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Alumni Events......................Pg. 3 Faculty News ......................Pg. 5

Environmental Science & Technology Building a Magnet for Scholarship and Support

This rendering of the BEM Complex shows the Environmental Science & Technology Building with the completed Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences in the foreground.

Contractors and construction workers are hard at work on what will be not only Georgia Tech’s largest building on campus, but also Chemical Engineering’s future home. The Environmental Science and

Technology Building (ES&T) has become one of the cornerstone buildings on Tech’s everimproving campus, and has attracted both individual donors and corporate supporters. ES&T will be one of three state of the

art facilities included in the planned BEM complex; Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Science & Technology, and Molecular and Materials Science Engineering. The 270,000 square foot building will house multi-disciplinary learning and research areas within Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Technology Development Center. Among the most generous of alumni supporters is Mr. Thomas L. Gossage, ChE 56, who has made a $2.5 million commitment that will appropriately name the Atrium of ES&T the Thomas L. Gossage Atrium. (Please see page 6 for image.)

Alumni News ..............Pg. 10-11

Mr. Gossage is currently the Chairman and CEO of Hercules, Incorporated, and has played a significant role in the Campaign for Georgia Tech as Vice Chairman of the National Campaign Steering Committee. Mr. Gossage has always been a tremendous supporter of the School of Chemical Engineering, but this incredible gift to the School typifies his vision to enhance education. Other alumni who have made significant contributions to ES&T are John L. and Karen Kiappes, ChE 70 and W. Norman and Janice H. Phillips, ChE 77 and CoC 77 respectively. Both alumni families have generously Continued on page 4

Professor Gary W. Poehlein Retires after 22 Years of Service to Georgia Tech Colleagues gathered in the Gordy Room of the Wardlaw Center overlooking the Georgia Tech Football Stadium on October 23, 2000 to toast and roast a dear friend and mentor, Gary W. Poehlein. A graduate of Purdue University, Dr. Poehlein received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in 1958, 1963 and 1966, respec-

tively. He moved to Atlanta from Lehigh University in July 1978 to become the Director of the School of Chemical Engineering, and also act as interim Director of the School of Materials and Science Engineering at the time the School was formed. From July 1985 to July 1993, he served the administration and

students of Georgia Tech as Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies and Research. In 1993, he transitioned into the role of Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, and in 1997, he left Atlanta for Washington D.C. to serve as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. He has been there

Continued on page 8

Capital Campaign Ends on a High Note hreshold of a New Era: The Campaign for Georgia Tech officially ended on December 31, 2000. Five years, 52,720 donors, 40 Roll Outs, 52 new faculty chairs, and $711.973 million later, Georgia Tech successfully completed the largest fund raising initiative in its 115-year history. The School of Chemical Engineering played a large role in the fundraising activities, raising a total of $30.6 million, $5.6 million over the School’s $25 Million goal. During these past five years, ChE has secured five new faculty chairs and more than $11 million in endowment funds. The accompanying illustration gives a breakdown of the funds raised during the campaign.


Campaign Fund Statistics

Never before has the School been so well positioned for financial security. The funds available for student scholarships and graduate fellowships will dramatically effect the makeup of our student populations. In addition, the resources allocated to student and school programming will continue to enhance the rankings of the school among competing ChE departments. While ChE recognizes the generosity and faith of the many alumni and corporations who supported the School during the campaign, it is critical that we continue to look for ways to fund new initiatives in the coming years. If you would like more information on making a charitable gift to Chemical Engineering, be it a multi-year pledge, a deferred tax savings vehicle, or a stock transfer, please contact Ms. Kelsey Evans at 404-894-0987, or e-mail her at Thank you to all who participated in fulfilling the dreams of the School of Chemical Engineering.

The Seventeenth Annual Ashton Cary Lecture

Chemical Engineering Goal: $25,000,000 Chemical Engineering Total: $30,664,194

Georgia Tech Goal: $600,000,000 Georgia Tech Total: $711,973,834

Funds by Source: Alumni ~ 31% Corporations ~ 53% Faculty/Staff ~ 0.5% Foundations ~ 10% Other ~ 5.5%

Funds by Source: Alumni ~ 48% Corporations ~ 26% Individuals ~ 12% Foundations ~ 12% Other ~ 2%

Number of Campaign Donors to Chemical Engineering: 447 Including Roll Call Gifts made by ChE Alumni/ae: 2,279

Number of Donors to the Campaign: 17,647 Including Roll Call Gifts made by GT Alumni/ae: 52,720

Funds by Use: Endowment: $11,031,611 Facilities: $8,717,321 Current Operations: $10,915,259

Funds by Use: Endowment: $321,060,298 Facilities: $179,155,380 Current Operations: $208,909,142

Loch Ness Monster Discovered at Georgia Tech. . .? This image bears close resem-

“Colloidal Scale Engineering”

blance to the mythological

presented by

Loch Ness monster; however,

Eric W. Kaler

it was actually generated by

University of Delaware

research in the School of Chemical Engineering. Can

will be held April 18, 2001 at 4:00 p.m. in College of Computing, Room 16

you guess what it is?

