposition rates (>2 m/min). For organosilicone films, these are the highest growth rates by any CVD method. A US patent has been awarded for the pyrolytic CVD of fluorocarbon films with compositions approaching PTFE and international rights have been applied for. In addition, a US patent application has been filed for pyrolytic CVD of organosilicone coatings.


The Chemical Engineering Department's annual Awards Ceremony was held on Monday, May 10, 1998 in Gilliland Auditorium with Professor and Department Head Robert C. Armstrong presiding. The following awards were presented:

In conjunction with the Student Financial Aid Office, Amoco Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships were acknowledged for recipients Stefan K. Bewley, a sophomore from Atascadero, CA, Steve P. Lamontagne, a sophomore from Whitinsville, MA, Carla M. Merritt, a sophomore from Raleigh, NC, and Eboney J.N. Smith, a sophomore from Columbus, OH; the James E. Cunningham ‘57 Scholarship to Alice H. Choi, a junior from Morton Grove, IL; and the John H. Dessauer Scholarship to Kira E. Marciniak, a senior from Spokane, WA.

Merck Fellowships were acknowledged for recipients Nikolas O. Kozy, a sophomore from Pittsburgh, PA and Luwam G. Semere, a sophomore from Buffalo, NY. Amy C. Lee, a junior from Columbia, MO was also recognized for her receipt of a Goldwater Fellowship.

The Dow Chemical Company Outstanding Junior Award recipient was Matthew J. Alvarado, a junior from Raymore, MO, for his balanced record of achievement in academics and campus professional and social organizations, as well as work experience.

The Robert T. Haslam Cup was awarded to Jeffrey C. Munro, a senior from Herndon, VA, for outstanding professional promise in chemical engineering.

The Roger de Friez Hunneman Prize, the oldest prize in the department (begun in 1927), was awarded to Jeffrey M. Davis, a senior from Ludlow, MA, in recognition of outstanding scholarship and research.

The Edward W. Merrill Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award was presented to Terry D. Johnson, a graduate student from Clinton Township, MI, for excellence in teaching in an undergraduate subject. A second place award went to Catherine B. Labelle, a graduate student from Hudson, MA.

Chemical Engineering Department Special Service Awards were given to Casim A. Sarkar, a graduate student from Baton Rouge, LA, Lily Y. Koo, a graduate student from Dover, NJ, and Kevin T. Musselwhite, a senior from Madison, MS, for their unselfish contributions to the success of departmental activities.

The Chemical Engineering "ROCK" Award for outstanding athletics, as voted by the graduate students of the department, went to Jennifer T. Fujii, a graduate student from Sunnyvale, CA and Casim A. Sarkar (see above). Ms. Fujii is the first woman to receive this award.

The Outstanding Employee Award was presented to Stephen J. Malley, an Administrative Assistant in the Chemical Engineering/Materials Science Administrative Services Organization, for his exceptional service to the departmental faculty, staff, and students.

The Outstanding Faculty Award from the graduate students was presented to Professor William M. Deen. Undergraduate students in the department presented an Outstanding Faculty Award to Professor C. Michael Mohr.

Individual Accomplishment Citations were presented to Peter J. Maloof, Systems Programmer, and graduate student Catherine B. Labelle (see above), for their outstanding contributions to departmental life. Maloof and Labelle were recipients of the fourth offering of this special award, and each received a personalized citation signed by the Department Head.

Recognition was also given to several undergraduates from the Chemical Engineering Department inducted into the honorary engineering society, Tau -Beta Pi.

Finally, Professor Armstrong acknowledged departmental recipients of awards from the MIT Awards Convocation held on May 5th. Those receiving Institute honors included Rita H. Lin, a junior from Scarsdale, NY, and winner of a William L. Stewart, Jr. Award; Dolores Cruz, a junior from Amherst, MA, and winner of an Albert G. Hill Prize; Deirdre K. Dunn, a senior from Weston, MA, and winner of the Betsy Schumacker Award; Joel Morales, a senior from Corpus Christi, TX, winner of the Howard W. Johnson Award; and Carol Phillips, Administrative Secretary, a recipient of the James N. Murphy Award.

More information about this department can be found on the World Wide Web at

Robert C. Armstrong

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99