Mork Family Department Student Honored at AIChE National Meeting

| February 1, 2022

Ph.D. candidate Kareesa Kron’s presentation poster was selected as one of the best at the meeting.

Kareesa Kron

Ph.D. candidate Kareesa Kron in Boston for the AIChE annual National Meeting.

Ph.D. candidate Karessa Kron from the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science has been awarded for their poster presentation at the annual National Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

The AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) division organizes a highly competitive poster session with the top posters receiving the prestigious poster award. In Fall 2021, the meeting was held in Boston, MA and Kron’s poster was judged as one of the winners from among more than 40 competitors.

Kron is a Ph.D. candidate working in the lab of WISE Gabilan Assistant Professor Shaama Sharada.

Kron’s presentation focused on how well organic photoredox catalysts could reduce CO2. To do those studies, they incorporate a blend of state-of-the-art quantum chemical modeling tools so that they could develop the most detailed and accurate catalyst predictions.

“We model the electronic structures of several organic photoredox catalysts to understand how we can make them more efficient at reducing CO,” Kron said, “we also model the possible degradation reactions of these catalysts to understand what might make our catalyst less productive.”

Kron’s work is one of the first times that organic photoredox catalysts are being studied as a means of CO2 reduction.

“This field is typically dominated by inorganic catalysts whose heavy metals mean that there are often higher environmental costs to their production and use. Organic photoredox catalysts are often greener while performing the chemistry,” Kron said, “Our group seeks to explain how this chemistry occurs and how we can improve upon catalysts that are known to work for interesting reactions.”

Kron’s research around COreduction has previously featured in USC Viterbi News and was published in Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

The CRE poster award comes with a $200 honorarium. Billy Bardin, the secretary/treasurer for AIChE’s CRE division, told Kron in an email that “the poster award judges found your poster presentation and technical work to be of outstanding quality.”

Kron presents an overview of their research and the Sharada Lab’s work below:

Published on February 1st, 2022

Last updated on February 1st, 2022

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