For additional information, please see:

Taken from a scanning elec-


tron micrograph, this image

Symposium 2001

actually shows an initial (failed) attempt to make poly-

“Exploring Solutions For Today”

meric microneedles for painless

sponsored by

drug delivery across the skin.

The GT Association of Chemical Engineering Graduate Students (AChEGS)

Better solvent removal from the polymer during the molding process yielded needles of a

will be held April 19-20, 2001

more suitable shape. The For additional information, please see:

thesis of Devin McAllister, PhD ’00, has all the details.


New Board Members Welcomed he School of Chemical Engineering welcomed four new members to the External Advisory Board in Fall 2000. Dr. Robert C. Armstrong, ChE 1970, Mr. Cecil C. Chappelow, friend, Mr. Charles A. “Chuck” Hall, ChE 1985, and Mr. James P. Harris, ChE 1970.


Pictured left to right, going up and around: Chuck Hall, Bill Martin, Rick Gross, Kelley Williams, Cecil Chappelow, Dean Jean-Lou Chameau, Dixie Goins, Richard Phillips, Bill Koros, Jim Harris, Ron Rousseau, Bob Armstrong, Cheryl Johnson, Lisa Korslund, John Burson, Jim Simmons, Bud Moeller, Glenn Wright and Tom DeLoach. Not Pictured: Garry Betty, Ralph Cooper, Joe Miller, Doc Outland and Matt Tirrell

Dr. Armstrong is Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Mr. Chappelow is Director of Corporate Research and Technology for Air Products and Chemicals in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Mr. Hall is Corporate Vice President of Manufacturing at William Barnet & Sons in South Carolina; and Mr. Harris is Senior Vice President of ExxonMobil Chemical Corporation in Houston, Texas. Join us in congratulating them on their appointments to the Board. Board Members Mark your Calendars! The next School of Chemical Engineering External Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for April 26th and 27th, 2001. Please call Kelsey Evans at 404-894-0987 with any questions.

College of Engineering Honors Six Chemical Engineers


t the annual College of Engineering Alumni Awards Induction Ceremony, six chemical engineers were honored for their career achievements. On October 7, 2000, Dean Jean-Lou Chameau inducted sixteen Tech graduates into the Hall of Fame, twenty-eight graduates into the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, and sixteen graduates into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni. Of these, Chemical Engineering proudly nominated the following alumni in recognition of their contributions to their respective fields:

Hall of Fame Mr. Thomas C. DeLoach, ChE 1969 Executive Vice President and Director (Retired), Mobil Oil Corporation

Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni Mr. Charles “Garry” Betty, ChE 1979 Chief Executive Officer, EarthLink, Inc. Mr. Larry J. Bloom, ChE 1972 President and Chief Executive Officer, BioLab, Inc. Pictured left to right, top row: Cheryl A. Perkins, Larry J. Bloom, Dr. Sandra Adamson Fryhofer; bottom row: Charles “Garry” Betty, Jeffrey L. Brinen and Thomas C. DeLoach.

Dr. Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D., FACP, ChE 1979 2000-2001 President, American College of Physicians ~ American Society of Internal Medicine

Mrs. Cheryl A. Perkins, Chem 1983, ChE 1989 Vice President of Research, Senior Technical Officer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Mr. Jeffrey L. Brinen, ChE 1985, 1989 Manager, Catalyst Manufacturing Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Company


Co EA Aw lumn i ar 200 ds 0

Environmental Science & Technology Building contd.

The Thomas L. Gossage (ChE 56) Atrium, which will be at the center of the Environmental Science and Technology building, is represented in this artist’s rendering of the interior space.

naming conference rooms at the $50,000 level. Both International Paper Company Foundation and local Atlanta company, BioLab, Inc., have attached their names to multiuse conference rooms and will also be recognized for their generosity.

Mr. Marion Campbell, ChE 73, presents School Chair, Ron Rousseau, with BASF Corporation’s check in support of the ES&T building. Contd. from page 1

donated funds at the $25,000 level to name Faculty Suites within the building. Lastly, Mr. Cecil J. “Pete” Silas, ChE 53, and his wife, Theo, have donated funds totalling $250,000 to name the School Chair Suite in the north wing where ChE will be located. Donors’ generosity will be recognized with plaques mounted in the new building. In addition to alumni support, many of Chemical Engineering’s most valued industry partners have made commitments to support the building of ES&T. ExxonMobil was one of the first companies to pledge its support, and has done so with a $250,000 commitment to name the ExxonMobil Research Lab. Most recently, the BASF Corporation made a $125,000 commitment to name the BASF Seminar Room. According to Mr. Marion Campbell, ChE 73, BASF Operations Director, “BASF Corporation continues to rank Georgia

Tech as one of our ‘key universities,’ and is delighted to interact with faculty, administration, and students as a contributing partner to ES&T and the education process.” Other companies have shown their support for ES&T by

ES&T will be a tremendous addition to campus when its doors open in Fall 2002. If

you would like more information on ES&T or supporting Chemical Engineering as we prepare to move into this new building, please contact Kelsey Evans in the Development Office at 404-894-0987. For more renderings, please see the ChE weblink: ES&T.htm.

