The 2017 Institute and Board of Directors' Awards were presented at the Honors Ceremony at the Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. These are AIChE's most prestigious awards, honoring eminent chemical engineers for career accomplishments, service to society, and service to the Institute. Current AIChE president T. Bond Calloway, Jr., presented the Board of Directors' Awards. He recognized that, throughout this week, AIChE will also celebrate other distinguished contributors through our division, forum, and committee awards. See all awards presented at the Annual Meeting.
Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering
The Founders Award is presented to engineers who have had a profound impact on the way that chemical engineering is practiced, and whose achievements have advanced the profession in any of its aspects. This year's Founders Award recipient is Dr. William F. Banholzer, a research professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Dr. Banholzer is a visionary executive who has transformed numerous inventions into innovations, created research endowments in chemical engineering, enhanced safety practices, and implemented an outstanding outreach initiative for minorities."
F.J. & Dorothy Van Antwerpen Award for Service to the Institute
This award, sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, is presented to Dr. Subhas K. Sikdar, an AIChE Fellow and retired Associate Director of Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“For exemplary leadership in fostering the initiation and growth of sustainable engineering in the Institute’s programs.”
Before moving on to the Institute Awards, Calloway recognized this year's Institute lecturer. For 69 years, the Executive Board of the Program Committee has invited an AIChE member to present a comprehensive overview of chemical engineering in his or her area of specialization. This high honor was recently endowed, through generous donations to the AIChE Foundation, in the name of our colleague John Prausnitz of the University of California, Berkeley. This year’s John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecture will be presented by Dr. Gintaras V. (Rex) Reklaitis, The Burton and Kathryn Gedge Distinguished Professor at Purdue University. Dr. Reklaitis will deliver his lecture “Process Systems Engineering Contributions to Pharmaceuticals,” on Wednesday at 11:15 AM, in Ballroom B of the Minneapolis Convention Center. Rex will be honored formally at the end of his lecture.
Calloway then introduced and thanked the Chair of AIChE's Awards Selection Subcommittee, Rachel Segalman of The University of California, Santa Barbara, to present this year's Institute Awards.
After thanking the Awards Committee and Awards Solicitation Committee, Rachel presented the Institute Awards.
Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau Pioneer Award
This year, AIChE inaugurates The Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer. This award is given to a woman member of AIChE who has made significant contributions to chemical engineering research or practice over the course of her career — and who has paved the way for women to have a greater impact on the profession.
The award honors the memory of Dr. Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau — the first woman to earn a PhD in chemical engineering from MIT, the first woman member of AIChE, and the first woman to receive AIChE’s Founders Award. Rousseau is known for her work at Pfizer, where she scaled up and designed the first deep-tank penicillin fermentation commercial plant, leading to mass production of the drug that has saved countless lives since World War II.
This new award, appropriately, is sponsored by Pfizer. And among the Pfizer representatives at this meeting is Christine Seymour, AIChE’s president elect, who was instrumental in establishing this new honor. The inaugural recipient of the Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau Pioneer Award is Dr. Frances Hamilton Arnold, The Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, Dr. Arnold had a prior commitment in California, and was not able to attend the ceremony; however, she recorded the following video that was played at the ceremony.
As a directed-evolution pioneer, Frances Arnold’s groundbreaking research steered important, innovative accomplishments, enabling scientists and researchers to advance the bio-based economy and the manufacture of chemicals and biofuels.
The Allan P. Colburn Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Institute
Sponsored by DuPont, The Allan P. Colburn Award is the second-oldest award of AIChE and was established in 1945. It is given to encourage excellence in publications by a younger member of the Institute. This year's award went to Dr. George W. Huber, The Harvey Spangler Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“For the development of new types of catalysts, the design of novel reactors, and the elucidation of fundamental chemistry for chemical transformations of biomass and low carbon resources.”
Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research
Sponsored by the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation and established in 1966, this award is presented to Dr. Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor at Purdue University.
“For synthesizing wide-impact energy processes, developing solution-based routes to fabricate low-cost solar cells, and pioneering a systematic method for the synthesis of multicomponent distillation trains.”
The R. H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering
Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company, this award recognizes significant new contributions to chemical reaction engineering. This year's recipient is Dr. Robert J. Davis, The Earnest Jackson Oglesby Professor at the University of Virginia.
“For seminal contributions to the understanding and design of heterogeneous catalysts through the use of in-situ spectroscopic methods and transient kinetic analyses.”
