AIChE names two Princeton researchers to 35 Under 35

Written by
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Oct. 3, 2023

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has named two Princeton researchers to its annual 35 Under 35 list, recognizing trailblazing figures rising in the field.

Michele Sarazen, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, investigates catalysis and green chemistry to address global grand challenges in energy and sustainable manufacturing. She was recognized in the Chemicals and Materials category. Sarazen and her research group combine kinetic, synthetic and theoretical techniques to understand reaction mechanisms at the molecular level to make clean and renewable fuels and products. Sarazen earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of California-Berkeley and joined the Princeton faculty in 2019.

She is an associated faculty member in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Department of Chemistry, High Meadows Environmental Institute and Princeton Materials Institute. In 2021, she received the Howard B. Wentz, Jr. SEAS Junior Faculty Award and the Princeton Engineering Commendation for Outstanding Teaching. She is the recent chair of the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York, Journal of Catalysis Early Career Board member and on the AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering division board of directors. She was recognized with the Climate and Energy and Water and Energy Grand Challenge Awards from the High Meadows Environmental Institute.

Victoria Grace Muir, a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow, studies granular hydrogels for bioengineering applications. Her current work focuses on using granular hydrogels and bioprinting to study microbial interactions in porous media. She was recognized in the Leadership category. Victoria has been active as a leader within AIChE, serving at the chair of the Young Professionals Community — a global network of early career chemical engineers. She helped to launch the inaugural AIChE Three Minute Thesis Competition, where graduate students showcase their thesis research and promote science communication to a broad audience. In addition, Victoria has mentored dozens of early career professionals through AIChE and played a large role in programming efforts for recent chemical engineering graduates.

Muir is currently advised by Sujit Datta, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022. In the fall of 2024, she will join the faculty at the University of Delaware, where she earned her bachelor's degree, as an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Founded in 1908, AIChE was established to distinguish chemical engineers as professionals, independent of chemists and mechanical engineers. The award, which is given every three years, recognizes 35 chemical engineering professionals under the age of 35 who have made great contributions to the field, as well as to the organization. Recipients are chosen for their excellence in one of seven award categories. Awardees receive a $500 prize and will be recognized at AIChE’s 2023 annual meeting in November in Orlando, Fla.