This image of the ES&T construction site, taken on November 16, 2000, shows the crew completing the final preparations before laying the foundation.


Faculty News Mark Prausnitz was recognized as a finalist for the Coulter Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship by the Coulter Foundation, which carries with it a $100,000 prize. Also, Dr. Prausnitz’s research on developing more effective methods of drug delivery through microneedles was featured in the Winter 2001 edition of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. To read the article see:


hen a Dublin manufacturer of recycled newsprint had trouble scaling up new flotation technology, it called on Georgia Tech for help with the $1.2 million investment. SP Newsprint, formerly Southeast Paper Manufacturing, began using a pilot version of a new technologically advanced system called the Lawson tubes separation system. The system removes contaminants from aqueous solutions of recovered paper fiber. However, when the company tried to scale up the system from a pilot version (which processes 100 gallons per minute) to a commercial version (which processes 7,000 gallons per minute), the Lawson tubes separation system failed to meet performance standards. When no one at the company could agree on the problem or solution, Alan Lawson, vice president at the company, suggested the company consult with Georgia Tech.

Amyn Teja gave the plenary lecture entitled “The Solubility of Solids in Dense Fluids” at the XV Congreso de Termodinamica in Oxaca, Mexico in September. While in Mexico, he also visited the Mexican Institute of Petroleum in Mexico City and presented a talk on “Wax Deposition in Natural Gas Systems.” Dr. Teja also gave an invited talk at the 3rd China/USA Joint Chemical Engineering Congress held in Beijing in October, 2000. The talk was entitled “The Thermodynamics of Dilute Mixtures in the Critical Region.”

Jude Sommerfeld gave a talk this past year on “Batch Process Simulation” to the local Albany/Tallahassee Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The meeting was held at the Merck pharmaceutical manufacturing facility located in Albany, Georgia.

Paul Kohl was recently granted three new patents: Fabrication Procedure for Integrated Planar Cavities with Applications to Displays and Advances Hybrid Systems, Drabik, T., Kohl, P.A., Patent #6,141,072; Air-Gaps for Electrical Interconnections, P.A. Kohl, Q. Zhao, and S.A. Bidstrup, U.S. Patent #6,165,890; and Porous Insulating Compounds and Method for Making Same, Kohl, P. A., U.S. Patent #6,162,838.

Larry J. Forney chaired a session entitled “Mixing in Reaction Engineering” at the Annual AIChE Meeting in Los Angeles. He was also co-author of three papers presented at the same meeting.

This past year Peter J. Ludovice gave invited lectures at Arizona State, Virginia Tech, the University of Rhode Island, Florida State University and Case Western Reserve University. However, his most challenging audience was encountered while telling the story of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to his daughter Miranda’s kindergarten class.

Article excerpt reprinted with permission from Georgia Tech's Economic Development Institute (EDI)

Arnold Stancell was appointed to the Board of Chemical Science and Technology of the National Research Council. The Board advises the U.S. Government on technical and policy issues affecting the nation and draws on the Board’s expertise in chemical engineering and chemical sciences.


Lawson consulted with Georgia Tech EDI engineer Alan Barfoot of the Dublin office, who then found the best Georgia Tech expert to analyze the problem ~ Dr. Jeffery Hsieh, Director of Pulp and Paper Engineering at Georgia Tech and a professor in the School of Chemical Engineering. Lawson had only two questions for Dr. Hsieh: “Why is the system not working and can it be made to work?” Hsieh studied components of the system such as chemistry, velocity, and flow. Then he pored over performance data from the pilot to commercial scale and made recommendations and reviewed fixes with Lawson. As Lawson implemented some of Hsieh’s ideas, he provided feedback to Hsieh regarding the ongoing results. “He had a very good idea,” Lawson said “He tried to make the pilot unit fail and perform like the commercial unit. Instead of going forward as researchers do, his idea was to work backwards until you work out the problem. Hsieh constructed theories on why the system wasn’t working and implemented the theories on the pilot unit. This troubleshooting process quickly and inexpensively verified the problem’s true cause, one that everybody could agree on.” Within five weeks, Dr. Hsieh was able to get the Lawson system operating. “Hsieh didn’t necessarily solve everything,” Lawson said, “but because he narrowed that focus down and came in as independent, he came up with a logical approach for us to use.” Lawson projects that if the Lawson Separation system is fully implemented across the Dublin mill, cost savings could be significant. In addition, the technology could be licensed to others. Prior to the Lawson system ink removal capacity was limiting, and bleaching chemical consumption was very high on the mill’s number one paper machine. The company is

Chemical Engineering Welcomes Four New Faculty


he School is proud to announce the addition of four new faculty members: Assistant Professors Christopher Jones and Carson Meredith and Professors Jay Lee and Andreas Bommarius. Drs. Meredith and Lee are featured in this issue with in-depth articles on their backgrounds, interests and future plans. Articles spotlighting Drs. Jones and Bommarius will appear in the next newsletter.

