Christopher J. Russell was born on December 7, 1983, at Verdugo Hills Hospital in southern California, and spent his early childhood in Orange, California. It was there that he attended a private elementary school and first realized his interest in science and math. During his pre-teen years he participated in National Junior Basketball, Junior All-American Football, and Cub Scouts.
Georgia Institute of Technology Catholic Center 172 Fourth Street, N.W. Father Tim Hepburn, Officiant & Reception Immediately Following Ford Environmental Science & Technology Building First Floor Gossage Atrium Saturday, October 18, 2008 12:00 Noon
At the age of 11, Chris moved to Irvine, California, where he attended middle school. At this time he continued to develop his love of science and was active in student government. He had a prosperous high school career, where he excelled in science and mathematics, and graduated among the top students in his class. Throughout these years he enjoyed attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, being a wrestler, track & field athlete, and captain of the football team. After high school, Chris attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he majored in chemical engineering. During his time at MIT he discovered his passion for research. He participated in undergraduate research every semester after freshman year and completed four summer internships. Upon graduation he began his tenure in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech, where he pursued his doctorate degree in chemical engineering. He won two prestigious fellowships at Georgia Tech â€“ the FACES Fellowship and the IBM Focus Fellowship. He made commendable progress in his research project and was preparing to present his latest results at the AIChE Annual Meeting in November 2008. He was selected for the 2008 Dow Chemical Company BEST Symposium, which brings together outstanding doctoral students from all over the country to discuss career opportunities at Dow. Before his unexpected passing, Chris was scheduled to present on his successful research progress at the ChBE Fourth Year Colloquium. In memory of his bright spirit and his fine qualities as a student, researcher, and friend, the School has dedicated the 2008 Fourth Year Colloquium to his lasting memory.
Christopher J. Russell Memorial Gathering Song: “Precious Lord” (Ms. Marie Little) Opening Prayer Reading Psalm response: “The Lord is My Light and My Salvation, of whom should I be afraid, of whom should I be afraid?” Gospel Reading Reflection: Father Tim Hepburn Prayers of the Faithful Blessing Remarks: from Family and Friends Song: “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” by John Lennon Reception: School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Remembrances from friends and colleagues I had the great pleasure of knowing Chris for three years and advising him towards his Ph.D. degree and his professional development. Chris impressed me with his enthusiasm, diligence, and collegiality towards others in my research group. He tackled every challenge in his academic career with success, and he did quality research work that he was looking forward to presenting and publishing. We will all remember him for his fine qualities as a student, researcher, colleague, and human being. Sankar Nair
â€œClose your eyes Have no fear The monsterâ€™s gone...â€?
As Cihan reminded me couple days ago, Chris, he and I had shared so many good memories in that office. It brought back a smile. So many stories and jokes that we all shared, so many arguments, advises...and the times that I needed to put up with Chris and the guys in the office and vice versa. Knowing Chris in the last 3 years, he had changed so much in a positive way...and he was a friend who was eager to help. I remembered when I was under so much pressure finishing up my thesis, and he helped me take care of the DI system...& voluntarily bought the b'day cake for Sankar when he found out about his b'day. I was shocked and saddened for his passing. I pray for him that he can be in peace, and all of us who he has left, especially to his family and relatives; you are in my prayers and thoughts in this time of sorrow. Yeny Hudiono
I have known Chris since the day he joined the research group back in Fall 2005. I have seen him learn new techniques/skills required for his research, expand his knowledge of the subject, and finally mature into a responsible researcher. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Chris is his pleasant smile when talking to people. He was very helpful in every aspect be it in research or outside of it. One of my memories of Chris that I want to share dates back to Fall 2006. All our group members/friends went to a Korean restaurant for dinner and when we were all ordering our food, we were all very surprised that Chris wanted his food to be very spicy and in fact he ate it all mentioning that the level of spice was still low for him while the rest of us were teary eyed at a medium level! Still in doubt whether he was kidding about it! I am deeply saddened by the sudden demise of a dear friend and colleague. I pray for his peace, and courage for all his family, relatives and friends. I convey my heartfelt condolences to Chris' family in this time of sorrow. Suchitra Konduri Chris and I recently attended the Dow Symposium in Midland, Michigan. We got to meet graduate students from across the country and I think Chris enjoyed hanging out with everyone for the few days we were there. During the game night they held for us, Chris tried his hand at Texas Hold'em; I don't think he hit any jackpots but he enjoyed himself. It was a late night with lots of fun and good people. He was looking forward to graduating and getting a job, maybe even at Dow. Krystle Chavez
â€œBeautiful, beautiful, beautiful Beautiful boy...â€?
“Before you go to sleep Say a little prayer...”
