https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/WashU-engineer-to-design-catalyst-for-wasted-plant-material.aspx577WashU engineer to design catalyst for wasted plant material<p>​Since 1975, vehicles have included a catalyst in their catalytic converters that facilitates conversion of harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they leave a vehicle's exhaust system. A chemical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis is designing a new type of catalyst that turns wasted plant material into a product that can be used for renewable chemical and material production. <br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Marcus%20Foston%20WashU%20Engineering.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Marcus-Foston.aspx">Marcus Foston</a>, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, will use a five-year, $250,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Herman Frasch Fund for Chemical Research to find a technology that will create a greater value for lignin, a byproduct of paper and bioethanol production, to be used to make other products. </p><p>"Waste biomass and agricultural residues are produced in enormous quantities globally, with up to 1.3 billion dry tons of biomass per year in the U.S. alone," Foston said. "This proposed catalytic conversion system for lignin will allow for more complete use of biomass, enhancing the use of waste produced during the processing of carbohydrates extracted from agricultural and energy crops." </p><p>Biorefineries employ integrated processes to use all of the materials and energy contained in biomass, including lignin, a component of the plant cell wall that makes up plants' defensive and support structures. However, by its design, lignin is very strong and rigid, making it difficult to break down. Foston's expertise is in breaking down lignin, which is usually thrown away or burned, into useful products. </p><blockquote>"One of the major reasons lignin conversion is difficult and so challenging to investigate on a fundamental level is the high level of structural diversity that inherently defines lignin," Foston said. "The structure of lignin varies from species to species, or even from plant to plant, and is influenced by genetic, developmental and environmental factors."</blockquote> <p>Some of Foston's previous research has shown some benefit in breaking down lignin into an alcohol using a copper-doped porous metal oxide catalyst (CuPMO) without forming residues such as coke and char. This catalyst creates the hydrogen needed for efficient lignin deconstruction by a method called alcohol reforming. In preliminary research, Foston has found that a nickel-doped porous metal oxide catalyst (NiPMO) broke down lignin much faster than the CuPMO, but does not catalyze alcohol reforming to produce the hydrogen required for lignin deconstruction.</p><p>In the new research, Foston seeks to determine how combining the two metals into one catalyst will affect ethanol reforming and lignin deconstruction. His lab will design a nickel- and copper-doped porous metal oxide catalyst (NiCuPMO) as well as develop a conversion process using the catalyst and ethanol to convert lignin into products that are usable for other products.</p><p>Ultimately, among other goals, Foston wants to understand the role that different transition metals have in a multiple metallic catalyst to reform alcohol and catalyze hydrogen production and to break down lignin with that hydrogen and catalyze chemical production.</p><p> <br/> </p> <span><hr/></span> <p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 90 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.<br/></p>Marcus FostonBeth Miller2017-02-22T06:00:00ZMarcus Foston is designing a new type of catalyst that turns wasted plant material into a product that can be used for renewable chemical and material production.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Jennifer-Head.aspx559WashU's global focus prepares alumna for international public health work<p>​Since graduating from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, Jennifer Head has been busy using her engineering education and her passion for working internationally to improve human health.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/SAM_4167.JPG?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Head, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, recently began working at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta with a Global Health Fellowship from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health/CDC. She will be working in Kazakhstan studying the mortality from influenza in that country’s two largest cities, as well as the etiology of encephalitis and meningitis in one area of the country; Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, a tick-borne disease in livestock transferred from animals to humans; and Zika virus.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>The fellowship comes after earning a master’s of public health in global environmental health from Emory University in May 2016 with certificates in water, sanitation and hygiene and in complex humanitarian emergencies, as well as working on public health projects in Laos and Ethiopia. With a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, she spent nine months in Ethiopia studying the fortification of edible oils and wheat flours. The following summer, Head returned to Ethiopia for two months to create an evaluation for a Catholic Relief Services program integrating water sanitation and hygiene intervention into traditional nutritional intervention, which was closely related to her master’s thesis topic.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Head’s interest in international work stems from her WashU Engineering education and involvement with WashU’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>“I had always wanted to be involved in international work, and I’ve always been interested in math and science,” Head says. “That’s why I chose engineering. I imagined that I could do work internationally as an engineer doing water and sanitation work. I was able to do some of that at WashU through EWB.”</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Head says WashU’s global focus — particularly in Engineering — as well as the opportunity to travel three times to Ethiopia with EWB to work on a water sanitation project at the Mekelle School for the Blind helped to prepare her for later work there through the Fulbright Fellowship.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>“WashU prepared me to be an independent researcher and use the country connections,” she says. “It was a challenging experience, but I grew and learned a lot that year, and I felt prepared for it.”</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>While working on her master’s, she also worked with the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch of the CDC, working to predict the excess death toll from non-Ebola deaths during the</p><p>Ebola epidemic in West Africa, as well as collaborating on a book chapter. This past summer, she went to Laos for two months as a nutrition survey consultant for Save the Children, International, for which she is still doing consulting work.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>While an Engineering student, Head was a William H. Danforth Scholar, a John B. Ervin Scholar, a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and a James M. McKelvey Scholar, in addition to winning numerous awards and graduating summa cum laude.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Working in the public health field has opened Head’s eyes to a different kind of science, she says.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>“I see that there is such a need for people with strong quantitative skills, particularly in areas like data analysis or lab work,” she says. “A lot of those skills I gained from WashU. For a lot of the work that I’ve done, like the surveys in Ethiopia and Laos, the organizations were interested in me because of my analytical skills.”</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>She also credits the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate student — both with Engineering faculty and during summers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — with preparing her for her current work.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>“The energy, environmental & chemical engineering department has a great focus on the environment,” she says. “My public health degree is in global environmental health, and I feel like understanding a lot of the environmental issues from an engineering perspective was really helpful in my coursework and career.”</p><p><br/></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><span><hr/></span><p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.<br/></p><p>​</p><p> <br/> </p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>WashU Women & Engineering</h3><div> <strong></strong></div><div style="text-align: center;">Women & Engineering was established as an organization for engineering alumnae from Washington University in St. Louis to support each other; inspire and mentor our women students; and help shape the School of Engineering & Applied Science.</div><div style="text-align: center;"> <br/> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="/alumni/programs-events/Pages/women-engineering.aspx">>> Read more & get involved</a></span></div></div></span>Head says WashU’s global focus — particularly in Engineering — as well as the opportunity to travel three times to Ethiopia with EWB to work on a water sanitation project at the Mekelle School for the Blind helped to prepare her for later work there.Beth Miller2017-01-17T06:00:00ZJennifer Head works at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta with a Global Health Fellowship from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health/CDC.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/University-technology-earned-16-million-in-2016.aspx561University technology earned $16 million in 2016<p>​Washington University in St. Louis made great strides in 2016 in developing and licensing innovative technologies to solve real-world problems.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/OTM-760x506.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​The university earned an estimated $16 million in royalties and licensing agreements related to technology development. Additionally, 108 foreign and U.S. patents were issued to university researchers and a number of startups were formed, including seven based primarily on intellectual property developed at the university.</p><p>“It’s exciting to see Washington University technology leave our laboratories and enter the marketplace, where it has the potential to benefit people around the globe,” said Nichole Mercier, managing director of the university’s Office of Technology Management, which oversees commercialization of new technologies. “In the new year, we’ll continue to take key steps to engage faculty inventors and connect with companies that may be interested in our technologies.”</p><p>Several of the new startups were created using the university’s Quick Start License, which speeds up and streamlines the process of starting companies that are rooted in university technology. The program allows researchers to focus on developing their ideas and creating new businesses rather than worrying about upfront fees to get technology into the marketplace.</p><p>These new startup companies are based primarily on Washington University intellectual property:</p><p><a href="http://www.accuronix.com/">Accuronix Therapeutics</a>, established by William Hawkins, MD, the Neidorff Family and Robert C. Packman Professor of Surgery, and Robert Mach, former Britton Chance Professor of Radiology at Washington University. The team is developing a new class of drugs that selectively targets a receptor that is over-expressed on the surface of cancer cells. The technology selectively targets cancer cells, potentially increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reducing toxic side effects.</p><p rtenodeid="2"><a href="http://www.appliedparticletechnology.com/" rtenodeid="5"><strong>Applied Particle Technology</strong></a><strong>, founded by Jiaxi Fang and Tandeep S. Chadha, both recent graduates of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Pratim-Biswas.aspx">Pratim Biswas</a>, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor of Engineering, assistant vice chancellor, and chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering. The company is developing innovative, energy-efficient air filtration systems for use in various settings.</strong></p><p>AVVI Biotech, based on technology developed by Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin IV, MD, PhD, the Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and head of the Department of Pathology and Immunology, and his collaborator, Dan Barouch at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. AVVI is working to advance the development and commercialization of novel adenoviral vectors to generate vaccines.</p><p><a href="http://www.cellatrix.com/">Cellatrix LLC</a>, founded by Kareem Azab, assistant professor of radiation oncology. He is developing research tools consisting of 3-D tissue-engineered cultures that better identify effective drugs to treat certain cancers, such as multiple myeloma. This technology also can be used in personalized medicine.</p><p><a href="http://www.clearworks4ears.com/">clEAR LLC</a>, founded by Nancy Tye-Murray, professor of otolaryngology and of audiology and communication sciences. She developed an auditory training tool to train patients with hearing loss to improve speech recognition. The tool can improve hearing in noisy scenarios such as restaurants and does so in a way that is engaging, entertaining and affordable.</p><p>Curtiss Health, founded by Roy Curtiss III, former George William and Irene Koechig Freiberg Professor of Biology Emeritus at Washington University. The company uses a regulated process to weaken live bacteria that are used as vaccines so they are better able to trigger an effective immune response against the same or similar bacteria.</p><p><a href="http://quretech.com/">QureTech Bio</a>, founded by Christina Stallings, assistant professor of molecular microbiology. QureTech aims to develop first-line drugs to combat antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases, including tuberculosis.</p><div>​​<br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Entrepreneurship at WashU</h3><ul><li> <a href="/our-school/initiatives/Pages/entrepreneurship.aspx">WashU engineers </a>are engaged in St. Louis' startup community and contribute to more than 20 accelerators and incubators.</li><li> <a href="http://fuse.wustl.edu/">WashU Fuse</a> - igniting innovation and connecting entrepreneurs​</li></ul></div>​​​<span style="line-height: 1.6;">​​</span></div>In 2016, Washington University in St. Louis earned an estimated $16 million in royalties and licensing agreements related to tech development. (Image: Thinkstock)Tom Rodgershttps://source.wustl.edu/2017/01/washington-university-technology-earned-16-million-2016/2017-01-09T06:00:00ZWashington University in St. Louis made great strides in 2016 in developing and licensing innovative technologies to solve real-world problems.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Bear-Cub-Challenge-rebrands-as-LEAP-awards-250K-to-WashU-teams.aspx562Bear Cub Challenge rebrands as LEAP, awards $250K to WashU teams<p>​After fourteen years as the “Bear Cub Challenge,” Washington University in St. Louis’ competition for inventors has received a new name: the <a href="http://skandalaris.wustl.edu/funding/leap/">LEAP Inventor Challenge</a> (Leadership in Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program).</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Raliya_Ramesh.JPG?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>The competition is open to all faculty, postdoc, staff and graduate student teams, and awards funding to those with translational research and inventions with the goal of advancing Washington University’s intellectual property towards commercialization. Facilitators of the competition desired a rebrand so that the competition’s name would better represent such a mission. “The new name, LEAP Inventor Challenge, speaks to the goal of the competition—leaping from invention to impact,” comments Emre Toker, Managing Director for the <a href="http://skandalaris.wustl.edu/">Skandalaris Center for</a> <a href="http://skandalaris.wustl.edu/" style="background-color: #ffffff;">Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship</a>, one of the facilitators of the competition.</p><p>The Skandalaris Center held a student competition to solicit name suggestions for the rebrand. “It was important to us that we involve our students in this process. The Skandalaris Center exists for the purpose of interdisciplinary engagement; involving students in this initiative was a simple and obvious way to achieve that and utilize the creative minds here at Washington University,” Toker added.</p><p>The winning name was contributed by Lucy Dai-He, a Washington University Junior studying mathematics and biology.</p><p>The rebrand comes at the same time as the conclusion of the latest cycle of the challenge, which will award up to $250,000 in total to five Washington University research teams. Funds will be dispersed based on successful completion of milestones. In addition to the Skandalaris Center, other university facilitators include the <a href="https://otm.wustl.edu/" style="background-color: #ffffff;">Office of Technology Management (OTM)</a>, the <a href="http://icts.wustl.edu/" style="background-color: #ffffff;">Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS)</a>, the <a href="http://cdd.wustl.edu/" style="background-color: #ffffff;">Center for Drug Discovery (CDD)</a>, and the <a href="/Pages/home.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff;">School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS)</a>. Together, they provide mentorship, additional funding, and other research resources to the applicants’ proposals.</p><p>The facilitators—all from varying parts of the university—are united by their goal to amplify and commercialize the research done on campus. Brad Evanoff and Kelle Moley, co-directors of ICTS, explain, “Commercialization of new ideas is an important path for translating biomedical discovery into its real-world applications in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.”</p><p>Michael Kinch, co-director of the CDD, echoes ICTS, “The blend of education and application conveyed by the LEAP Inventor Challenge provides a way to help identify, prioritize and mature the most promising projects and to utilize the expertise of its outstanding external judges.”</p><p>The “external judges” that Kinch acknowledges are an important part of LEAP. Each cycle, domain experts and both local and national venture capital firms are invited to judge the final pitches. Companies and individuals represented are listed below. “As an alumna, it was exciting to come back and watch talented teams pitch the latest innovations being developed in Washington University laboratories,” remarked Elise Miller Hoffman, BA’11, MBA’16, LEAP judge and Principal at <a href="http://cultivationcapital.com/">Cultivation Capital</a>. Another judge, Tara Butler, MD, Managing Director at <a href="http://www.ascensionventures.org/">Ascension Ventures</a>, added, “Judging for the LEAP Inventor Challenge gives me the opportunity to be exposed to some of the most exciting early stage technologies which have the potential to become my portfolio investments of tomorrow.”<br/></p><p>The winning teams are eager to move forward. “Working with the Skandalaris team and migrating through the LEAP Inventor Challenge process provides significant assurance that your idea, its path forward and its potential value are well-grounded,” commented Tom Girard, one of the winning teams’ leads.</p><p>Another winner, Ramesh Raliya, added, “LEAP laid down a path for me to translate lab scale innovation into a real-world product in a defined period of time. I will use the funds to develop a proof of concept of the technology which will help me to get further capital investment from federal agencies and VCs.”