AIChE Honors Outstanding Achievements with 2017 Institute and Board of Directors' Awards

Experts in Biomedical Engineering, Sustainability, Education, and Manufacturing Among Honorees
November 6, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (October 29) – In a ceremony during its Annual Meeting here Saturday, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) presented awards to 15 leaders and innovators in chemical engineering.

AIChE’s highest honor, the Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering, was presented to William F. Banholzer, Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The award is given to an engineer whose work has had a profound impact on the chemical engineering field.

Banholzer’s work at the University of Wisconsin focuses on the nexus of science, engineering, and business to enhance chemical engineering education. He is developing unique classes, case studies, and business simulations to improve business acumen among the technical community. Banholzer joined the University of Wisconsin in 2013 as a research professor following a 30-year career in industrial research. He retired from Dow Chemical, where he was an Executive Vice President leading Dow’s Venture Capital, New Business Development, and Licensing activities. He also served as Dow’s Chief Technology Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Dow Corning Corporation. Banholzer is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

In addition, AIChE honored these 14 outstanding chemical engineers and organizations:

Subhas K. Sikdar, retired Associate Director of Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, received the F. J. and Dorothy Van Antwerpen Award for Service to AIChE. The award is sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company.

Frances Hamilton Arnold, The Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, received AIChE’s inaugural Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer. The award is sponsored by Pfizer.

George W. Huber, The Harvey Spangler Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received the Allan P. Colburn Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Institute. The award is sponsored by E.I. duPont de Nemours & Company.

Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor at Purdue University, was presented the Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research. The award is sponsored by the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation and the Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity.

Orlin D. Velev, INVISTA Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, was presented the Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering. The award is endowed by The AIChE Foundation.

Neil Yeoman, a retired Director of Research and Development and Staff Director at Koch-Glitsch, was presented the Award for Service to Society.

The Dual Brightness Enhancement Film Team at 3M received the Energy and Sustainability Award. The award is sponsored by Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

Donald E. Owens III, Senior Manager of Nano and Adaptive Materials at SABIC, was presented the Industrial Progress Award.

Robert S. Davidson, Lead Research Specialist at the 3M Corporate Research Process Laboratory, was presented the Industrial Research and Development Award.

Paul C. Collins, Senior Director at Eli Lilly and Company, received the Industry Leadership Award.

Phillip R. Westmoreland, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, received the Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology. The award is sponsored by Praxair Inc.

Robert J. Davis, The Earnest Jackson Oglesby Professor at the University of Virginia, was presented the R. H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering. The award is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company.

Gintaras V. (Rex) Reklaitis, The Burton and Kathryn Gedge Distinguished Professor at Purdue University, received the Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education. The award is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company.

James B. Rawlings, The Steenbock Professor and W. Harmon Ray Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received the William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature. The award is sponsored by John Wiley & Sons.

“The people we recognize today embody the best of our profession, as they bring their ingenuity to bear on the grand challenges of our times and work to improve the quality of life for the many communities they serve as innovators, teachers, and citizens,” said T. Bond Calloway Jr. president of AIChE. “It is an honor for me to congratulate this year’s distinguished group of award recipients.”

See photos from this event

About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 53,000 chemical engineers in 110 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 frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at