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Wednesday, April 12, 2006
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Ohio University chemical engineering program adds biomolecular emphasis

ATHENS, Ohio (April 12, 2006) -- The Ohio University chemical engineering department, part of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, has been renamed the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

According to Department Chair Michael Prudich, the name change reflects the changing nature of the chemical engineering profession.

"Increasingly, chemical engineers need to add biology to a toolbox that has traditionally contained chemistry, physics and the practical worldview of the engineer," Prudich said. "While people might link chemical engineering with industries such as pharmaceutical production, biological-based production methods are actually being used for a variety of other chemicals. Bioremediation is also an important tool in environmental cleanup."

Today, chemical engineers are pursuing advanced research in biochemical and biomedical engineering.

"Their understanding of chemical and biological processes at the molecular level is vital, and our curriculum has been updated in response," Prudich said.

All chemical engineering majors now take a basic course in cellular and molecular biology and a course in bioengineering. Problems with a biomolecular focus are integrated into the core courses. The department also offers electives and research opportunities to undergraduates and graduate students.

A master's degree program in biomedical engineering will be offered beginning this fall.

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills. The Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Strategic research areas include bioengineering, energy and the environment, and smart civil infrastructure. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/engineering.  

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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