Jain, Paulson honored as trailblazers in AIChE's "35 Under 35"
The chemical engineering profession's flagship professional organization, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), encourages the growth and development of the chemical engineering profession and thousands of chemical engineers the world over.
Among its annual award programs are the 35 Under 35 Awards honoring 35 chemical engineers under the age of 35 who have made exceptional contributions to the field and to AIChE itself. The award is given to individuals who will pave the way for future generations, serving as role models and innovators in their chosen field.
This year, Ohio State Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Joel Paulson and alumna and Dow Associate Research Scientist Deeksha Jain were both included in the 2023 cohort -- Jain in the Chemicals & Materials category, and Paulson within the Energy & Environment category.
Paulson's research interests are in data-driven optimization, physics-informed machine learning, and model predictive control. Earlier this year, he won the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, which allowed his research group to develop data-driven optimization algorithms for solving problems related to sustainable energy storage and management.
He plans on developing open-source software for data-driven optimization and interpretable machine learning so that algorithms developed by his research group are accessible to many people.
When he isn't writing cutting-edge code, Paulson indulges his love of basketball. A huge fan, he loves playing first-person shooter (FPS) video games and was once a highly ranked online Halo 3 player.
Deeksha Jain, who obtained her Ohio State Chemical Engineering doctoral degree under the mentorship of Distinguished University Professor and Chair Umit S. Ozkan, was named a 35 Under 35 honoree in the Chemicals and Materials category. Jain is currently an associate research scientist at Dow.
Jain is involved in the discovery, development, and scale-up of catalysts for Dow's ethylene oxide technology. She values mentorship and would like to give back to the chemical engineering community by mentoring early-career professionals. Her goal is to lead and drive impactful research in catalysis and related fields to create a net positive impact on society. She hopes her work will aid in solving challenges such as climate change and natural resource depletion.
As a student in the Ozkan group at Ohio State Chemical Engineering, Jain won the 2017 AICHE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Travel Award and in 2018 was appointed to the national board of directors of the AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division as a graduate student director, serving a two-year term on the board. Also in 2018, she was one of 10 winners of the Top 10 Student Poster Competition at Ohio State Materials Week, sponsored by the Institute of Materials Research. She also served on the department's Graduate Research Symposium Planning Committee and the Chemical Hygiene Committee, which won an award in 2017 for the department-side Laboratory Safety Award.
Jain obtained her BS in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India. She earned her Ohio State Chemical Engineering doctoral degree in 2019, focusing her research on heterogeneous catalysis including low temperature electrocatalysis with a focus on fuel cells, electrolyzers and electrochemical synthesis technologies, and catalytic combustion of lean methane extracted from coal mines.
Jain enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling. Thus far, she has visited 26 states within the US, and hopes to visit the remaining ones in the next decade.
All 2023 35 Under 35 winners will be formally recognized and celebrated at the November 2023 AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL (November 5-10). Each awardee will receive a cash prize of $500, have their profiles highlighted throughout AIChE and the chemical engineering community, and receive complimentary AIChE membership for 2024.