Introducing Some of AIChE’s New Fellows

16/29   in the series AIChE Recently Elected Fellows

The rank of Fellow is AIChE’s highest grade of membership and is achieved only through election by the Board of Directors. Candidates for AIChE Fellow are nominated by their peers and must have significant chemical engineering experience (generally 25 years), must have demonstrated significant service to the profession, and must have been a member of AIChE for at least 10 years.

Here are some of the recently elected Fellows. More Fellows will be introduced in future issues of CEP and here on ChEnected.


Surita R. Bhatia

Surita Bhatia is a professor of chemistry, affiliate professor of materials science and chemical engineering, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Stony Brook Univ. She began her career at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst before accepting a joint appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook. She has a strong interest in engineering education and diversity. Within AIChE, she has led the Women in Chemical Engineering Committee, chaired programming in interfacial phenomena, and served as a student chapter advisor. She earned her BS at the Univ. of Delaware and her PhD at Princeton Univ., both in chemical engineering.

Connect with Surita on Engage.


John B. Hillenbrand, Jr.

John Hillenbrand, Jr., is Vice President of PET Engineering and Development for Graham Packaging (Lancaster, PA), where he is responsible for developing and commercializing industry-leading, sustainable packaging solutions. He began his career at DuPont, where he held a variety of positions in global innovation, corporate venturing, product management, technology, and operations before taking on senior leadership roles in innovation, research, and design at Owens Corning and Armstrong. Within AIChE, he has programmed management conferences and served in the Materials Engineering and Sciences Div. (MESD). He earned his PhD in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon Univ.

Connect with John on Engage.


James A. Klein

James Klein is a senior consultant at ABSG Consulting, Inc., with 40 years’ experience in process safety, engineering, and research. Prior to joining ABSG, he served as process safety management co-lead for North America operations at DuPont. He is the co-author of Process Safety: Key Concepts and Practical Approaches and has more than 50 publications and conference presentations to his credit. Among his AIChE programming contributions, he is co-chair of the Center for Chemical Process Safety’s (CCPS) conferences for 2020 and 2021. He has also contributed to several CCPS books and to the Design Institute for Physical Properties’ (DIPPR) Handbook of Polymer Solution Thermodynamics.

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Christi Patton Luks

Christi Patton Luks is a teaching professor and Associate Department Chair of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology. Her leadership roles within AIChE have included chairing the Societal Impact Operating Council (SIOC) and the Women in Chemical Engineering Committee. She has also participated in many activities of AIChE’s Education Div., Global Societal Impact Committee, and Student Chapters Committee. She is a director of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and is president of Omega Chi Epsilon, the chemical engineering honor society. She earned her PhD in chemical engineering at the Univ. of Tulsa.

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R. Russell Rinehart

R. Russell Rhinehart is professor emeritus of chemical engineering at Oklahoma State Univ. (OSU). He gained early experience in industry while working at Celanese, prior to earning his PhD at North Carolina State Univ. He then began his academic career at Texas Tech Univ., where he co-founded the process optimization and control program. He joined the OSU faculty in 1997 and was head of OSU’s School of Chemical Engineering for 13 years before returning to the rank of professor and retiring in 2016. At OSU, he helped to launch courses in VBA programming, optimization, and advanced process control. He is a past president of the American Automatic Control Council.

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Kevin D. Seibert

Kevin D. Seibert has more than 20 years’ experience working in small-molecule synthesis for Merck and more recently for Eli Lilly, where he is Engineering Fellow. At Lilly, he is responsible for the engineering design, development, and manufacturing of the company’s growing portfolio of synthetic peptides. He is also responsible for the commercialization of Lilly’s latest phase peptide assets. He has co-authored many publications and conference presentations in the areas of criticality assessment, design space mapping, and implementation of quality by design principles. He earned his PhD in chemical Engineering at the Univ. of Michigan.

Connect with Kevin on Engage.


Deborah Grubbe's picture

Congratulations to all of AIChE's New Fellows, and thank you to all of our new and existing Fellows for their leadership and volunteerism within AIChE and their respective endeavors! Your contributions make a difference!