UAH alumna Krista S. Walton returns as COE distinguished speaker Jan. 30


Krista S. Walton (BSE, CE, '00), an alumna of UAH.

Krista S. Walton (BSE, CE, '00), an alumna of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) will return to the university as a distinguished speaker to give a public talk on Friday, Jan. 30.

Walton's seminar "Engineering Next-Generation Materials for Environmental and Energy Applications," will be presented at 10 a.m., in the Charger Union Theater. The distinguished speaker seminar is sponsored by the UAH College of Engineering. The talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Krista S. Walton, is an associate professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT). She also holds the position of Marvin R. McClatchey and Ruth McClatchey Cline Faculty Fellow. Additionally, she serves as the principal investigator for the Walton Group at GIT. Research in the Walton Group focuses broadly on the design and synthesis of next-generation multifunctional, porous materials with molecule-specific properties for adsorption applications.

Walton's previous academic posts include assistant professor at GIT, Tim and Sharon Taylor assistant professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University, graduate research assistant and IBM Fellow at Vanderbilt University, and process engineer at Solutia, Inc., through the UAH Cooperative Education Program.

"I remember Krista as a very focused student, said Dr. Ramon Cerro, professor in the UAH Department of Chemical Engineering. "Grades came easily to Krista and she had little patience for anything that would distract her from what she thought was important."

Cerro noted that with Walton's grades she could attend graduate school anywhere in the country. "She came to me for advice and I remember telling Krista that with her grades she could apply anywhere she wanted to go. I offered to get in touch with faculty I knew in places like Minnesota and California…at some of the top chemical engineering departments. But it was important for Krista to stay close to her family," Cerro explained. "Vanderbilt University (VU) was close enough for her, and it was an excellent decision since her graduate advisor is one of the top researchers in his field."

"I am honored and excited to be presenting in the College of Engineering Distinguished Speaker Seminar at UAH. I am fortunate to have started my chemical engineering career as a student at UAH and will always be grateful for the many experiences gained there from serving as president of the UAH Society of Women Engineers, to singing in the UAH Concert Choir," said Dr. Krista S. Walton. "UAH provided me with a rich undergraduate experience that no doubt set me along the path to success as both a well-rounded adult and an accomplished engineer. It is such a pleasure to visit my alma mater now as a faculty member at Georgia Tech, and I'm looking forward to visiting with both faculty and students."

Walton is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society Rising Star Award (2014), National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2009), IAS Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Society (2013), and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers DoD (2008). Additionally, Walton received the Society of Women Engineers Alabama Student Engineer of the Year, Alabama Association of Colleges and Employers Cooperative Education Student of the Year, and the UAH Cooperative Education Student of the Year, all awarded in 1999.

Last summer, Walton was awarded a $11.2 million dollar grant from the U. S. Department of Energy to fund the Center for Understanding and Control of Acid Gas-Induced Evolution of Materials for Energy (UNCAGE-ME). Internationally recognized for her contributions to the adsorption and materials fields, Walton holds a patent for a continuous-flow metal-organic framework crystallization reactor. Her publications have been cited by over 700 articles, and she has presented more than 80 times at conferences worldwide.

A native of Florence, Ala., Walton grew up in nearby Elgin on her family's farm. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from UAH in 2000. In 2005, Walton earned a Ph.D., in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University, and from 2005 to 2006 she was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University.



Joyce Anderson-Maples


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