Graduate Member Spotlight: Chima Chukwuemeka

Graduate Member Spotlight

Chima Chukwuemeka


Chemical Engineering


Tennessee Technological University


Chima has been a committed member of SWE since 2014. His contributions have included undergraduate student mentorship, volunteering, and advocating for more youth minority women to engage in STEM education.  


Chima’s work has been recognized with the NSBE Golden Torch Award for Graduate Student of the Year for 2017-2018. This award recognizes excellence among graduate students and is an incredibly high honor. He also received the Graduate Minority Research Award and Graduate Teaching awards from Tennessee Technological University.


Thesis Topic: Comestible Herbs in Wound Management: Effects of Allium sativum, Asparagus officinalis, and Pinus strobus Extracts on Staphylococcus epidermidis.


Effective wound management is one of the key ways to minimize complications and infections in wounds. The rise in antimicrobial resistance, in addition to recent reports of nosocomial infections and the impacts of synthetic antibiotics on aquatic environments, present additional challenges to wound management. Generally, repairing any damaged tissue involves a series of complex, imbricating physiological processes that can be disrupted by many local and systemic factors, such as infection. Infections usually cause wound chronicity as well as prolonged inflammatory phase, and may contribute to other sequelae of events that would result to the formation of abnormal scars, such as keloids. Chima’s work evaluates the effects of crude aqueous and ethanolic extracts from garlic (Allium sativum) cloves, garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) stems, and white pine (Pinus strobus) on Staphylococcus epidermidis for inhibitory properties. His results are expected to present a potential opportunity to explore herbal extracts for the development of antibiotics and/or antiseptics, thereby helping to address the burden of antibiotic resistance and the rising cost of wound management.


Chima’s career goals are to advance his contributions to the engineering field in both industry and academia with special focus in creating value that promote sustainable livelihood.


Outside of lab, Chima enjoys playing soccer, scrabble, and chess. He also enjoys cycling and traveling.


Fun Fact about Chima: Nigeria, Chima’s motherland, has over 500 spoken languages!





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