Warren Seider Is AIChE’s 2023 Founders Award Recipient 

Presented by AIChE’s Board of Directors, The Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering is given to engineers who have had a profound impact on the way chemical engineering is applied, and whose achievements have advanced the profession in any of its aspects. 

The 2023 Founders Award recipient is Dr. Warren D. Seider, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Seider is being recognized for his pioneering contributions in chemical engineering research and education spanning six decades. His work encompasses process modeling, simulation, synthesis, optimization, and control. He is also cited for his authorship of landmark textbooks.

Seider will receive the Founders Award at a ceremony held in connection with the 2023 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 5–10 in Orlando, Florida. 

AIChE made it possible for us to share our teaching materials and research results with faculty and industrial practitioners... In turn, we benefitted by learning about their successful achievements.

The early years

Warren Seider began his chemical engineering studies at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, where he received his BS, and he later attended the University of Michigan, where he earned his MS and PhD. He went on to make influential contributions to fields including process analysis, simulation, design, and control. 

As an early adopter and innovator of computing technologies for engineering research and education, Seider helped to organize the Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering Education (CACHE) Corporation in 1969. He has written numerous books in the area of process design, including FLOWTRAN Simulation: An Introduction (written with J. D. Seader and A. C. Pauls), Introduction to Chemical Engineering and Computer Calculations (with A. L. Myers), and Product and Process Design Principles: Synthesis, Analysis, and Evaluation (with J. D. Seader and D. R. Lewin). 

AIChE involvement

A Fellow and former director of AIChE, Seider’s contributions to the Institute and to the chemical engineering community-at-large are lasting. He participated in AIChE’s early Machine Computation Committee before helping to establish the Institute’s Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division in 1977. Also — from the mid-1970 through the 1990s — he taught scores of AIChE short courses. Those included “Computer-Aided Process Design and Simulation,” and “Mathematical Modeling and Optimization.” Additionally, as an AIChE Board director in the 1980s and as a long-standing member of the Publications Committee, Seider has helped set a course for publications such as AIChE Journal.

Looking back

Reflecting on his early career, Seider says, “I’ve especially appreciated opportunities to serve as an AIChE director and to help form the CAST Division and the CACHE Corporation. I was also fortunate to interact closely with Professor Lawrence B. Evans (MIT) in writing the proposal to obtain research funds to create the ASPEN process simulator, and to co-chair the first Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Design (FOCAPD) Conference.

Seider also expressed his appreciation for AIChE as a platform for his own professional growth. “AIChE made it possible for us to share our teaching materials and research results with faculty and industrial practitioners through conference presentations, journal publications, and the teaching of short courses,” says Seider. “In turn, we benefitted by learning about their successful achievements.”