100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era


Now in its second century, the chemical engineering profession has been shaped and sustained by the achievements, leadership and imagination of thousands of engineers. In 2008, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' (AIChE’s) Centennial Celebration Committee recognizes a few “Modern Era” (post- World War II) chemical engineers — most of whom are still in practice and guiding the profession into the new century.

Andreas Acrivos
Recognized for key suspension mechanics developments relevant to oil production and semiconductor manufacture. Recipient of U.S. National Medal of Science.

Kristi S. Anseth
Recognized for developing new materials to replace diseased or damaged body parts. Recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award.

Frances H. Arnold
Recognized for research on engineering biological systems, particularly proteins and genetic regulatory networks (e.g., using novel enzymes to catalyze cellulose hydrolysis). Elected to all three U.S. National Academies.

Rutherford Aris (1929–2005)
Recognized for controlling reaction runaways; oscillating reactor studies of potentially explosive chemical processes.

Albert L. Babb
Recognized for development of portable, fail-safe, single-patient dialysis machine; medical applications of nuclear energy. Elected to all three U.S. National Academies.

James E. Bailey (1944–2001)
Recognized as the father of modern bioprocess engineering.

Thomas Baron (1921–1985)
Recognized for leadership at Shell Emeryville — extractive technologies, basic chemical and engineering exploratory work, and process research and development.

Mark Barteau
Recognized for work in surface science, metal and metal-oxide catalysis; surfaces and catalyst spectroscopic characterization; computational chemistry techniques.

Georges Belfort
Recognized for research on the behavior of biological molecules at solid interfaces and the use of membrane bioreactors to selectively recover medicinals from complex mixtures. Co-founder of the North American Membrane Society.

Alexis T. Bell
Recognized for work in catalytic phenomena, reaction mechanisms and catalytic site identification and description; applied cutting-edge spectroscopy.

R. Byron Bird
Recognized for establishing “transport phenomena” as a distinct discipline.

Harvey W. Blanch
Recognized for work on protein interactions; DNA electrophoresis; mammalian cell metabolism.

Michel Boudart (1924–2012)
Recognized for fundamental catalytic research: kinetics, deactivation, olefin polymerization, dispersed metals.

Robert A. Brown
Recognized for modeling of materials (e.g., semiconductor) processing phenomena. President, Boston Univ.

Barry C. Buckland
Recognized for microbial fermentation research on vaccine quality; developed processes for chickenpox, Haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB) and hepatitis.

Nai Y. Chen
Recognized for discovering shape-selective zeolitic catalytic-cracking catalyst.

Andrea Chow
Recognized for developing technology to miniaturize chemical, biological and biochemical analyses. Developed Caliper Tech LabChip microchip to control DNA, RNA and protein purification in the Aligent 2100 bioanalyzer.

Stuart W. Churchill
Recognized as a pioneer in reaction engineering and fluid dynamics fundamentals. Participant in launching of Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Clark K. Colton
Recognized for work on continuous-flow membrane filtration of plasma from whole blood; continuous-flow membrane plasmapheresis: theoretical models for flux and hemolysis; artificial pancreas.

Paul M. Cook
Founder, Raychem, Diva Systems. Established SRI International Radiation Engineering Laboratory. Chairman, Sarnoff Board.

John C. Crittenden
Director, National Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies.

Donald A. Dahlstrom (1920–2005)
Recognized for work in mineral liquid-solids separation processes for recovery and waste disposal.

Mark E. Davis
Recognized for pioneering work in new catalytic materials and chemical sensors using ceramics and electronic materials. Recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award.

Joseph M. DeSimone
Recognized for work in liquid CO2 for pharmaceutical extraction and groundwater remediation; imprint lithography materials for shape-specific biomaterials.

Pablo G. Debenedetti
Recognized for work on structure, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of fluid mixtures and glasses; preservation and formulation of pharmaceutical products in water-soluble glassy matrices.

Michael F. Doherty
Recognized for work on synthesis of non-ideal separations; crystallization of organic materials.

Elisabeth Drake
Recognized for leadership of MIT Energy Lab; environmental sustainability and research competition.

Abraham E. Dukler (1925–1994)
Recognized for systematic studies of two-phase flow regimes. Sparked formation of AIChE’s Design Institute for Multi-phase Processing (DIMP).

David A. Edwards
Recognized for therapeutic aerosol drug delivery. Co-founder, Advanced Inhalation Research. Formed Medicine in Need to mitigate spread of tuberculosis and avian influenza.

Ed Ekholm (1925–2006)
Recognized for work at Bechtel and Fisher Tropsch; butyl rubber, ethylene. Founder, Pace Engineering.

Lawrence B. Evans
Recognized for pioneering development and application of integrated systems for chemical process modeling, simulation and optimization. Founder, Aspen Technology, Inc.

James R. Fair (1920–2010)
Recognized for work on distillation contacting mechanisms; adsorbent regeneration kinetics; catalytic distillation; high-efficiency packings.

