Banholzer Receives AIChE's Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award

Former Dow executive will deliver keynote address at AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety, March 30 – April 3, in New Orleans, LA
March 25, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – William F. Banholzer, retired chief technology officer at the Dow Chemical Company and a faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Wisconsin Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be the keynote speaker at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE’s) 2014 Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety.  In addition to setting the stage for the meeting, Banholzer will receive AIChE’s Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award — a recently established prize that celebrates the contributions of innovative executives who employ chemical engineers and who have made significant contributions to the chemical engineering profession.

The meeting, at the Hilton New Orleans – Riverside from March 30 to April 3, consists of 150 sessions across eight topical conferences and special program tracks, explores topics essential to practicing engineers, with a focus on energy and safety developments. More than 2,400 practitioners from 50 countries are expected to participate.

Banholzer will deliver his address, “Possible vs. Practical: Engineers Must Lead the Development of Practical Technologies,” on Monday morning, March 31. In his talk, Banholzer will reflect on how chemical engineers, because of their understanding of technology and fundamental scientific principles, are in a unique position to separate hype from truly practical options when it comes to pursing productive and economically viable solutions to society’s energy and water challenges, among other critical issues.

At the conclusion of his keynote lecture, Banholzer will receive the AGILE Award in recognition of his accomplishments at Dow, where he led the company’s venture capital, new business development, and licensing activities. In addition to being Dow’s chief technology officer, Banholzer was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Dow Corning Corporation, chaired the Corporate Responsibility Committee, and served on the Dow Foundation Board of Directors.
Prior to joining Dow Chemical in 2005, Banholzer spent his early career as a staff engineer at General Electric (GE) Corporate Research and Development Laboratory, later becoming Vice President of Global Technology at GE Advanced Materials. He retired from Dow Chemical in 2013, and joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in January 2014.

Banholzer is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Among his engineering accomplishments, he is known for discovering and commercializing methods to created synthetic diamonds with high purity. He holds 16 U.S. patents for his inventions, and is the author of 87 scientific publications. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois.

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers presented its inaugural AGILE Award in November 2013 to Rajeev Gautam, Chief Executive Officer at UOP, A Honeywell Company, at AIChE’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

For more information about AIChE’s Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety, please go to:

Editor’s Note: 

Journalists interested in covering the conference should contact Danielle Gross at

AIChE is a professional society of more than 45,000 chemical engineers in 100 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontiers of chemical engineering research in such areas as energy, sustainability, biological and environmental engineering, nanotechnology and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at