The Energy and Sustainability Award
Sponsored by Air Products & Chemicals, the Energy and Sustainability Award recognizes individuals, teams, or entire companies for accomplishments in energy savings, improved sustainability of chemical processes, or development of innovative technologies for efficient energy generation. This year’s award is presented to a team — the 3M Dual Brightness Enhancement Film Team — working at 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota.
For innovation that has driven substantial gains in performance and efficiency for devices incorporating LCD technologies, including televisions and mobile devices popular with global consumers.
The Industrial Progress Award
The Industrial Progress Award recognizes significant contributions to industrial practice by an individual working in industries served by chemical engineers. The selection of this early-career award is based on the impact of the contributions, the magnitude of the challenges involved, and innovation and creativity.
This year’s Industrial Progress Award is presented to Dr. Donald E. Owens III, senior manager, Nano and Adaptive Materials at SABIC.
“For excellent leadership and technical innovation throughout his career, resulting in the commercialization of technologies and products within the pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals industries.”
The Industry Leadership Award
The Industry Leadership Award is presented to individuals or teams working in industries served by chemical engineers, and recognizes accomplishments in management; sales and marketing; public, community, and industrial relations; and public service. This year's recipient is Dr. Paul C. Collins, an AIChE Fellow and Senior Director at Eli Lilly and Company, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“For his successes and leadership at Lilly, in AIChE, and in the pharmaceuticals industry, including initiatives that have enabled continuous drug substance/product manufacture, developed scientists, and driven pharma success at AIChE.”
Industrial Research and Development Award
The Industrial Research and Development Award recognizes individuals or teams working in the industries served by chemical engineers, for innovation that has resulted in the commercial development of new products and/or new processes for making useful products. This year's award recipient is Dr. Robert S. Davidson, Lead Research Specialist at the 3M Corporate Research Process Laboratory.
“For his accomplishments in the development, manufacturing scale-up, and commercialization of multiple technologies including nanoparticles, ceramics, optical materials, dental composites, and electrical composite conductors.”
The Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology
Sponsored by Praxair, this award was established in 1993 and recognizes sustained excellence in contributing to the advancement of technology in the production, distribution, and application of industrial gases. This year's recipient is Dr. Phillip R. Westmoreland, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, and Director of the Southeast Regional Manufacturing Center for the Clean-Energy Smart-Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
“For quantitative and mechanistic insights into gas pyrolysis, combustion, and industrial chemistry through measurement and modeling, especially of hydrofluorocarbons and aromatic pollutants.”
Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering
This award recognizes outstanding progress in chemical engineering by an AIChE member. This year’s honoree is Dr. Orlin D. Velev, INVISTA Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University.
“For pioneering contributions in directed assembly of colloidal particles into sophisticated materials and devices, and development of novel functional structures from soft matter.”
The Award for Service to Society
The Award for Service to Society recognizes outstanding contributions by a chemical engineer to community service and to the solution of socially oriented problems. The awardee’s contributions emphasize a concern for the common good, willingness to give time and comfort, and the ability to draw together varied resources to solve problems.
The 2017 award is presented to to Neil Yeoman, an AIChE Fellow and a retired Director of Research and Development and Staff Director at Koch-Glitsch. Neil was not able to attend the ceremony so Andre Da Costa accepted the award on his behalf.
“For a lifetime of diversified service to the communities in which he dwells and/or functions.”
The Warren K. Lewis Award
Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company, this award recognizes contributions to chemical engineering education. This year's winner is Dr. Gintaras V. (Rex) Reklaitis, an AIChE Fellow and The Burton and Kathryn Gedge Distinguished Professor at Purdue University.
“For outstanding research and educational publications, and leadership of professional societies, journals, research organizations, and Purdue’s School of Chemical Engineering.”
The William H. Walker Award
Sponsored by John Wiley & Sons, this award recognizes excellence in contributions to chemical engineering literature. This year the Walker Award winner is Dr. James B. Rawlings, an AIChE Fellow and The Steenbock Professor and W. Harmon Ray Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“For seminal contributions in the areas of control theory and applications, chemical reaction engineering, and modeling and control of crystallization processes.”
Rachel brought the ceremony to a close with congratulations to the recipients and encouragment for new nominations for next year. Feel free to congratulate our recipients in the comments section below or on Twitter using #AIChEAnnual.
See a list of all awards presented at the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting here.