Dr. Jay Lee Professor Jay H. Lee comes to Georgia Tech with ten years of teaching and research experience. Prior to joining ChE this fall, he was a faculty member at both Auburn University in Alabama and Purdue University in Indiana. He has held visiting appointments at E. I. Du Pont de Numours in Delaware and at Seoul National University in Korea. He obtained his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1986, and his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1991. First at Purdue University and now at Georgia Tech, Dr. Lee is directing a research group called ISSICL (a name inspired by icicles frequently seen from his laboratory at Purdue), which stands for Integrated Sensing, System Identification, and Control Laboratory. As the name implies, his research focuses on integrating novel sensors, data-based modeling techniques, and numerical simulation/optimization techniques into a computer-based control system that can improve the efficiency and safety of chemical and biologi

cal processes and also enhance the quality and variety of products. In academia, sensing, modeling and control have long been regarded as independent research disciplines and their integration for process optimization and control has largely been ignored. Advances in computing and communication technologies have made computer-based control and optimization of an entire process or even an entire plant a reality (integrated design of sensor, model and control algorithms has surfaced as an important challenge). Lee’s research group is one of the few that span the three areas and emphasize their integration.

Dr. Jay Lee

Dr. Carson Meredith

integrated system design. The second is intended to breed tools and insights that are specific to particular process problems. These involve understanding the process from the viewpoint of control, tailoring existing tools, inventing new tools that do not exist and integrating them into a systematic solution.

called Model Predictive Control (MPC). MPC has already revolutionized the practice of process control, so Dr. Lee’s goal is to modernize a textbook that will educate the current and future engineers about the fundamentals of the technique.

The group is currently engaged in a number of application projects including the design and operation of a simulated moving bed system, startup of a mammalian cell reactor, particle size distribution control in a particulate system, product quality control in pulp digesters and polymer reactors, and spatial profile controls in microelectronics manufacturing systems. For details, please visit the group’s homepage:

His group is currently composed of seven Ph.D. students, a postdoctoral fellow, a visiting professor from Korea and a visiting student from Germany. The group is very active and has published more than 100 journal and conference papers. The group’s activities can be divided into two categories: The first is designed to engender tools and insights of a fundamental and general nature that will help

Dr. Lee has also been involved in writing a new graduate-level textbook that puts due emphasis on a new computer-based optimizing control technique


As this project draws near completion, Dr. Lee is in the midst of launching a new project intended to advance undergraduate control education. He intends to write a new textbook that embodies a more balanced treatment of selected topics. Along with this effort, it is his belief that well-designed computer and web-based tools can contribute greatly to the students’ learning of abstruse concepts. Along with a visiting professor from Korea, Dr. Lee is currently co-developing a suite of web-based interactive simulation and visualization tools for undergraduate control education, with the intention of combining them with the new textbook. On a more general

level, Dr. Lee is a strong proponent of tighter integration of the curriculum. He sees the current curriculum as an accidental result of the historical evolution of various chemical engineering science domains. He is interested in bringing to Georgia Tech a more goaldriven, tightly-integrated curriculum, in which the role of each topic is made clear to the students in a problem-solving context. His effort and achievement in control research and education have brought him several honors. Notably, he was a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award in 1993 and the Alumni Research Award given by the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council in 1996. He currently has a number of research contracts with national agencies like the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy as well as with companies like Aspen Technology, DuPont, Weyerhaeuser and Honeywell. However, the awards he cherishes the most are the ones that past students have given him, such as the Kimberly Clark Mentoring Award that he received last fall at Purdue University. On the personal side, Jay Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to the U.S. during his high school years. He is currently married with two daughters and the family lives in Alpharetta. He enjoys golf, hiking and other outdoor activities and likes the climate here better than that of Purdue, but regrets that, with two little chil-

surface and reading head.

dren and a long commute, little time is left for diversions.

Rather than focusing on a single application, his research centers on the fundamentals of phase transitions, self-assembly, and stability in these materials. In this way, discoveries tend to apply to several applications at once. Two unique approaches are used to carry out this research: combinatorial methods and computer simulations.

Dr. Carson Meredith Professor Carson Meredith joined the School of Chemical Engineering faculty in July 2000, after finishing a two-year postdoctoral position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Polymers Division, in Gaithersburg, Md. Prior to that, he completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 1998. He received his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1993.

