The Olaf A. Hougen ProfessorshipHougen Scholars ProgramThe Hougen SymposiumOlaf A. Hougen

Chemical and Biological Engineering


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.

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:

2010Abraham M. LenhoffUniversity of Delalaware
"Molecules, Particles, or Something Else:Proteins and Their Solution Thermodynamics" (Sept. 21, 2010)
"The Colburn Papers " (Nov. 2, 2010)
2009Lorenz T. BieglerCarnegie Mellon University
"Advanced Nonlinear Programming Methods for Chemical Process Optimization" (Sept. 22, 2009)
2007Jens K. NørskovTechnical University of Denmark
"A Molecular View of Heterogeneous Catalysis" (Sept. 18, 2007)
"The Role of Quantum Simulations in Materials Science and Discovery" (Oct. 23, 2007)
2006Alejandro D. ReyMcGill University
"Computational Materials Science of Liquid Crystals" (Sept. 26, 2006)
"Modeling Liquid Crystal Materials and processes in Biological Systems" (Nov. 21, 2006)
2004Eric S.G. ShaqfehStanford University
"Progress and Prospects in Understanding Single Molecule Polymer Dynamics" (Jan. 22, 2004)
"Turbulent Drag Reduction Mechanisms by Fiber and Polymer Additives as Determined from Large Scale Simulation" (Mar. 4, 2004)
2002Yannis G. KevrekidisPrinceton University
"Equation-Free Multiscale Computation: Enabling Microscopic Simulators to Perform System Level Tasks" (Sept. 12, 2002)
"Addressable Catalysts: Some Twists and Turns in the Path of Improving Surface Activity" (Oct. 3, 2002)
2000Bernhard O. PalssonUniversity of California, San Diego
"Where Has Biology Come To? A Glimpse into the World of Genomics" (Oct. 19, 2000)
"Cellular Part Catalogs; Reconstructing Biochemical Reaction Networks" (Oct. 26, 2000)
"Modeling Philosophy: of Single Points and Solution Spaces" (Nov. 2, 2000)
"Operating Systems of Genomes; Systemically Defined Pathways" (Nov. 8, 2000)
"Closing the Flux Cone: Imposition of Maximal Capacities" (Nov. 21, 2000)
"The Biological Design Variables: Kinetic and Regulatory Constraints" (Nov. 21, 2000)
1999Wolfgang MarquardtRWTH Aachen, Germany
1998–99Harold H. KungNorthwestern University
1997–98Alice P. GastStanford University
1995–96David A. TirrellUniversity of Massachusetts at Amherst
1993–94Milos A. MarekPrague Institute of Chemical Technology
1992–93Keith E. GubbinsCornell University
1991–92Arthur S. LodgeUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
1990–91Matthew TirrellUniversity of Minnesota
1989–90Douglas A. LauffenbergerUniversity of Pennsylvania
1988R.T.K. BakerAuburn University
1987L.K. DoraiswamyNational Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India
1986A. G. FredricksonUniversity of Minnesota
1984–85Arthur W. WesterbergCarnegie-Mellon University
1984William B. RusselPrinceton University
1980–81Robert C. ReidMassachusetts Institute of Technology
1979Rutherford ArisUniversity of Minnesota

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.

Hougen Symposium

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.

Olaf Andreas Hougen

Olaf Andreas Hougen

Olaf Andreas Hougen
(Larger image)

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.