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    College of Engineering Professor Coordinates U.S. Participation in European Conference

    Dr. William J. Kelly, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, joined with eight individuals from the European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering (ESBES) to coordinate the organization’s 9th annual gathering held in Istanbul, Turkey in late September 2012. Dr. Kelly led efforts to recruit U.S. participants and obtain sponsorship funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). With contributions from the NSF and the American Chemical Society, fifteen U.S. scientists and engineers were able to attend this year’s conference.

    This ESBES meeting provided a unique opportunity for American scientists from four different but overlapping technical areas, to interact with their European counterparts. Participants from the United States served as session chairs and made technical presentations in the areas of biopharmaceuticals, nanotechnology in bioprocessing, stem cell bioengineering and cell therapy and tissue engineering, and systems biology and metabolic engineering. Dr. Ronald Balsamo, Associate Professor of Biology in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, was among the presenters.

    Dr. William J. Kelly Presents Keynote Lecture in Berlin

    Dr. William J. Kelly, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, delivered a keynote lecture at the 1st European Congress of Applied Biotechnology, held in Berlin, Germany, on Sept. 27. Held in conjunction with the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology’s 29th annual Biotechnology Meeting, the Congress attracted close to 3,000 scholars from around the world for a four-day conference dedicated to showcasing new research within chemical engineering, biotechnology, and their areas of overlap.

    “I’m so pleased to have been able to represent the College of Engineering’s commitment to teaching and research to the global chemical engineering and biotechnology community,” says Dr. Kelly.

    On Sept. 27, he presented “Evaluation and Modeling of Expanded Bed Adsorption for Purification of Yeast-Derived Recombinant Proteins” to approximately 150 scientists and engineers from the United States and Europe who are interested in novel purification approaches for new medicinal proteins.

    The presentation highlighted research conducted in conjunction with Dr. Gerard Jones, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; new Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Zuyi Huang; students Peter Mullen and Guy Kamguia; and collaborators from the biopharmaceuticals purification group at GlaxoSmithKline in King of Prussia.

    Villanova Signs an MOU with Ireland’s IT Sligo

    Villanova University has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Institute of Technology (IT) Sligo, located in western Ireland. The MOU is allowing students enrolled in IT Sligo’s Master’s in Biopharmaceutical Science Program to take advantage of not only the College of Engineering’s distance-education capabilities but also its graduate Biochemical Engineering courses.

    “It’s exciting to know that we attract students from other countries because of the quality of our courses and our delivery platform,” said Dr. William Kelly (on the right in photo), Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, who taught the first cohort of Irish students in spring 2009 and who, along with IT Sligo faculty member Kieran Tobin (on the left), was instrumental in laying the foundation for the MOU signing. The two men met when Dr. Kelly, whose research is focused on biopharmaceutical processing, had traveled to Dublin in 2008 and 2009, respectively, to present biotechnology workshops.

    Administrators at IT Sligo are equally enthusiastic about the growing relationship between the two schools. “Through the medium of distance education, this agreement affords our students access to world-class teaching in Biopharmaceutical Engineering at Villanova University,” said Dr. Jeremy Bird, Head of the School of Science. “To date, 10 Irish students from multinational biopharmaceutical companies have participated successfully in this program. We look forward to further collaboration with Villanova.”

    One benefit of the partnership that Dr. Kelly has observed is that the Irish students are enriching the learning process by bringing a global perspective to the classroom. In addition, the partnership is creating closer ties between Villanova and Ireland’s significant pharmaceutical industry. Such connections may lead to research collaborations and job opportunities.

    The success of this relationship testifies to the excellence of Villanova’s e-learning program. “With our recent broadcast of an entire course to IT Sligo, we have been able to show yet again that location of the student will not matter in the future of education,” said Sean O’Donnell CPE ’00, Director of E-learning and Graduate Marketing. Irish student Dave Riordan, who works for Lilly and who took the Biochemical Engineering course in the spring, noted that “the live lectures and recordings were very good quality and easy to work from.”