Industrial and Professional Advisory Council proposes new ideas during campus visit


The Department of Chemical Engineering’s Industrial and Professional Advisory Council (IPAC) exchanged a series of ideas and recommendations for department development during a recent visit to the University Park campus March 23 and 24.

IPAC is a select group of alumni representatives from industry, government agencies, academia and the profession who advise the department on academic issues and on current trends and future directions in engineering.

Each spring, the College of Engineering hosts the annual IPAC forum, a two-day event in which members engage with the College and their respective departments to appraise the current academic and organizational landscape, and offer ideas for improvement. 

This year’s visiting IPAC members included: Thomas Lancaster, IPAC chair and vice president of research and development at Askton Biociences Corp.; James Janicki, chief operating officer at Arx Pax Labs Inc.; Fay Linn Lee, senior product implementation manger at Shell Lucricants; Divakar Ramakrishnan, vice president of delivery and device research and development, Eli Lilly and Company; Todd Reppert, vice president commercial/technical, Upstream Ventures, ExxonMobil Corp.; David Scholl, school chair, Michael Tennenbaum Family Chair, and GRA Eminent Scholar in Energy Sustainability School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology; and Yi Tang, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of  California, Los Angeles. 

Additional IPAC members not present at the spring forum include Magen Buterbaugh, IPAC vice-chair and global business manager, flurochemicals at the Chemours Company, LLC., and Craig Pfeifer, procurement director at Olin Corporation.

IPAC members concluded their campus visit with a formal presentation to College of Engineering administration.

This year’s recommendations included ideas to expand faculty and staff resources, increase online academic opportunities and to foster a continued environment of personalized academic attention.

For more information on IPAC, please visit:

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The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

119 Greenberg Complex

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574