Liang S. Fan
Recognized for work in particulate reaction engineering. Invented “OSCAR” for carbonation ash reactivation, and “CARBONOX,” for NOx reduction.

Sheldon Friedlander (1927–2007)
Recognized for pioneering work in aerosol science, fine-particle engineering, nanoparticle aggregates, and environmental impacts.

Gerald G. Fuller
Recognized for work on orientation dynamics in complex liquids; deformation of fluid-fluid interfaces; development of rheo-optical techniques.

Elmer Gaden (1923–2012)
Recognized as a pioneer in biochemical engineering. Established bioengineering and bioprocessing curricula at Columbia Univ.

Haren Gandhi
Recognized for pioneering research in three-way catalysts for control of automobile emissions; commercialization of Pd/Rh and Pd-only; alternative fuels catalysts; oxygen storage components.

Alice Gast
President, Imperial College London. Recognized for her work in colloid and surface phenomena.

George Georgiou
Recognized for developing protein-based inhaled anthrax therapies; discovered proteins to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ignacio E. Grossmann
Recognized for mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP); model formulation and solution for process design and operation.

Keith E. Gubbins
Recognized for work in modeling nano-porous material fabrication; effects of confinement on selective adsorption from mixtures, phase transitions; pioneering computer simulations.

Carol K. Hall
Recognized for work in generalized Flory dimer theory and Hall-Helfand correlation function; simulation of amyloid fibrils formation.

Thomas J. Hanratty
Recognized for work on turbulence, wave generation, two-phase flow, and computer simulation of turbulence; fundamental studies of wave generation, hydrodynamic stability, and particle mixing.

L. Louis Hegedus
Recognized for work in catalysts and catalytic reactor design and performance; catalytic converter development.

Arthur E. Humphrey
Recognized for design, monitoring and control of bioprocesses.

James D. Idol
Recognized as inventor of ammoxidation processes and catalysts; patented process for the manufacture of acrylonitrile.

Sheldon Isakoff (1925–2012)
Recognized for industrial chemical engineering research; unsteady-state operations control. Early Chemical Heritage Foundation Board Chairman.

Jacob N. Israelachvili
Created first bio-mimetic on-off switchable adhesive mobile sensor; complex intersurface biological fluid and materials systems.

Klavs Jensen
Recognized for work in chemical and biological microsystems; materials synthesis and processing; multi-scale simulation.

Keith P. Johnston
Developed controlled-release bioerodible drug-delivery system; synthesized nanocrystal optoelectronic devices; nanoscale water-insoluble bioavailability.

Marvin M. Johnson
Discovered metals passivation for catalytic cracking using antimony compounds; viscosity index improvers.

William H. Joyce
Chairman, CEO, Union Carbide; CEO, Nalco. Recipient of National Medal of Technology and Plastics Academy’s Industry Achievement Award.

Frederick J. Karol
Recognized for pioneering organotransition metal catalyst chemistry for Unipol fluidized reactors; low-density polyethylene resins, polyethylene process.

George E. Keller II
Recognized for pioneering work in chemical separations, particularly for modernizing pressure swing adsorption (PSA) for use in medical oxygen generation.

Chaitan Khosla
Recognized for work on modification of genes involved in microbial production of polyketides; drugs to fight infectious diseases. Recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award.

Sangtae Kim
Recognized for pharmaceutical radio frequency identification using fluidic self-assembly; suspension rheology computational methods.

C. Judson King
Recognized for work in reversible chemical complexation for polar organics recovery solution.

Julia A. Kornfield
Recognized for work on polymer blend dynamics; flow alignment of liquid-crystalline and block polymers; physical aspects of new biomedical materials.

Michael R. Ladisch
Recognized for developing and scaling up new approaches and materials for process chromatography, absorptive bioseparations, and biocatalysis.

Robert Langer
Recognized for inventing controlled drug-release systems (the “patch”); creative work in developing transdermal ultrasound drug delivery and growing engineered muscle tissue and engineered blood vessels. Youngest person ever elected to all three U.S. National Academies.

Gerald D. Laubach
Recognized for developing and commercializing anti-arthritic and anti-diabetic drugs. Former President of Pfizer.

Cato T. Laurencin
Recognized for novel polymer-synthesized ceramic-composite-based system for bone repair and in vitro evaluation.

'Norman N. Li'
Inventor and developer of liquid membranes.

Henry Linden
Recognized for work on global climate change; industrial ecology; energy resource assessment; clean coal technologies. Director, IIT Energy Power Center.

James Mathis
Recognized for chemical research.  

Stephen L. Matson
Recognized for work on multi-phase membrane reactors; liquid-liquid extractive membrane reactors; enzymatic membranes for synthesis and separation of peptides.

John R. McWhirter
Responsible for the invention, development and commercialization of the Unox System for secondary wastewater treatment by Union Carbide.

