University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


ChBE Celebrates 60 Years


Esmeralda Fisher
Pia Greenberg '86 and May Shek '02
Pia Greenberg '86 and May Shek '02

The UH Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering celebrated its 60th anniversary with alumni, friends of the department, faculty and staff members, and students on May 5. The department reached this milestone after decades of growth and expansion, eliciting tremendous regional and global impact.

"The Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) at the University of Houston started as a program during the late 1940s and by the 1952/’53 academic year, a full-time faculty of chemical engineering was formed," wrote Michael P. Harold, M.D. Anderson Professor, and Ramanan Krishnamoorti, department chair and Dow Chair Professor, in their history of the department, published in Chemical Engineering Education.

With the leadership of the first department chair, Joseph Crump, and the department’s first faculty members, including William Prengle, Abe Dukler, and Frank Worley, the department continued its upward trajectory. Dan Luss joined the faculty in 1967, and was central to the development of chemical reaction engineering as an area of excellence for the department. The arrival of Luss’ former Ph.D. advisor and mentor, Neal Amundson, further strengthened the department’s position in that area. More recently, ChE has created a successful undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering and has acquired 20 distinguished faculty.

Chemical Engineering Alumni Endowment Fund

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering would like to establish a Chemical Engineering Alumni Endowment Fund to provide educational and research support for our student scholars and exceptional faculty. The creation of this endowment can make a major impact on the success of the department with the philanthropic support.

If you would like to contribute to this fund, visit Cullen College of Engineering Giving to make an online gift.

Several alumni were recognized for their exemplary service and leadership:

Enos Bonham Outstanding Senior (1957)
May Shek Outstanding Senior (2002)
Chris Santner Outstanding Senior (1972)
Norman Gerber Class of 1957
Marvin Radney Class of 1952
Randall Collum Outstanding Senior 2001
Rick Ng Outstanding Senior 1983
Micky Fleischer Alumnus and Faculty Member
Ravi Singhania Engineering Distinguished Alumnus
Ven Pinjala Alumnus and IAB Member
Pia Greenberg 60th Anniversary Committee Member
Randal Sitton IE Distinguished Alumnus
Tony Catalano Inaugural IAB Member
Dan Baker Most Patents Award
Randal Sitton Alumni Service Award
Jim Culpepper Community Service Award
Ramanan Krishanmoorti Dow Chair Professor




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