by Simon Goren, Chemical Engineering Department Chair


I hope that all of you read the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of Chemical Engineering departments. Although I am sure that we are number one in your hearts, we were ranked number two in the country. We are very pleased with this ranking, but as the saying goes, we'll just have to work a little harder. This ranking largely recognizes our excellence in research. In this column I want to stress our excellence in teaching.

 Our undergraduate program was subjected to a very thorough examination by ABET last fall. I am delighted to write that our accreditation has been renewed for six years (the maximum possible) without reservation. A great deal of attention has been devoted by our faculty to our undergraduate curriculum, including core courses, speciality electives, and undergraduate laboratories. This has paid off in the most positive possible ABET evaluation.

 Most of our alums served the Department as Teaching Assistants or TAs during their graduate days (and nights). Now we call these positions Graduate Student Instructors or GSIs. Whatever the title, graduate students are an extremely important component in our undergraduate teaching; they help bridge the gap between undergraduates and the faculty. We are delighted to be able to acknowledge the outstanding performance of two of our GSIs each year by a gift from the Dow Chemical Company Foundation. The Dow Prize for Excellence in Teaching has become the preeminent award in our Department for teaching and is highly coveted by our students. The awards are decided on the basis of written student and faculty evaluations. This year's awardees are Ian Fischer for service in Chem Eng 140 (Introduction to Chemical Process Analysis) and Mark Kawaguchi for service in Chem Eng 141 (Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics).

 Perhaps because our graduate students really enjoyed their GSI service or perhaps because they were influenced by a faculty that takes pride in excellent classroom teaching, five (20%) of our Ph.D. graduates this year have accepted academic positions. They are: Annalise Barron, who worked with Harvey Blanch and David Soane and will be at Northwestern; Maria Barone, who worked with David Graves and will be at Carnegie Mellon; Edward Maginn, who worked with Alex Bell and Doros Theodorou and is at Notre Dame; Scott Moor, who worked with Judson King and is at Lafayette College; and Bavanethan Pillay, who worked with John Newman and will be at the University of Natal.

 With regard to academic positions, we will be recruiting to fill one open faculty position either at the starting or senior level. We aim to search broadly, including research areas of our traditional strength such as chemical process systems, electrochemical engineering, polymeric systems, and molecular modeling. If you know of Berkeley quality candidates, please urge them to apply for this position before our deadline of December 8, 1995.

 Arup Chakraborty and Harvey Blanch did an excellent job this year in presenting the Berkeley story to potential graduate students. They prepared a new brochure on graduate research in the Department. Although the entering class of eighteen is slightly smaller than we originally hoped for, this is more than made up for by the outstanding merit of the students. These students have won among them one Whittaker fellowship, one Berkeley fellowship, one GE Faculty for the Future fellowship, one GEM fellowship, one Tau Beta Pi fellowship, and four NSF fellowships. Harvey Blanch and John Newman are the new admissions officers. Please put your best seniors interested in graduate studies in contact with Harvey or John.

Everyone has heard the proverb Publish or Perish. Upon surveying our faculty's service to scholarly journals, I think the new epigram should be Edit or Exit. Alex Bell continues as Editor of Chemical Engineering Science. Doug Clark is about to assume the Editorship of Biotechnology and Bioengineering; Doug had been Associate Editor. Mort Denn has assumed the Editorship of the Journal of Rheology. John Newman continues as Associate Editor of the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. We do get more than our share of papers to review, but this keeps us up to date with advances being made elsewhere.

 I am sorry to announce that Doros Theodorou resigned his position as Professor here to assume a Professorship at the University of Patras in Greece. Doros' teaching was superb. He had established an international reputation for his research in the application of statistical mechanics to the prediction of properties of materials of engineering importance. Fortunately, we expect to host Doros for summer visits for a number of years to come.

 Arup Chakraborty will be on a well earned, year-long sabbatical leave at MIT starting in January 1996. Balancing this, Howard Brenner of MIT will spend a sabbatical leave here during the 1996 spring semester, when he will teach a graduate course on interfacial transport phenomena. Other sabbatical leave visitors to Berkeley are Stanley Sandler of University of Delaware and Levi Thompson of University of Michigan; both will be here for the 1995 fall semester.

 I want to mention some awards of our junior faculty members as they are our future. Jay Keasling holds the Zeneca Young Faculty Fellowship, received a three-year research award from Chevron Research and Technology Company, and won a five-year NSF Career Award (formerly called the NYI award). Roya Maboudian won a NSF NYI award last year. This year she was awarded a significant grant from DuPont for her research and also won a Career Development Grant from Berkeley which releases her from classroom teaching for one semester. Susan Muller was selected as the outstanding College of Chemistry Teacher from surveys submitted by graduating seniors. She delivered the 1995 Octave Levenspiel Lecture at Oregon State University. Susan also received the Hellman Family Faculty Award and a significant grant from DuPont for her research. With young faculty of this caliber, our future is most promising. I wonÕt mention the awards of our older faculty except to skip from the youngest to the eldest. John Prausnitz received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Princeton, this spring.

 We look forward to seeing many of you at the Department's reception at this year's AIChE annual meeting in Miami Beach.


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