Combinatorial methods were originally developed for pharmaceuticals research in the early 1990s to allow rapid and comprehensive measurements over large numbers of reactants and conditions. The goal of Dr. Meredith’s approach is to apply these techniques to characterize colloidal and thin film materials. These highthroughput methods lead to faster development of process models and new pathways for materials processing. The key is preparation of thin film and colloid samples that contain thousands of compositions and process variables each, over an area the size of a microscope slide. He recently developed three such methods for thickness, composition and temperature variation in polymer films. These samples, called combinatorial libraries, are then coupled with automated microscopy and spectroscopy to allow measurements over a broad range of variable combinations in orders of magnitude

Excited to return to his alma mater, he directs the Advanced Polymer Thin Film and Colloid research group. The primary goal of this research effort is fundamental thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of polymer thin film and colloid advanced materials. The applications of these nanometer-to-micrometer scale materials include novel optical communications and data storage devices, biomedical materials, nanotechnology, sensors, as well as conventional coatings, paints, and adhesives. A common example is hard disk drive surfaces, which are coated with an approximately 2 nm thick film of fluorinated polymer to provide lubrication and protection of the magnetic


less time than with conventional methods. This combinatorial technique was recently applied to study the stability of thin polymer coatings on silicon surfaces, a problem that is relevant to the preparation of microelectronics packaging and optical coatings. When thin films become unstable, they begin to break up and de-wet the surface, much like rain drops beading up on a waxed car. By studying combinatorial libraries that contain about 1800 variations in temperature and thickness each, Dr. Meredith discovered a new relationship governing the kinetics of film de-wetting over a wide range of temperatures and thicknesses. The technique has also been applied to investigate phase separation of polymer mixtures and the interactions between cells and biomaterial coatings. Under certain conditions of composition, temperature, and pressure, colloidal and nanoscale particles spontaneously arrange into ordered, crystalline arrays that have special optical properties. A common and beautiful example of these colloidal crystals is the formation of natural opals from silicate particles, noted for their rich diffraction of colors. By learning to control precisely the self-assembly of colloidal particles, engineers can build new types of advanced electronic devices and optical switches for communications. The key, however, is learning to control the thermodynamics of self-assembly. He uses computer simulations to investigate self-assembly Continued next page

POEHLEIN Contd. from page 1

since his leave and retired from Georgia Tech effective September 1, 2000. More than 50 colleagues, many from outside the School of Chemical Engineering, gathered to bid a fond farewell to Gary and his wife, Sharon Poehlein, who attended the event with three of their four children. Dr. Poehlein hired many of the School’s faculty members during his first few years at Georgia Tech. Several of the faculty recalled their

favorite memories and first impressions of Gary Poehlein. The recurring theme however, was the great impact that he had on the School. In his eight years as Director of the Department, he hired more than 15 faculty members, increased the graduate school’s enrollment from 10 to 100, and helped to propel the School to national recognition. His energy and commitment were cornerstone to the Department’s success over the years.

Ron Rousseau, the current School Chair, presented Gary with a crystal vase inscribed with the Institute Seal and the following words: “In appreciation of your contributions and leadership, School of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1978 ~ 2000. Ron Rousseau presents Gary Poehlein with a crystal vase at his retirement celebration.

Dr. Teja recalls some favorite memories of Gary and Sharon Poehlein: . . .inviting my wife and I to “dinner” and forgetting to mention that it was a “pool party” and not a “black-tie affair” (hey, my wife and I were visitors from England, so guess what we turned up in!!!) Dan Tedder, Connie Stancell (Arnold Stancell’s wife), Amyn Teja and Ronnie Roberts gather to bid Gary Poehlein (center) a fond farewell last October.

FACULTY Contd. from page 7

during the processing of colloids. With this technique, two “boxes” filled with colloidal particles are simulated on a computer. Equilibrium between the colloidal fluid and the ordered colloidal crystal is approached by exchanging particles between the boxes. This process searches for and finds the liquid-solid phase diagram, analogous to the liquid-solid freezing of water. Simulation describes how the phase diagram can be altered to achieve precise control over structures and provides basic thermodynamic information that can be translated into process design applications.

. . .driving through Louisiana from Baton Rouge to New

In his previous position at NIST, Dr. Meredith developed new techniques to create combinatorial libraries of polymer thin films. He also discovered a new phase transition for blends of biodegradable polymers. This means that using temperature, one can control how well these polymers mix, altering the mechanical and barrier properties. These biodegradable polymer mixtures are useful in tissue engineering, drug delivery and for degradable packaging.

at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also plans to develop a new Surface Science and Chemistry course to be offered as an elective to undergraduates and graduates. This course will be taught as a team with other professors in the department. Becoming a professor is not the only new thing in Carson Meredith’s life: on February 13, 2000, his first child, Lorraine “Kate” Meredith, was born. He resides in the Atlanta area with his wife, Jennifer, a signlanguage interpreter for the deaf. When at home, he enjoys jogging and spending time with his wife, daughter, and blackand-white Springer Spaniel (Gershwin).