Thomas O. Mensah
Recognized for fiber optics development and applications; high-vacuum radio frequency sputtering. Founder, Superconductivity Technology.

Edward W. Merrill
Founder of biomedical engineering. Pioneered use of films and surfaces in biomedical applications — rheological and clotting properties of human blood; polyethylene oxide as a biomaterial; molecular transport across membranes; artificial kidneys, blood oxygenation and accompanying CO2 removal during open heart surgery.

Arthur B. Metzner (1927–2006)
Recognized for work in turbulent/porous media flows, mixing non-Newtonian fluids.

John J. Mooney
Recognized as co-inventor of automotive catalytic converter. President, Engelhard Industries. President, Environmental and Energy Technology Policy Institute.

James Y. Oldshue (1925–2007)
Recognized for work in fluid mixing technology.

Julio M. Ottino
Recognized for modeling of complex chaotic systems; mixing; three-phase dispersions; granular materials.

Nicholas A. Peppas
Recognized for work in drug delivery systems, including better ways of delivering insulin for diabetics; skin scaffolds.

John Prausnitz
Recognized as pioneer in adapting molecular science to process design; pioneered molecular thermodynamics for biotechnology. Recipient of National Medal of Science.

Stanley I. Proctor
Director, Engineering Technology and Services at Monsanto; President, ABET; Chair of AIChE Foundation Board of Trustees; Chair, U.S. Council for International Engineering Practice.

Buddy D. Ratner
Recognized for work in engineered biomaterial surfaces to control biological surface interactions; synthesized biostable radio frequency plasma films and polymer scaffolds.

Kenneth J. Richards (1923–2008)
Recognized for contributions to developing advanced copper smelting technology. President, Kerr-McGee.

Edward J. Rosinski (1921–2000)
Recognized as co-inventor (with Charles Planck) of zeolite catalytic-cracking catalyst; 76 U.S. patents, many on zeolites.

Alfred D. Saffer (1918–2012)
President, Chief Technical Officer, Oxirane. Vice Chairman, Halcon International. Petrochemical R&D and commercialization.

Charles N. Satterfield
Recognized for work in chemical reaction engineering, including trickle beds, slurry reactors, heterogeneous catalysis; Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, catalytic hydrotreating.

William R. Schowalter
Recognized for modeling dynamic behavior of fluids composed of large molecules, deformable particles, or colloidal matter.

Jerome S. Schultz
Recognized for work with biorecognition and bioreceptor sensors, synthetic membranes; transport in tissues; immobilized enzymes; pharmacokinetics.

John H. Seinfeld
Recognized for developing first models describing urban air quality; one of first to describe linkage between urban ozone and global climate change.

Martin B. Sherwin
Recognized for technical leadership in developing artificial organs, environmentally friendly insecticides, gas-separation membranes. Director, W. R. Grace.

Michael L. Shuler
Recognized as early pioneer in simulating molecular and cellular biological systems and developing bioreactor and analog cell culture systems. Co-authored “Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts.”

John H. Sinfelt
Recognized for work in catalyst fundamentals; invented bimetallic Pt-Ir powerforming catalyst.

Arnold F. Stancell
Recognized for work in polymer and petrochemical processes; microelectronics processing plasma reactions; rapid laser bonding of plastics.

George Stephanopoulos
Recognized for work on statistics and stochastics in computer science and artificial intelligence.

James R. Swartz
Recognized for work on design and yield improvements of recombinant protein production; cell-free methods in developing patient-specific cancer vaccines, having so produced active complex hydrogenases enzymes; improved water filters based on the protein Aquaporin Z’s ability to pass only water, possibly leading to highly selective biosensors

Larry F. Thompson
Recognized for inventing polymeric resist materials for making chromium masks. Managed development of 193-nm deep UV lithography.

Klaus D. Timmerhaus (1924–2011)
Recognized for cryogenics science and practice.

Herbert L. Toor (1927–2011)
Recognized for seminal reactive multicomponent mixing research. Toor Test is industry standard for assessing relative mixing and reaction rates.

James A. Trainham III
Recognized for work in chemical industry sustainability. Vice President for Science and Technology, PPG.

Walter J. Weber
Recognized for water resource management; membrane separations; free-radical oxidation; organic macromolecules in aquatic systems; supercritical water.

Vern Weekman
Recognized for chemical reaction engineering modeling, particularly catalytic cracking.

James Wei
Recognized for pioneering industrial catalysis and reaction engineering research. Editor-in-Chief, “Advances in Chemical Engineering.” Dean Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton Univ.

Jackie Y. Ying
Recognized for work on nanostructure manipulations; nanoporous materials as membranes and molecular sieving sensors; host matrices for quantum dots and wires.

Fred Zenz
Recognized for pioneering fluidization work. Founder, Particulate Solids Research Institute. Book: “Fluidization and Fluid-Particle Systems.”

Charles F. Zukoski
Recognized for work in nanoparticle suspension manipulation; properties of partially saturated granular materials.