Professor Ruben Carbonell has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Academy membership honors those who've made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
Professor Carbonell was cited "For research and innovation in multiphase reactor design, high-pressure thin-film coating, and novel bioseparation processes." In the early 1980s, he developed a new mathematical model to describe the hydrodynamic performance of trickle bed reactors that are useful in petroleum processing. In the mid-1990s, his research group developed a novel way of identifying small, inexpensive and robust peptide ligands for the purification of proteins from biological sources by affinity chromatography. The work was instrumental in identifying specific ligands to remove the prion protein that's responsible for Mad Cow Disease in humans, and led to the development of a process to remove prions from human blood during transfusions.
Professor Carbonell is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. His numerous awards at NC State include the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, the highest award given to university faculty. He has published over 230 papers, is an inventor with more than 30 patents, and is co-founder of two start-up companies.
He currently serves as the Director of both the William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering and the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), and is the 12th current NC State faculty member to be elected to the NAE. Four of the twelve, Drs. Carbonell, DeSimone, Gubbins and Hall, are CBE faculty members.
Congratulations to Dr. Carbonell for this prestigious honor!!!