Olaf A. Hougen was one of the founders of the modern chemical engineering profession. He had a keen sense of responsibility, and believed that leading research departments have an obligation to the profession and to society to work actively to strengthen the crucial link between the generation and dissemination of new knowledge. In this spirit, the following programs are intended to honor Professor Hougen. They are made possible through the outstanding generosity of the alumni and friends of the department who have contributed over many years to the endowed Hougen Professorship Fund through the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
Since 2013, the department established the Hougen Lectures, a new kind of activity for the Hougen program. Distinguished members of the international Chemical Engineering community are invited by the ChE faculty at UW to deliver two lectures within one week at UW-Madison. During the visit, Hougen Lecturers visit with current faculty on campus and interact more extensively with research groups closer to their field of expertise. Hougen Lectures are delivered by Hougen Visiting Professors, in case there is one in residence for a specific academic year.
|Johannes A. Lercher||
Department of Chemistry Technische Universität München
"Towards Understanding Catalyzed Transformation of Lignin to Fuels on a Molecular Level" (April 20, 2015)
"Influencing Catalytic Rates by Constraints – the Importance of the Environment" (May 1, 2015)
|Alex T. Bell||
University of California-Berkeley
"The Role of Catalysis in the Conversion of Renewable Energy Resources to Fuels" (February 25, 2013)
"In Pursuit of a Molecular-Scale Understanding of Catalyzed Reactions – Lessons Learned from Experiments and Theory" (February 26, 2013)
The Olaf A. Hougen Professorship
Since 1979, the department has regularly invited distinguished members of the chemical engineering profession to Madison for extended stays as Hougen Visiting Professors. Over the years, these individuals have collaborated with faculty and student researchers, taught courses and presented public lectures in their areas of specialization, and developed texts, monographs, and other educational materials for a wider audience.
Hougen Visiting Professors:
Hougen Scholars Program
The Hougen Scholars Program, inaugurated in 2003, is intended explicitly to allow research leaders in the profession to devote time to the development of educational materials. In spring 2003, John Yin was selected as the inaugural Olaf A. Hougen Scholar on the basis of his proposal to develop biologically oriented instructional examples and problems for integration into the chemical and biological engineering curriculum.
The 2004 Hougen Scholar, Jay Schieber (UW PhD '89) from the Illinois Institute of Technology, returned to Madison to collaborate with Juan de Pablo on a new textbook in thermodynamics.
Also inaugurated in 2003, the Hougen Symposium is an annual event intended to bring together a group of research leaders in chemical and biological engineering to exchange ideas and share with the public information on a topic of current interest to the profession and society generally.
- Hougen Symposium, 2008–2009, Frontiers of Liquid Crystals
- Hougen Symposium, 2005–2006, On Wisconsin Biotechnology: Honoring Edwin N. Lightfoot
- Hougen Symposium, 2004–2005, Engineering Biology from Molecules to Organisms
- Hougen Symposium, 2003, Advances in Fuel Cell Science and Technology
Olaf Andreas Hougen (1893–1986), former Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was one of the outstanding original contributors to the science and practice of modern chemical engineering. He is remembered for his inspired teaching, his leadership in engineering education and research, and his volunteer work in retirement for the university and the profession.
In his research activities, Professor Hougen developed important original and fundamental principles for the mainstream of modern chemical engineering: heat transfer, gas adsorption, thermodynamics, catalysis, applied kinetics, and process design. In his teaching, Professor Hougen's warmth of personality and sincere interest in each student's future were a source of inspiration to chemical engineers around the world. He instilled in his students a sense of responsibility to their profession and to society. Professor Hougen's influence on chemical engineering education in the United States and abroad was achieved through his numerous publications, many of which established patterns for chemical engineering teaching and research.
His many honors included five awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Esso Award of the American Chemical Society, and the Lamme Gold Medal Award of the American Society for Engineering Education. From 1961 through 1963, he served as a scientific attaché at the American Embassy, Stockholm, Sweden, and in 1974 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.