He will teach chemical engineering courses that relate to his research interests. These include Numerical Methods (ChE 2120) and Thermodynamics (ChE 2110 and 3110)


Orleans after a visit to Dow’s Plaquemine Plant. As we meandered through the bayou, Gary pointed out the “sights.” I think this was his idea of a “reward” for a new faculty member from England. . . .sending me to Mary Mac’s for dinner during my “recruiting visit.” This was to be my “exposure” to Southern cuisine (after lunch at Brennan’s in Buckhead). He enjoys music of all forms and plays jazz piano for enjoyment. Favorite artists include Bill Evans, Pat Metheny, and Earth Wind and Fire.

2001ChE Faculty Overview Total: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Professors: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Associate Professors:. . . . . . 9 Assistant Professors: . . . . . . 5 Joint Professors: . . . . . . . . . . 3 Adjunct Professors: . . . . . . . 5 (Not included in total count.)

A Message from the Chair A Message from the Chair

Professor Ronald W. Rousseau tions and the many brochures that are sent to our constituency. The External Advisory Board welcomed four new members to the October meeting: Dr. Robert C. Armstrong, ChE 70, Dr. Cecil C. Chappelow, Charles (Chuck) A. Hall, ChE 85, and Mr. James P. Harris, ChE 70 (corporate affiliations listed on page 3). Dr. Richard M. Gross, Vice President of R&D, Dow Chemical Company rotated off the Board after our October meeting, but we are grateful for all that he has done on behalf of the School throughout his 12 years of service. The School of Chemical Engineering was founded in April 1901, so this spring marks 100 years of ChE at Georgia Tech! Engineering Chemistry, as it was called back then, started with only two students and three Ph.D. faculty members. Compared to today’s 800 students and 36 faculty members, I’d say we have done quite a bit of growing. In fact, there are not many chemical engineering programs that have been in existence as long as we have. We intend to celebrate the Centennial with a special series of seminars in the fall semester, a homecoming event in October, and other exciting initiatives. I invite you to send in your thoughts regarding other appropriate activities to mark this exciting benchmark.

The annual College of Engineering Alumni Awards Ceremony was held in October, and a number of chemical engineering alumni were honored. It was especially gratifying to have six ChE alums inducted: Thomas C. DeLoach, ChE 69, into the Hall of Fame; C. Garry Betty, ChE 79, Sandra A. Fryhofer, ChE 79 and Larry J. Bloom, ChE 72 into the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni; and Jeffrey L. Brinen ChE 85, Ph.D. 89 and Cheryl A. Perkins, Chem 83, ChE 89 into the Council of Outstanding Young Alumni. I know there are additional alumni deserving of recognition. Please help us to honor them by submitting nominations to me for future awards.

As you have read on page 2, Georgia Tech completed the Capital Campaign on December 31, 2000. I am pleased to report that both the Institute and Chemical Engineering exceeded their goals, thanks to the many generous alumni, corporate partners and friends of the School.

As you can see from the cover, construction has begun on the Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) building. We have spent many hours over the past few months going through building plans in order to maximize the space allocated for chemical engineering. I am pleased to report that we will have classroom, seminar, lab, conference and lecture hall space designated for ChE in this building.

It is a pleasure to announce that Dr. William J. Koros has accepted our offer of the Roberto C. Goizueta Chair in Chemical Engineering. Bill has been a faculty member at the University of Texas, where in addition to developing an outstanding research program in membrane science and technology, he served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He will start at Georgia Tech in fall 2001. This fall we hired Josie Giles to be our External Communications Specialist. She has been a tremendous addition to the School, and I now wish we had hired her much sooner. She has been instrumental in redesigning the ChE website, and is also producing our newsletter, our publica-

As you may have noted from our Strategic Plan,, we wish to produce the most capable chemical engineers in the world, and to have our graduates recognized for their excellent technical, leadership, and teamwork skills. We set several goals in our pursuit of this objective, including the formulation of a 130-hour (not counting PE) curriculum with sufficient electives to provide students the flexibility to supplement their core education, broaden the knowledge and skills that sustain life-long learning, and enhance their opportunity to obtain a minor or certificate.


With lots of effort from the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (chaired by Mark White) and area committees in a number of fields at the core of Chemical Engineering, we developed a curriculum that we think will meet many of our goals. The Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has now approved our proposed curriculum, and it will become effective with fall 2001. Among the things it achieves are the following: • 18 hours of electives, 12 hours of technical electives, three of which must be in Chemical Engineering, and six hours of completely free electives. • Integration of course work – faculty committees have worked on developing linkages in several areas, especially in the transport phenomena and separations sequence, the thermodynamics and physical chemistry sequence, and the process design and safety sequence. • Greater opportunities for our undergraduates to participate in faculty-led research. This will give students a view of the frontiers of our discipline, bring them into closer contact with faculty members, and, we hope, stimulate a higher fraction to consider pursuit of advanced degrees. Improvement of the facilities for laboratory courses is another action called for in our Strategic Plan. Under the leadership of Joe Schork and Bill Ernst, and with the assistance of Joe Polinsky and Elaine Thompson, great progress was made over the summer and into the fall semester. The process control lab was completely revamped, with about three-fourths of the hardware replaced and all of the electronics and software updated. Several new experiments, including a packed-bed absorption and CSTR, were put into the unit operations lab. Within a few weeks a new extraction column experiment will come on line. We will continue to be guided by our Strategic Plan and encourage you to view it and related material on our web site. As in the past, I urge you to let me know if you have questions or comments on any aspect of the School’s programs…Let us hear from you!

