Texas ChE Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

May 24, 2023

The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering is proud to announce three new faculty members who will join the department in 2023 and 2024.

Tom Badgwell, Fall 2023

2023 Tom BadgwellFormer Ph.D. graduate of the department, Thomas A. (Tom) Badgwell will return to the Forty Acres this fall as professor of practice. Tom is Chief Technology Officer at Collaborative Systems Integration, an Austin-based startup providing systems integration services and software products for Open Process Automation (O-PAS) based systems.

“I'm excited to be back in Austin, and very excited to have the opportunity to help educate the next generation of chemical engineers.  I've had a very satisfying career so far, and I look forward to sharing my industrial experience with the students at Texas ChE.”

Tom earned a B.S. degree from Rice University and MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, all in chemical engineering, and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Texas. His career has focused on modeling, optimization, and control of chemical processes, with past positions at Setpoint, Fisher/Rosemount, Rice University, Aspen Technology, and ExxonMobil. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and a past director of the Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division, from which he received the Computing Practice Award in 2013. He was inducted into Control Magazine’s Process Automation Hall of Fame in 2022. He has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Process Control and as a trustee of the Computer Aids in Chemical Engineering (CACHE) Corporation. He currently serves as vice-chair of the IFAC Technical Committee TC 6.1 Chemical Process Control in Industry. He has 5 patents, and his 25 publications have received over 10,000 citations.

Jeanne Stachowiak, Fall 2023

2023 Stachowiak JeanneJeanne Stachowiak, with a promotion to professor in September 2023, joins Texas Che this fall. She is currently associate professor, and Banks McLaurin Faculty Fellow, for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UT Austin. She received her Ph.D. ’08 and MS ’04 from University of California, Berkeley and B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin, 2002, all in mechanical engineering.

Interested in the biophysical mechanisms that underlie the function of lipid membranes in cells, as well as the opportunity to create bio-inspired materials and systems that borrow these mechanisms, "our lab uses the tools of biophysics and quantitative imaging to probe the mechanisms by which biological membranes are organized and shaped. Using approaches rooted in engineering, we seek to understand and control dynamic processes that occur at cellular membranes.

Borrowing concepts from nature, we search for new ways to overcome the barriers to efficient therapeutic delivery. Molecular design and assembly of macromolecular complexes are at the core of our work, so we are super excited to be part of the chemical engineering department."

Kent Zheng, Spring 2024

2023 CHE Kent ZhengKent Zheng will join Texas ChE in the spring of 2024 as assistant professor, having been postdoctoral associate at the Department of Physics, MIT. Beyond advancing his prior research on next-generation energy storage, Kent works on scalable synthesis of mesoscale ordered materials that host exotic electrochemical, mechanical, and electronic properties (advisor: Prof. Joseph Checkelsky). He obtained his Ph.D. in 2020 under the supervision of Professor Lynden Archer at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University. His Ph.D. thesis study focused on the design of reversible metallic anodes in batteries, including Li, Zn, Al, etc., by controlling crystal growth at dynamic interfaces. Kent earned his bachelor’s degrees in materials science and in history, respectively, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2017. He worked in Frontier Research Center for Materials Structures (FRCMS) from 2014-2017, where his research centered on atomic-scale characterization of phase transformations in light-weight alloys, e.g., Mg and Al, using advanced transmission electron microscopy. He has co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed research papers in his academic career. He is recipient of the Early Career Award (2021) from the Electrodeposition Division of the Electrochemical Society.