The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) announced that Cullen College of Engineering professor Dr. Dan Luss is the recipient of the 2005 Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering. One of the highest honors given in the field of chemical engineering, the Founders Award will be given to Luss at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 30.
Luss has contributed significantly to education, research, and professional organizations throughout his nearly forty-year career. After receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in ChE from Technion in Israel in the early ‘60s, Luss received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1966. He accepted an assistant professor position at his alma mater before relocating to Houston as an assistant professor in the ChE department at the Cullen College of Engineering in 1967. Within five years, Luss was promoted to full professor, the beginning of a remarkable tenure distinguished by his leadership of the ChE department twice, from 1975-1995 and from 1999-2000, as chair. He was named a Cullen Professor in 1984.
Throughout his tenure at the college, Luss instructed countless courses, completely or jointly supervised nearly 75 Ph.D. and Masters theses, and published well over 200 journal articles. As chair of the department for over 20 years, he laid the foundation for one of the best chemical engineering programs in the nation, which is now led by Dr. Michael Harold, Dow Chair Professor, who completed his doctoral studies under the guidance of Luss in 1985.
Nearly forty years of research garnered Luss over $6.7 million in funding, either as the principal investigator or with fellow professor, Dr. James T. Richardson, on joint research endeavors. His research focuses on the dynamic features of chemically reacting systems, hot spots formation in packed-bed reactors, production of synthesis gas in membrane reactors and electrical and magnetic field formation during high temperature solid reactions.
Luss has participated in many professional activities throughout his career, including serving as a member of the AIChE council, president of the International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering, U.S.A., and chairing many sessions in professional meetings. In addition, he is the editor of the Plenum Book series in Chemical Engineering, the editor of Review in Chemical Engineering, and a member of the editorial board of IEC Research and Catalysis Reviews-Science and Engineering.
Among the many honors and awards Luss has received include his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1984. He has received several AIChE awards including Fellow of the AIChE, the Wilhelm Award, the Professional Progress Award, the Allan P. Colburn Award, and eight Best Paper Awards from the Southwest section of AIChE.