Alumni News 1963 Walter Busbee, BChE 63/ MSChE 71, recently became Chairman of the Chemical and Biological Defense Division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). NDIA is a not-for-profit industry association focused on national security issues and efforts to improve the industrial base that supports the armed forces. In his professional life, he serves as President/CEO for Majesco Biologicals, Inc. in Edison, New Jersey. Allen W. Johnson, an attorney in Augusta, Ga. will be activated and deployed for mobilization and deployment to Bosnia with HQ Co 1st Bn 121st Infantry (Mechanized) Ga. Army National Guard, Winder, Ga. He will be stationed at Camp Eagle in Tuzla, Bosnia from Mar. 2001 to October 2001. He will be part of a peacekeeping effort.

1966 Donald B. Givens received the 1999 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute Schulze Award for distinguished service to the industry. He is a Senior Technology Fellow with DuPont Fluoroproducts in Wilmington, Delaware.

1967 Charles Churchman, P.E., was awarded his Fellow plaque at the Atlanta Professional Chapter of AIChE meeting in September, after being elected a Fellow of AIChE in March. According to Professors Henderson Ward and Jude Sommerfeld, Charlie is the 7th Georgia Tech graduate in Chemical Engineering to become a Fellow of AIChE. After Charlie graduated from

Tech, he did his graduate work at U.C. Berkeley and Tech. A past chair of the Atlanta section, he currently is the Chief Process Fellow for AGRA-Simons in Decatur, Georgia, and is actively practicing in chemical process plant design.

1984 Alice Williams Griffin and her husband, Mike, announce the birth of a daughter, Laura Patrice, on July 9. Laura joins older brother Matthew, 5, at the family’s home in Kingsport, Tenn., where Alice is a business unit manager for Eastman Chemical Corporation.

1974 Artie Schroeder, BChE 74/MChE 76 has recently formed a new business called Energy Valley. Headquartered in Houston, Texas it brings money, marketing and management to early stage companies possessing technologies and talent of potentially extraordinary value to the energy industry. The company addresses a void created in the last several years as major energy producers and service companies have moved away from technology development in an attempt to shore-up short term profits during a period of low product prices. As prices continue to firm, Energy Valley’s technologies are expected to play a significant role in increasing energy production in a safe and environmental responsible manner. More information can be found by visiting the company’s web site at

1983 Brian Lander recently was appointed Manager, Quality Assurance at Eastman Chemical Company’s Carolina Operations in Columbia, S.C. Eastman’s Carolina Operations produces packaging plastics for use in the beverage and food packaging industry and is the largest manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) polymer in the U.S.


1985 Enrique A. Vizoso has been named executive director of logistics for Cummins Engine Company. Vizoso, his wife, Karyn F. Vizoso, ISyE 86, and their family relocated from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, to Memphis, Tenn.

1986 Elaine Hare-Sturm and her husband, Ray, announce the birth of a son, Jason Eric, on Aug. 21. The family lives in Spartanburg, S.C., where HareSturm is the environmental manager for Milliken Chemical.

1987 John Hammond was recently named Vice President, e-Product Management for ChemConnect, Inc., the leading global chemical industry B2B exchange and chemical transaction Internet company. John joined ChemConnect ( in April 2000 as an e-Product Manager, Specialty & Fine Chemicals, after nearly thirteen years with DuPont.

1988 Steven R. Alexander, BChE 88/PhD ChE 92, is a Senior Production Engineer for Celanese Chemicals Europe GmbH. After graduating from

Tech, he married Christine Fullmer (Masters in Architecture, Ga. Tech 91) and went to work for Celanese (then Hoechst Celanse). They moved to Texas and now have two sons: Christopher Ray and Stefan Charles. Steven worked at the Corpus Christi Technical Center from 92 until 95 as a Development Engineer. He then started project work on an Acrylic Acid facility expansion in Clear Lake, Texas for 95 and 96 and worked on the project team for a Greenfield Acrylic Acid and Butyl Acrylate complex in Böhlen, Germany from late 96 until early 98. He transferred off this project team and worked as a Process Engineer at the Acrylic Acid expansion facility in Clear Lake for 98. In early 99, He went to Germany for the construction of the Böhlen project as a Production Engineer, which is wrapping up. He says, “building and operating a plant in the former East Germany has been a real experience. Working with construction contractors that spoke no English and no German was very interesting. We had contractors on site from nearly every country in Europe. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with pictures, mime, and shouting. However, start-up was on time, under budget and on spec. We have spent the last year working out a few bugs and getting the German staff trained and experienced. In Clear Lake we had the luxury of a fully trained staff. In Germany we had to start from scratch, in a foreign language. I hope to be moving on to my next assignment in June of 2001. It will probably be back in the States, but I have no firm idea at this point what it will be or where.”

