Chia-Chi Ho Named ELATE Fellow

By: Ashley Duvelius

CEAS associate professor, Chia-Chi Ho, was recently named as an ELATE Program Fellow. Professor Ho joins colleague Margaret Kupferle, ELATE Class of 2014, into the elite program, giving testament to the distinguished nature of CEAS and the high level of faculty excellence.

Chia-Chi Ho, PhD

Chia-Chi Ho, PhD

Chia-Chi Ho, PhD and chemical and materials engineering associate professor in the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Department of Biomedical, Chemical, and Environmental Engineering, was recently named as an Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Program Fellow.

Ho was nominated and selected for her outstanding career to date and thoughtful application essay, together with letters of recommendation from her colleagues, and the evidence of strong institutional support. Her selection places her among the very best and brightest of today’s—and tomorrow’s—female leaders in academic STEM fields.

As an ELATE Fellow, Ho will have the opportunity to shine her extraordinary leadership skills and connect with other program participants to learn academic institution dynamics.  She has specific interest in developing a deeper understanding of strategic finance to better equip her while serving numerous committees. Ho also wishes to create a detailed recruitment and retention plan for female faculty and hopes to supplement these plans with strong support programs.

In addition to continuing her run of teaching excellence and novel research, Ho would like to provide leadership at CEAS in the coming years. While she has participated in various IGERT and REU engineering grant proposals, Ho is eager to lead a center grant proposal and obtain funding to provide leadership training for her students.

Ho’s research focuses on bioengineering and separation science, for which she holds two patents. Her work has been featured in over three dozen peer-reviewed journals, published in three books, and she’s given numerous conference presentations and invited talks at distinguished research institutions around the world.

Professor Ho leading postdoctoral researcher Bo Chen and Ph.D. Graduate Student, Kyu-Shik Mun, in engineering tissues with micro patterned biomaterials.

Professor Ho leading postdoctoral researcher Bo Chen and PhD Graduate Student, Kyu-Shik Mun, in engineering tissues with micro patterned biomaterials.

Ho teaches a wide range of chemical engineering courses and continually develops new courses that introduce biology and life science to students—she’s created 17 original courses!  She supervises all of her students’ course projects and meets regularly with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to discuss the experimental design and interpretation of data.  Ho is responsible for her students’ research funding, experiment designs, manuscript writing, and for formulating the technical and scientific aspects of all projects.

Ho currently serves as the “At Large Senator” for university faculty, and sits on the University Budget and Priorities Committee, the University Calendar and Examination committee, and University Recharge council.

Ho earned her BS and PhD in chemical engineering from National Taiwan University and the University of Delaware, respectively. Prior to joining UC in 2001, she served as a visiting scientist at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School.

Ho has garnered numerous awards throughout her prestigious career including: Outstanding Research Professor (2012-13); Fulbright Scholar (2011-12); 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2005-07); Engineering Tribunal Professor of the Quarter for Teaching Excellence (Summer 2004); AIChE Separation Division Graduate Student Research Award (1999); and National Taiwan University President Award (1993-95).

Margaret Kupferle, PhD

Margaret Kupferle, PhD

As Ho enters her fellowship, her esteemed colleague, Margaret Kupferle (PhD, CEAS associate professor and Chair of the Environmental Engineering Program) graduates from the ELATE program in the Class of 2014.

Kupferle has been a Bearcat through and through since she joined the UC CEAS research staff in 1982 as a full-time research assistant/associate, the tenure-track faculty in 2004, and then was promoted to associate professor and tenured in 2011.  After receiving her bachelor’s in chemical engineering and her master’s in environmental engineering from Purdue, Kupferle later received her PhD in environmental engineering at UC in 2002, pursuing her doctorate part-time while working full-time as a senior research associate at UC.  A 2008 NSF CAREER Award winner, her research areas include sustainability, biofilms and treatment of hazardous materials in water and wastewater using biological and electrochemical processes. 

In addition to research, Kupferle was elected as a CEAS Master Educator in 2013.  She teaches Solid and Hazardous Waste Management as well as Freshman Engineering Foundations and Introduction to Sustainable Urban Environments.  She is active in multiple sustainability initiatives at UC, advises a campus-wide minor in Sustainable Urban Environments, serves as the faculty advisor for “Engineers Without Borders,” and is a member of the CEAS ASSET (Advancing Student Success in Engineering & Technology) faculty team.

Her 14+ years of experience in managing technically trained UC experts working on US EPA projects and contracts have served her well in her current role as Program Chair of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Biomedical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering in CEAS.  Her experience in this and other volunteer activities was also very helpful background for the management training she received this year as part of the ELATE program. 

Kupferle reflects, “My experience in the ELATE program has been invaluable as I’ve grown both professionally and personally.  Being an ELATE fellow is a lifelong commitment, if you want it to be—I now have an ongoing Learning Community of women peers across the world that I meet with biweekly as well as regular contact with all fellows as an ‘ELUM.’  I am excited that Professor Ho will be joining the ELATE program this year and am looking forward to working with her and future fellows to apply what we bring back to the benefit of the UC community.”

ELATE at Drexel® is a national leadership development program designed to advance senior women faculty in academic engineering, computer science, and related fields into effective institutional leadership roles within their schools and universities.

ELATE is an intensive full-year, part-time fellowship program modeled on the highly successful ELAM® program for women in medicine, dentistry and public health, and tailored to the needs of faculty women in engineering and technology. Three in-residence sessions of 4-6 days each are used to enhance knowledge and skills in business practices of higher education, project management with diverse stakeholders, and effective communication in a variety of leadership platforms.

ELATE Fellows: 1) Improve their personal and professional leadership through professional and peer coaching, personality and leadership style inventories, and 360˚ evaluations; 2) Learn, through activities, classroom presentations, and interviews of their own institutional leaders, how to understand and navigate organizational dynamics; and 3) Expand their knowledge of strategic finance and resource management at the institutional level through didactic presentations, case studies, and work at their home institutions.


For more information about Chia-Chi Ho and her novel research, please visit:

For more information about Margaret Kupferle and her ELATE Fellowship, please visit:

For more information about the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, please visit:

For more information about the UC CEAS Department of Biomedical, Chemical, and Environmental Engineering, please visit:


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