The Joseph J. Martin Award, a recognition named in honor of a former Michigan Chemical Engineering professor, is bestowed upon graduate students who exhibit outstanding scholarship, athletic prowess and a strong commitment to service within the department.
The award was recently presented to two PhD students, Olamide Animasahun and Do Hoon (Chris) Kim, in recognition of their exceptional academic achievements, athletic abilities and significant contributions to the Chemical Engineering department. Both recipients were awarded a $1,000 grant and recognized for their accomplishments during the annual Chemical Engineering department picnic at the beginning of fall term.
Olamide Animasahun, one of the 2023 recipients, has co-authored 11 publications in high-impact journals, prominently featured as the co-first author in a publication currently under review in Nature Metabolism, and has two patents filed from his PhD thesis.
In addition to his academic achievements, Animasahun served as one of the student’s representatives on the department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) steering committee, contributing to the Chemical Engineering Oak Park High School outreach program, and representing the ChE department at the 2020 NOBCChE virtual conference.
Animasahun has also showcased his athletic ability, earning a silver medal in the Intramural Football competition at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. His participation in the Intramural Basketball competition at the Petroleum Institute and his consistent performance in the U-M IM soccer team during both fall and winter semesters further underline his well-rounded capabilities.
“This recognition will undoubtedly motivate me to continue my unwavering dedication to research, active participation in sports, and my altruistic volunteering services within the department and beyond,” Animasahun said. “I appreciate my PI, Professor Deepak Nagrath for his support, and I thank the members of the lab for creating an enabling workspace for me to thrive as a graduate student.”
Another recipient, Chris Kim was accepted into the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, where he worked as a venture capital investment fellow, leading an investment due diligence alongside a team of MBA and MD students. In addition to his academic endeavors, Kim serves as a co-chair of the Engineering Graduate Symposium, where he was actively involved in organizing the college-wide three-minute thesis competition.
Chris Kim’s athletic achievements include completing two sprint triathlons, with a personal record of finishing one in under two hours. He has participated in the ChE intramural Ultimate Frisbee and played for the fall and winter soccer teams, with his team emerging victorious in the intramural tournament. Kim hopes to participate in the international full-distance triathlon in Seattle next year.
“I’ve always loved playing sports, especially with my friends, and I realized that being physically active is especially important in graduate school to manage stress and healthy work-life balance,” Kim said. “I hope this award encourages others to be active and make great memories with their friends and even get to know their colleagues who they would not have the chance of meeting otherwise.”
The Joseph J. Martin Award was established in memory of Professor Joseph J. Martin, a regarded figure in the field of Chemical Engineering and a passionate sports enthusiast. Over the years, generous contributions from individual donors and corporate supporters have ensured the continuity of this award, providing invaluable support to new graduate students every year.
The Joseph J. Martin Award has previously recognized exceptional Chemical Engineering students including Patrick Kinnunen and Jordyn Polito (2022), Alex Hill (2021), Martin de Beer (2019), Lydia Atangcho (2018), Sarah Paleg and Molly Kozminsky (2016), Margaret Fish and Ona Shemi (2015), Allison Franck (2014), Leo Pavlovsky (2013), Elizabeth Stewart (2012), Christine Andres (2011), Josh Schaidle (2010), and Eric Jankowski (2009).
Joseph J. Martin earned his B.S. from Iowa State University in 1939 and worked with the Eastman Kodak Company for two years. Subsequently, he completed his M.S. from the University of Rochester in 1944 and achieved his D.Sc. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1948.
Professor Martin’s association with the University of Michigan began in 1947 when he was appointed as an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering, and his legacy persisted until his passing in 1982. He was a world-renowned scholar and leader in engineering education and was widely recognized for his research in the subjects of thermodynamics and radiation chemical processing.