Steven R. Duke was awarded the Birdsong Superior Teaching Award given April 21, 2000, at Auburn University. This is the highest teaching award given by the Auburn College of Engineering and it carries a $10,000 prize. Steve has served as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering since 1996. He lives in Auburn, Ala. with his wife Robin and their children Kate (6) and Bram (4).

1991 Todd A. Whittemore and Megan Lane Whittemore, announce the birth of their son, Brendan Joshua, on June 1. The family, including big sister Courtney, lives in Singapore, where Todd is a senior process engineer for Shell Chemicals, working on the design of an olefins/aromatics complex. Megan is on leave from BP/Amoco.

1994 Laura Taylor and her husband, Bill, announce the birth of a daughter, Kathleen Elizabeth, on Aug. 4. The family lives in Massachusetts, where Bill is a senior MEMS design engineer for IntelliSense and Laura is a full-time mother.

1999 Heather Simon and Brian Pyne, IE 96, were married on Feb. 26 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Brian is an organization and human performance consultant with Andersen Consulting and Heather is a process engineering with Honeywell. The couple lives in Durham, N.C.


1941 Matthew H. H. Manley of Powder Springs, Ga., on July 15, 1999. Mr. Manley was retired as a chemical engineer from TVA in 1980. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.

1934 Mr. Shelton E. Hendricks of Covington, Louisiana on June 12, 2000. Mr. Hendricks was the retired President of International Lubricants.

1943 1936 Leon Kaniecki of Clearwater, Fla. on Aug. 19. Mr. Kaniecki was retired as vice president of City Service International, formerly Tenn Corp. He was a commander in the Navy during World War II and retired from the Reserve as a captain. Mr. Rayford P. Kytle of Richmond, Virginia on January 5, 2001. Mr. Kytle was the Vice President of Reynolds Metals Company.

Mr. Don T. Evans of Rocky Mount, North Carolina on August 30, 2000.

1949 Mr. W. E. Saunderson of Cockeysville, Maryland in December 2000. Mr. Saunderson was a retired employee of Rayonier, Inc.

Mr. Hugh N. Powell of Madison, Wis. on June 27, 2000. Mr. Powell was a retired faculty member from University of Wisconsin.




Dr. Peter K. Baumgarten of Aiken, South Carolina on July 16, 2000. Dr. Baumgarten was a retired employee of E.I. DuPont.

Wen Han Li , ChE 53, of Hixson, Tenn., on Nov. 11, 1999. Mr. Li was retired from E.I. DuPont.

Mr. Artie R. Ward of Hollywood, Florida on May 16, 1999.

1998 Class Contribution to the 2000 AIChE National Student Design Competition

Dr. Wilber B. Ratterree of Athens, Georgia on April 26, 2000. Dr. Ratterree was retired from the University of Georgia.

As a follow up to the article “2000 AIChE National Student Design Competition� which appeared in the Summer 2000 issue, it is important to acknowledge that hard working Tech students enrolled in the ChE Plant Design course in spring of 1998 solved a preliminary version of the problem. The early version had not been written with the contest in mind; however, after the authors saw the quality of the solutions by some of the Tech students and their high level of interest in the subject, they decided that with some modifications, the problem would be ideal for the contest. The authors learned much as a result of the efforts of the Tech class. For example, for the National Contest problem we felt it necessary that the scope be reduced a slight bit, that more data on various unit operations and reactors be provided, and that driving conditions be more well defined.

1939 John Clayton Jacobs, Jr. of Brenham, Texas on May 21. Mr. Jacobs retired in 1980 as vice chairman of the board of Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. Mr. Jacobs, who graduated from Yale Law school in 1948, earlier had served as an attorney in Dallas and, before law school, as an engineer. He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Chi Sigma engineering fraternities and Beta Theta Pi social fraternity.

The fact that the 1998 class had already solved a version of this problem was purposely withheld from the article for security reasons, because at the time the article was written, the National contest was taking place. The input of the students from the class of 1998 was acknowledged during the AIChE 2000 National Meeting in Los Angeles this fall, when Dr. Matthew Realff presented to the judges the solution to the problem during the session on the Contest Problem. No solutions were sent to AIChE from either the 1998 or 2000 classes at Georgia Tech.

Mr. Charles C. Rippberger of Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 20, 2000.


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ChBE News—Spring 2001  

Newsletter from the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech.