News from Chemical Engineering, Spring 1999

by Harvey W. Blanch, Chemical Engineering Department Chair

ast semester the department celebrated a number of important events at the annual AIChE meeting in Miami. Mort Denn received the Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education. Mort returned from Israel, where he was spending the semester on sabbatical leave at Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry at the Hebrew University, to receive the award. He is now back at Berkeley teaching this semester.


Professor Morton Denn


John Prausnitz had an extended 70th birthday celebration last year. A day-long symposium and luncheon in recognition of his many contributions to molecular thermodynamics was very well attended by his former students and colleagues. At the luncheon, John's wife, Susie, and son, Mark (now on the Chemical Engineering faculty at Georgia Tech), provided a poetic synopsis of John's career and kept us laughing all the while with a selection of photographs spanning John's 70 years.

Among the other honors and awards we note for 1998 are Jud King's delivery of the Electrochemical Society Plenary Lecture; Elton Cairns' election as President of the Electrochemical Society for 1999-2000, as well as his receiving Michigan Technological University's Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction, which is named for the former UC Berkeley chemistry professor and nobel laureate; and Susan Muller's receipt of the Society of Rheology's Publication Award for the best paper in the Journal of Rheology, which she co-authored with her student Michael MacDonald.


Professor John Newman


Special congratulations are also due. John Newman was just elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to applied electrochemistry and for their reduction to practice through advances in electrochemical engineering. Roya Maboudian was selected for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She received the award at a ceremony held at the White House in February. Roya also received the Department of Energy Defense Programs Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award last fall.


Professor Roya Maboudian


This semester we were fortunate to hear from Professor Douglas Lauffenburger of MIT, who was the Bayer Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering, and we are looking forward to hosting Professor Rakesh Jain of Harvard, who will deliver the Berkeley Lectures in Chemical Engineering in April.

This spring the department is making preparations for a new undergraduate laboratory course, the Transport Laboratory (ChE 157). It will replace the Physical Chemistry laboratory and will provide experiments illustrating the fundamentals of heat and mass transfer, properties of fluids and solids, light scattering and electrochemistry. David Graves has undertaken the responsibility of developing these experiments, as well as experiments for a new microelectronics laboratory course to be offered to chemical and electrical engineering undergraduates next spring. Support for this course has been provided by the new UC systemwide SMART program (Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Training). Dr. Henrik Wallman, who has been teaching the undergraduate control course for the past several spring semesters, will join the department this summer in an expanded role. He assumes responsibility for coordination of all our undergraduate laboratories and will be teaching the process control and design courses.


Blanch, Lauffenburger, and Bob Kuhn and Paul Wu from Bayer Corp. at the Bayer Lecture.


We also are making preparations for accreditation of our program. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has introduced new accreditation procedures, termed ABET 2000, which involve detailed analyses of course expectations and outcomes. Although we have a little leeway yet, Jeff Reimer and Fred Vorhis are leading the efforts in preparing materials for the new accreditation process.


Luan Van, the first Alumni Scholarship winner.


The Alumni Fellowship was awarded for the first time this year, going to Luan Van, a student in David Graves' group. Luan is working on ion bombardment effects on surface roughening of semiconductor materials. This is a new collaborative project with Intel. This new fellowship is supported by donations from our alumni, and provides a graduate student with the opportunity to explore new research areas that are not necessarily funded by other sources. Thanks are due to our alumni who generously responded to the spring phone and mail appeals. uary. oanne Cho, Karen Frindell, Michael Furlanetto, Ruben Gonzales, Andrew Souers, Troy Van Voorhis, Juanita Wickham, Katherine Winans, and Isaac Yang.