Chris was a very good friend and colleague for me. When I joined Dr. Nair’s research group in Fall 2007, he helped me get started in the lab. He was very kind and flexible in scheduling time for helping me out with nanoparticle synthesis and substrate making and preparation, and.... He was a very hardworking and dedicated person. I would usually see him working hard in the IR lab even at night. He trained many graduate students for the IR experiment. He was very much liked by the students for his kindness, his patience and that he took the time to completely listen to their questions and then answer with his best knowledge. I remember him lighting up with a gentle smile whenever he would talk. Chris always struck me as a very calm, sincere and humble person with a beautiful soul. He was a great friend to have. I remember that one time we were riding together to Amir Ahmahdi’s house for a birthday party. It was a long ride, so we talked about almost everything. I was also interested in his research project, so he kindly explained his projects in detail and also offered ways to improve my research efforts. Chris will always be remembered by me and our research group as a kind, caring and hard working friend and colleague. It is very hard for us not to have our friend with us now. We know he is resting in peace and hope that his family and friends can find peace in his great trail of beautiful memories. Mohamad Kassaee May memories of Chris and the prayers of all those who loved him and whose lives he touched, bring you comfort. Prerona Chakravarty
What I'll miss most about Chris are the conversations that we used to have when we were taking a break from work. I shared an office with Chris for the past year, and we worked closely together both on classwork and research. For as long as I've known him, Chris has been so laid-back and happy. He never failed to cheer me up when I was stressed out. Even when he was exhausted from work or classes, he would be quick to laugh, smile, and shrug it off with a joke or a comforting comment. He was the nicest, funniest, and most sincere guy that I have met. Our office will not be the same without him. I will greatly miss him, but the memory of Chris' smile will continue to comfort me. Kate McFadden I cannot claim that I know Chris very well. He was Yeny’s office mate and when I would come looking for her in her office, he would be there and we would smile and say hello to each other. The same thing when we passed each other in the hallways. It was not uncommon for us to meet each other at odd hours of the night. He would always be smiling. Research-wise, my interaction with him was when he trained us in their IR and when we would need some water from their distillation set-up, of which he became in-charge of. When the announcement for my proposal presentation came out, he sent me an e-mail wishing me luck. I was touched by it, more so because I didn’t expect that he would take the time to e-mail me his greeting. That was sweet of him. I really appreciated that. Mariefel Valenzuela Olarte
“Every day in every way It’s getting better and better...”
I remember first meeting Chris during the chemical engineering graduate student orientation. Most of us were complaining about trekking all around campus in the sweltering August heat, but Chris had such a warm smile and was so eager to get to know everyone. Even though we had only known each other for mere hours, he kindly offered to drive a few of us to the other side of campus just so we could escape the heat for a little bit. Life in grad school has not always been fun, but Chris could always find something positive to say no matter what was happening. I will definitely miss his kindness and big friendly smile. Venmathy Rajarathinam Chris was kind to everybody. Every time we met and talked, he always showed me his gentle and beautiful smile. He was the one of my friends who enjoyed extremely spicy food. It is a sorrow that we cannot see him anymore. But he will always be in my memory of campus life. Tae-Hyun Bae
â€œBeautiful, beautiful, beautiful Beautiful boy...â€?
Chris is someone who always had a smile on his face and always had a joke to share. His death leaves a hole in all our hearts. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Chris. Quinta Nwanosike Chris had a warm and contagious smile that he shared often. I always enjoyed chatting with him in the halls when we crossed paths. He will be missed, and my thoughts are with him and his family. I am thankful he was a part of my Georgia Tech experience. Michelle Kassner
My first encounter with Chris was when I joined Georgia Tech in fall 2006. I shared my temporary office in the ES&T Building with Chris. Initially, I was a little shy in talking to him because I thought he was a post doc. Chris initiated a talk one day and I came to know that he was in fact a PhD student. We both used to like working at night and many of our thoughts matched. Chris had an attitude of dealing with things as they came. I had never seen him worried about day to day activities and especially research. We used to joke a lot about the noise from the football and cheerleading practice adjacent to the building and sometimes the boring life of a grad student. We used to meet often in the Bunger-Henry Building when he came to our labs to fix one system and always shared friendly talks. I remember that before his proposal he broke his leg in an accident, and was in a wheelchair for some time, but still he would work hard and often for long hours at night fixing research challenges & systems. In spite of this problem he completed his proposal in good shape. He was a brilliant person with very good undergraduate background and scholarships in graduate-school. I remember Chris as a person with a warm, humorous and friendly nature towards everyone. I could not believe when I read the news about his untimely demise. He will always be in my memory. May god give strength to his family and well wishers to cope with this tragedy. Dhaval Bhandari Chris, May your soul rest in peace and may your family have the courage to cope up with this grief. Rajeswari Chandrasekaran,
â€œOut on the ocean sailing away I can hardly wait To see you come of age...â€?
