Centennial Celebration



On April 24-25, 2003, a two-day program celebrated the Centennial of the Department’s founding. The event was divided into two parts:

Evaluating the Past

One day was devoted to a look backward at the chemical engineering profession and at the history of the Department, including reminiscences by alumni from the ‘30s to the ‘70s and by faculty of the last 25 years:

  • Ed Slowter ('34)
  • Alex Lemmon ('43)
  • Tom Koffolt
  • Bill Lowrie ('66)
  • Bruce Poling ('67)
  • Eric Grulke ('71)
  • Tom Sweeney (Professor Emeritus)
  • Jack Zakin (Professor Emeritus)
  • L.S. Fan (Chair)

A video power-point presentation depicting the 100-year development of the department was presented by Geoffrey Hulse. 

Professor Bob Brodkey narrates a History of the Department of Chemical Engineering, written by Geoffrey Hulse, in this video.


Ed Slowter, a graduate of the Class of 1934, gave a speech which reminisces about the Department during the 1930s and his relationship with Dr. Withrow and Dr. Koffolt.

Professor L.E. (Skip) Scriven described the development of reaction engineering in his talk, "When Chemical Reactors Were Admitted and Earlier Roots of Chemical Engineering.

Addressing the Future

A symposium was held in which four distinguished chemical engineers 


addressed the future in their areas of research under the general title “Unsolved Problems in Chemical Engineering.”  The topics are:

Howard Brenner – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Unsolved Problems in Fluid Mechanics: On the Historical Misconception of Fluid Velocity as Mass Motion, Rather than Volume Motion."

Michael L. Shuler – Cornell University
Unsolved Problems in Biomolecular Engineering

Arthur W. Westerberg – Carnegie Mellon University
Unsolved Problems in Process/Product Systems Engineering"

Matthew Tirrell – University of California at Santa Barbara
Unsolved Problems in Nanotechnology: Chemical Processing by Self-Assembly."