</p><div>​​<br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Entrepreneurship at WashU</h3><ul><li> <a href="/our-school/initiatives/Pages/entrepreneurship.aspx">WashU engineers </a>are engaged in St. Louis' startup community and contribute to more than 20 accelerators and incubators.</li><li> <a href="http://fuse.wustl.edu/">WashU Fuse</a> - igniting innovation and connecting entrepreneurs​</li></ul></div>​​​<span style="line-height: 1.6;">​​</span><span style="line-height: 1.6;">​</span></div>​​Ramesh Raliya, a research scientist, is developing fertilizer for agricultural crops that provide highly efficient nutrient use and eco-friendly solution at low-cost to address food, energy and water nexus.Shauna Williamshttp://skandalaris.wustl.edu/2017/01/06/bear-cub-challenge-rebrands-as-leap-awards-250k-to-washu-teams/2017-01-06T06:00:00ZRamesh Raliya, a research scientist, is developing fertilizer for agricultural crops that provide highly efficient nutrient use and eco-friendly solution at low-cost to address food, energy and water nexus.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Cleaning-chromium-from-drinking-water.aspx553Cleaning chromium from drinking water<p>​Chromium is an odorless, tasteless metallic element. One form, chromium-3, is essential to human health and is found in many vegetables, fruits, meats and grains and is often included in multi-vitamins. Its cancer-causing cousin, the chromium-6 infamous from the California exposure and Hollywood movie about Erin Brockovich, occurs naturally but is also produced in high quantities by industry, and can contaminate both soil and groundwater.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/water%20washu%20engineers.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​An engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has found a new way to convert the dangerous chromium-6 into common  chromium-3 in drinking water, making it safer for human consumption.</p><p>“The health effects are quite well-known. It’s very potent as an inhaled contaminant, but in drinking water chromium-6 definitely has a negative impact on human health,” said <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Daniel-Giammar.aspx">Daniel Giammar</a>, the Walter E. Browne Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science.</p><p>Scientists have previously converted chromium-6 to chromium-3 in a chemical process using iron. During the course of the new research, recently published in the journal <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b03637">Environmental Science & Technology</a>, Giammar and his team took a novel approach, using electricity to do the job.</p><p>“Electrocoagulation is the particular approach we used to introduce iron into the water,” Giammar said. “Typically, you would use an iron salt and physically add a dose to the water. Electrocoagulation uses two pieces of iron metal in the water, you apply a voltage between them, and that is how you dose iron into the water and convert the chromium-6.”</p><p>Electrocoagulation systems are widely available, and Giammar finds using electricity as opposed to chemical alteration is an easier, more precise and scalable process.</p><p>“It allows you to tailor your dose in a very easy way,” Giammar said. “Electronic controls can be easier than chemical feeding controls. It also allows it to be more applicable for remote operations, because you don’t have to have a source of chemicals. You just use the same pieces of iron, and you can treat the water for a long time.”</p><p>Giammar’s team previously used the electrocoagulation approach to remove arsenic from drinking water; this is the first time it has been done to convert chromium in drinking water into a safer form. The next step: Researchers hope to use the same technique with selenium, a metal that’s notoriously difficult to remove from water.</p><p><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Giammar_Daniel.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/>Giammar’s lab focuses on water quality and safety issues; he’s been quoted extensively on the situation in Flint, MI. He may be reached for interviews at <a href="mailto:giammar@wustl.edu">giammar@wustl.edu</a></p><p>​​​</p><p>​<br/></p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Clean Water Research by WashU Engineers</h3><div><ul><li> <a href="/news/Pages/Dirty-to-drinkable.aspx">Dirty to drinkable: Engineers develop novel hybrid nanomaterials to transform water​​</a><br/></li><li> <a href="/news/Pages/Environmental-engineers-to-study-clean-air,-water,-energy-with-NSF-grants.aspx">Environmental engineers to study clean air, water, energy with NSF grants​</a></li><li> <a href="/our-school/leadership/offices/marketing-communications/magazine/Pages/water-vital-for-life.aspx">Water: Vital for life​</a></li></ul></div></div></span> <div> <br/> </div><div> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Media Coverage</h3><div>R&D Magazine: <a href="http://www.rdmag.com/article/2016/12/new-method-removes-chromium-6-water">New Method Removes Chromium-6 From Water</a><br/><br/>Oman Daily Observer: <a href="http://omanobserver.om/researchers-unveil-new-way-clean-chromium-drinking-water/">Researchers unveil new way to clean chromium from drinking water</a></div></div></span><br/></div>A team led by an engineer at Washington University in St. Louis found a novel approach to neutralize a cancer-causing chemical in drinking water.Erika Ebsworth-Gooldhttps://source.wustl.edu/2016/12/cleaning-chromium-drinking-water/2016-12-20T06:00:00ZAn engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has found a new way to neutralize the dangerous chemical chromium-6 in drinking water, making it safer for human consumption.