Chris was one of our ~ 35 chemical engineering first year class of graduate students. We were a close-knit class. The first year of graduate school, we would always be in groups studying for exams and qualifiers. Studying consisted of many late nights, drinks, and general exhaustion. But as a class we all managed to get through the 75 hour per week weeks of studying. As the years passed, we drifted apart into the world of our labs and research but we will always have a bond as a class. Chris was a guy whom I would pass in the hallway often. I would wave to him and he would always return with warm smile and a “what’s up!” It always brightened up my day when I would see Chris in the halls or out in the quad. Chris will be sorely missed and our class will always be minus one. May he rest in peace. Janna Billy Blum
“But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient cause it’s a long way to go...”
Dear Chris, thanks for always cheering me up when we saw each other in the halls. We're going to miss you. Edward Park On behalf of The Dow Chemical Company's 2008 BEST Symposium Organizing Team, please allow me to express my sincere condolences. Chris joined us in Midland, MI a few weeks ago for the Second Annual BEST Symposium. He was indeed a talented engineer and he represented himself and his work very well. Please know that your family is in our thoughts during this difficult time. Alveda Williams
I had the pleasure of being Chris' teaching assistant for his first year thermodynamics class and I worked in a lab close to his for one year. He was a superb student and always cheered up fellow grad students with his positive personality. James Falabella May peace be with you and your family. I could only imagine what your family must be going through. I wish that they pull up all the courage to cope up with their sorrow during this tough time. Priya Gadiraju I had the honor of being his office mate for 2 years. The thing that set him apart was his positive attitude towards everyone and his constant cheerfulness. I'm going to miss my genuinely nice friend Chris and all the memories and conversations we had in those 2 years. To the Russell Family: You should be proud for having raised such an amazing and thoughtful person. Cihan Oguz This is a great lost to his family, his friends, GA Tech and the community in general. Condolences. Eduardo Vazquez Chris always had a smile on his face whenever I saw him and he was a pleasure to be around. I will always remember his gentleness and dedication. I send my heartfelt sympathy to all of his family and friends. Josie Giles
â€œA hard row to hoe Yes itâ€™s a long way to go...â€?
I was fortunate to have contact with Chris as a classroom instructor. I got to know Chris even better when he used equipment in my laboratory as part of his research project. He was a fine young man, and I mourn his loss and offer my most sincere condolences to your family. Bill Koros Hope you find peace in heaven. I will always remember your smile and friendliness. Pei Yoong Koh My prayers are with your family. You will be always remembered...... Vipul Kumar I will remember you... You always will have a space in our hearts. Andres Hernandez
â€œBut in the meantime Before you cross the street Take my hand...â€?
It was a pleasure sharing a lab with Chris. He was always very nice, courteous, friendly, and helpful. Paul Wissmann Rest in peace, Chris. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Brenda Mattox My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. Majid Abazeri Dear Chris, I am going to miss the classes we took together and had so much fun in. You will always be with me in spirit. Avishek Aiyar
To The Russell Family, My heart and prayers are with your family during this time. I enjoyed working with Chris and I will always remember that easy and pleasant calm spirit that he had about himself. I will continue to keep the family in my prayers. Rochelle Moses Dear Chris, Thank you for always being willing to share what you know with me. I will miss you. Dun-Yen Kang Although words cannot begin to ease the sorrow of your loss, please know that you are in the prayers of so many who care. “...Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort..." Psalm 119:76 Gloria Beale May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well-lived. Canghai Ma To the Russell family, I'm the facilities manager for the ES&T Bldg. where Chris worked and will always remember his warm smile and a tenderness about him that shined every time I would pass him in the hallway. I will miss him and all of the fine characteristics he carried with him. My thoughts and prayers are with you always in these hard times of sorrow. Mark Smith and family
“Life is what happens to you While you’re busy making other plans...”
I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the Russell family. Chris was always polite, and an excellent student. We will all miss him very much. Claudia Clarkson I enjoyed having Chris in my class during his first year, and to see him around the building and in our shared lab and office space. His warm presence will be missed by so many. Martha Grover My thoughts and condolences to Chris' family. He will be missed. I am sad to lose a fellow ES&T mate. Reginald Thio
“Before you go to sleep Say a little prayer Every day in every way It’s getting better and better...”
My condolences to Chris' family during this difficult time. I had the fortune to be his TA during his first year. He will be missed. Genggeng Qi Chris, you always had a ready smile when you saw me. I will always remember you as a gentle person and a scholar, and you will be missed. Amyn Teja The thing I remember most about Chris is that no matter how difficult classes got and challenging grad school may have been, he always had a wonderful smile and a positive outlook. Thanos Nenes