The 46th Annual ChEGSA Symposium will be held on September 19th-20th, 2024.

The annual ChEGSA research symposium started in 1979 with the goal of showcasing the work of our graduate researchers, promoting intra-departmental research collaborations, and connecting our students to industry. This two-day event features graduate research presentations, a poster session, and corporate-sponsored keynote addresses given by distinguished chemical engineers from academic, government, or industrial institutions.

2024 Keynote Addresses

Industrial Keynote Address

The industrial keynote of the 46th ChEGSA symposium will be given by Dr. Celia Cruz, the Vice President of small molecule development and commercialization at Eli Lilly and Co. Celia’s group is comprised of organic and analytical chemists, pharmaceutical scientists, and engineers responsible for process design and development of both drug substance and drug products. She is responsible for enabling small molecule drug development and the technical capabilities that prepare Eli Lilly for the future. Prior to joining Lilly, Celia was the director of the Division of Product Quality Research in the Office of Testing and Research at the FDA. In this role, Celia led regulatory scientists focusing on applied research and development with specific expertise in solid oral dosage forms and the implementation of emerging technologies for advanced manufacturing. At the FDA, she was a member of the Emerging Technologies Program, a Quality by Design Liaison, CDER Nano Working Group leader and a subject matter expert for continuous manufacturing. Prior to joining the FDA in 2010, Celia was a Principal Development Engineer at Merck in West Point, PA. At Merck, Celia led the development and commercialization of multiple solid oral dosage pharmaceutical products and was responsible for the introduction of new processes and capabilities, such as hot melt extrusion and Quality by Design. Dr. Cruz earned her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in chemical engineering from Brown University (Providence, RI) and Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), respectively. Celia loves to cook, the outdoors (especially if swimming is involved!), listening to music and spending time with her husband and two teenage daughters.


Academic Keynote Address

The academic keynote speaker for the 46th ChEGSA Symposium will be Professor Victor M. Zavala. Dr. Zavala is an alumnus of our Ph.D. program, a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Senior Computational Mathematician at Argonne National Laboratory. He obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and his Ph.D. in Process Systems Engineering at CMU, working with Prof. Larry Biegler. Since graduation, he has worked at Argonne National Laboratory within the Mathematics and Computer Science Division (first as a postdoc and then as research staff); he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. Among his many accolades, he has received the DOE Early Career Award (2012), NSF CAREER Award (2018), the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2019), and Best Paper Awards from the journals Computers & Chemical Engineering (2019) and Mathematical Programming Computation (2022). Dr. Zavala’s current research interests lie in the broad area of computational mathematics. Within Process Systems Engineering, he works in algorithms and applications including energy, materials, and sustainability. For more information, please access his LinkedIn profile (where he shares relatable “unsolicited advice for scientists/ grad students/ young faculty”), his Google Scholar page and lab website.