<p>Engineering team uses electricity to remove dangerous metal</p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/The-global-classroom.aspx549The global classroom<p>​Graduating senior Alex Blustein has visited home less than 40 days since arriving at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. The Tampa native has spent every summer of his undergraduate years either traveling or working.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/161130_jwb_alex_blustein_002-1024x683.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​“It’s a Jewish mother’s nightmare,” Blustein said with a laugh. “But WashU offered me so many opportunities and experiences that I wanted to take advantage of. I love the classroom, but my time outside of the classroom has really helped me better understand the world.”</p><p>Blustein majored in systems engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and finance in Olin Business School. Early next year, he will begin Anheuser-Busch InBev’s 10-month rotational Global Management Trainee Program. </p><p>“I’ll learn about everything from marketing to supply to brewing,” said Blustein, who will take a management position with the company after his rotation. “It’s perfect for a person who likes to understand multiple facets of a business from more than one angle.” </p><p>Blustein said he chose Washington University for a couple of reasons. One, the university accommodates students who want to complete different majors in different schools. To Blustein, who gives tours to potential engineering students, that just makes sense. </p><p>“I always tell people on my tours that college is the time to follow their passion and to try new things,” Blustein said. “Using two different parts of your brain is not only mentally exciting, it makes you more competitive in the job market.” </p><p>The second reason: One of the people Blustein most admires also picked Washington University — his brother Zachary Blustein, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in chemical engineering and now works for Emerson Process Management. </p><p>“He is just the first in a long line of amazing role models,” said Blustein, who counts fellow members of business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and social fraternity Sigma Nu as key mentors. “From the moment I arrived, I met so many motivated and talented upperclassmen who mentored me throughout my years at WashU.</p><p>“Many would  say to me, ‘Alex, you have to apply to this program,’ or ‘Alex, you must study abroad.’  I am most grateful to my brother and older friends for their advice. Their guidance has served me well.”</p><p>The summer after his first year, Blustein participated in Olin’s Israel Summer Business Academy, where he worked for an agriculture technology startup in Tel Aviv. He spent the next two summers working for AB InBev, first in St. Louis and then in New York. And junior spring, he studied in Hong Kong — a systems engineer’s paradise. </p><p>“Their metro system? I could talk forever about its efficiency,” Blustein said. “Traveling helps you see what’s possible.” </p><p>And not just technologically, Blustein said. </p><p>“Every day abroad you make a new friend or better understand a different culture,” Blustein said. “My travels have strengthened my faith in humanity. People are good."</p><p>​</p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Recognition Ceremony for December 2016 Graduates</h3><div> <strong></strong></div><div><ul style="margin-bottom: 1.333em; line-height: 1.333; color: #555555; font-family: "source sans pro", "helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 18px;"><li>Saturday, December 3, Graham Chapel, 1:30 p.m.</li><li>Reception to follow in the Danforth University Center<br/></li><li><a href="https://commencement.wustl.edu/">commencement.wustl.edu</a></li></ul></div></div></span>Blustein will enter Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Global Management Trainee program after graduating. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)Diane Toroian Keaggyhttps://commencement.wustl.edu/speakers-honorees/class-acts/2016-11-30T06:00:00ZGraduating senior Alex Blustein has visited home less than 40 days since arriving at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013.<p>​Class Acts is a series that recognizes our students who are changing the world through research, service and innovation.</p>