Since stepping down from the chairmanship last July, Mort Denn has been able to devote himself to ever more active research, teaching, and editing. Since assuming the chairmanship last July, I have had to devote myself almost exclusively to dealing with the University rules and regulations in a time of seriously diminished resources. I guess that is the principle of detailed balancing at work.
Last January, Mort listed the staff members who had elected to take voluntary early retirement by November 1993. Professors Alan Foss and Scott Lynn subsequently elected to retire effective July 1994 under this program. Their departure leaves a large void in the Department's coverage of process development, synthesis and control. We have been given permission to hire one new professor, perhaps at the senior level, and the search is currently under way with emphasis on the systems area. Fortunately, we were able to recall both Alan and Scott to active teaching for the 1994-95 academic year. We also have been greatly assisted this year by the visit of Professor Sigard Skogestad from the University of Trondheim, Norway. He is teaching the lecture part of our undergraduate process control course.
Some of you may have heard that Professor Foss suffered a serious stroke in November 1993. I am pleased to report he never lost his keen mental faculties, judging by the pithy memos we receive. He has made good progress regaining his physical abilities. Alan has just been awarded a very significant NSF grant in collaboration with George Stephanopoulos of MIT to find new ways to more effectively and simply include computation in undergraduate training related to process modeling.
Professor David Soane resigned his position on July 1, 1994 to devote full time to his start-up company, Soane Technologies. He is exploiting the minimal shrinkage properties of proprietary polymeric formulations he has developed to produce injection molded plastics of true shape. David is probably the major employer of recent ChE grads, now accounting for about 12 of our B.S. and 4 of our Ph.D. alums. Professor Soane will continue his association with our Department as an Adjunct Professor.
Faced with what we hope is only a temporary reduction in faculty size, we have reduced the frequency of our course offerings. Now all undergraduate courses except those requiring laboratories (154, chemical engineering laboratory and 162, dynamics and control of chemical processes) or extensive faculty evaluation of student work (160, chemical process design and 185, technical communications for chemical engineers) are offered only once per academic year. More than ever, it is necessary for our students to plan their schedules carefully and to place top priority on mastering their chemical engineering courses. We hope one positive consequence of this change will be greater student camaraderie, as most students will stay together as a class as they pass through our curriculum.
We hosted a brunch at the Campus Faculty Club on the Sunday preceding the AIChE meeting last November in San Francisco. I am deeply grateful to Bill Krantz of the University of Colorado for encouraging alums of the 1960s to attend. Those who came had a great time, a good meal, and a chance to see some current research by means of a student poster session. I was urged to tell a Bible story and I obliged by changing Pharaoh's dream of seven fat cows followed by seven lean cows to a chancellor's dream of seven fat faculty members followed by seven lean faculty members. The parallel given our hard financial times was too strong to resist.
Many of our alums and industrial sponsors continue being strong supporters of the Department and College. We are very appreciative of their financial and inspirational support.
Our graduate research program remains exceptionally strong and we continue to attract first-rate graduate students. Professors Arup Chakraborty and Harvey Blanch are the new admissions officers and are working hard to sustain and improve the graduate student body. It is the quality and accomplishment of our graduate students that lay the basis for the Department's continued strong standing in all national rankings.
I am happy to report the following partial list of recognitions accorded our faculty: Doug Clark, Jeffrey Reimer, and Doros Theodorou were promoted to Professor. In addition to serving as Dean of the College of Chemistry, Alex Bell delivered the Reilly Lecture at Notre Dame and the Hoyte Hottle Lecture at MIT. Harvey Blanch received the Marvin J. Johnson Award of the Biochemical Technology Division of the ACS. Mort Denn received the Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award of the ASEE in 1993. David Graves is chairing a National Research Council Panel on data base needs in plasma processing. Jay Keasling continues an ICI Young Faculty Fellowship. Jud King has assumed the position of Vice Provost for Research in the U.C. Systemwide Office of the President. John Prausnitz was the 1994 AIChE Institute Lecturer and will receive the 1995 ACS award in Petroleum Chemistry. Doros Theodorou was the Robert W. Vaughan Memorial Lecturer at Cal Tech.
Our faculty and students are committed to maintaining the standard of excellence that is the tradition at Berkeley.