Engineering faculty receives prestigious national chemical engineering society award

Reginald Rogers recognized for achievement in teaching, mentorship and scholarship




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Reginald Rogers, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, received the Joseph N. Cannon Award in Chemical Engineering from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

Rogers, who was presented the coveted award at the society’s annual meeting on Sept. 25 in Orlando, Fla., teaches in the chemical engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. He is being recognized as an outstanding faculty-scholar, for his mentoring activities with students and his involvement in campus organizations.

“This is a surprise, but also thrilling for me,” said Rogers, who has been at RIT since 2010. He has expertise in lithium ion and sodium ion battery systems and adsorption using carbon nanotubes for environmental applications and chemical/biological sensors. His work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including ACS Applied Materials Interfaces, and he has recently co-authored a book chapter in lithium ion batteries.

His achievements and contributions are notable, considering he is in such an early stage in his career, said Steven Weinstein, professor and department head of chemical engineering: “He is successful not only because of his track record of significant publications, but also because he interacts so well with others; he is a born collaborator. This also spills over into his teaching and research efforts with students.”

This past semester, Rogers was named Partner of the Year by RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success for his work both in and out of the classroom mentoring undergraduate students in STEM programs. He is academic advisor for RIT’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and several campus fraternities. Many of the undergraduate students, research assistants and postdoctoral fellows Rogers mentors share an interest in the environmental applications of chemical engineering, he said.

“These are areas they would like to pursue further,” Rogers said. “I am proud that they have read some of the research papers I’ve written and then followed up with questions and their own ideas to pursue. The conversations we have are about the many opportunities out there for them, and I want to help as they learn to be engineers.”

The Joseph N. Cannon Award in Chemical Engineering is given annually by the society in recognition of one of its founders, as a way to distinguish the achievements of individuals in science, engineering and technology as well as to highlight role models of color in the STEM disciplines.