NETL’s Sofiane Benyahia, Ph.D., has received the Charles W. Pierce Distinguished Alumni Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
The award is presented annually and recognizes alumni who have brought recognition to IIT through their outstanding contributions to the advancement of the chemical and biological engineering profession and exceptional dedication and support to the university. The award will be presented at IIT in Chicago.
In the early 1900s, IIT was one of a handful of universities that offered a formal course of study in chemical engineering. The award honors the legacy of Charles W. Pierce, who is not only the first graduate of the department but is also recognized as the first African American who earned a degree in chemical engineering.
After earning his chemical engineering degree, Pierce taught at Tuskegee Normal College (now Tuskegee University), where colleagues included Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, prominent African American scientists.
Benyahia earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Polytechnic School in Algiers and later his doctorate in chemical engineering from IIT.
A senior research engineer at NETL, Benyahia has more than 20 years of experience conducting computational fluid dynamics simulations of multiphase flows resulting in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. His research focuses on developing computationally efficient and physically accurate models to better understand, predict and troubleshoot systems in the chemical and energy industries.
“Innovation is the cornerstone of our work. I am proud to be recognized by IIT as a recipient of an award that honors one of the early innovators and trailblazers in chemical engineering and other IIT alumni who have made outstanding contributions,” Benyahia said.
The computational models and simulations enable researchers to move projects forward without the need to build physical plants or run tests at existing facilities. “This groundbreaking work by Sofiane saves significant time and money and expedites the development of technologies to address the nation’s energy and environmental challenges. The recognition from his alma mater is a well-deserved honor,” said NETL’s Chris Guenther, supervisor, Advanced Computing & Artificial Intelligence.
NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.