Distinction in the Major

In an effort to provide an additional learning opportunity for qualified engineering undergraduates, the Department of Chemical Engineering has joined with the Honors Program to develop a special Distinction in the Major program.

This program, which started in Fall 2004, allows select senior-level undergraduate students to participate in an integrated research experience with departmental faculty on a cutting-edge research project over the course of a full academic year. As a requirement of the program, students must present a Research Proposal (both written and oral) to their DITM Thesis Committee, which is composed of the DITM Program Coordinator, their DITM Thesis Advisor, and a faculty member affiliated with the TTU Honors Program. At the conclusion of the year, the students defend their research in an oral presentation. Finally, they publish the results of their work in a “mini” thesis that is bound and archived within the department.

There are several major benefits to this program from a student perspective. First, it provides the students with

 something exceptional to enhance their resumes and make them more attractive to potential employers. Second, the program can serve as a practice for graduate school if a student is undecided about whether to attempt an M.S. or a doctorate. Finally, the research that the student has performed can make them much more competitive in attempting to secure prestigious graduate school grants, such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

In order to provide a well-rounded experience, the DITM program is linked with the existing Honors Program on campus. Although students do not have to be members in the TTU Honors Program to participate in the DITM program, they must participate in several enrichment opportunities offered by the Honors Program. Additionally, the DITM students participate in a special graduation ceremony for Honors students held the day prior to general commencement.

Qualifications for the DITM program are:

  • An overall GPA of 3.2
  • A ChE course GPA of 3.0
  • Junior standing
  • Acceptance into program by DITM committee

Each spring the ChE Distinction in the Major Program coordinator and committee members review applications and required recommendation letters to select a small number of candidates from the applicant pool. Additionally, a successful completion (oral defense and thesis) of the DITM Program by a ChE student is equivalent to six credit hours of ChE technical electives.

DITM Application: Chemical Engineering DITM Application (fill-on-line) 

2006 DITM Research Projects

Advisor: Pedro E. Arce

  • Jennifer Pascal, “Electrokinetic-based Drug Delivery in Skin-Mediated Approaches”

2005 DITM Research Projects

Advisor: Joseph J. Biernacki

  • Kurt Johanns – “Thermoporosimetry of Cement-based Materials"

Advisor: Donald P. Visco, Jr.

  • Crystal Childers – “I-QSAR Studies Using Signature on COX-2 Inhibitors”
  • Robyn Rawlings – “I-QSAR Studies Using Signature on DHFR Inhibitors”

Advisor: Chunsheng Wang

  • Richard Lawson – “Polymer-ceramic composite membrane for fuel cell applications”
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