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College of Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering


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Notes from the Chair

James B. Rawlings

James B. Rawlings (21K JPG)

For more than 50 years, a strong departmental tradition has been to encourage among our faculty leadership and innovation in chemical engineering education. In this issue of On These Foundations, we mark the publication of the second edition of Transport Phenomena by Bob Bird, Warren Stewart and Ed Lightfoot with a brief history of the book, and a report on the BSL Lecture, inaugurated this fall to honor the three authors. But the Wisconsin tradition of educational innovation is broader and deeper than this one outstanding contribution. Other Wisconsin educational innovations at the undergraduate level include:

  • a text on chemical process calculations by Otto Kowalke;
  • an early text on industrial stoichiometry by Olaf Hougen and Kenneth Watson;
  • a three-volume set that first combined thermodynamics and kinetics in ChE by Olaf Hougen, Kenneth Watson, and Roland Ragatz;
  • the first advanced mathematics course in ChE by Bob Marshall and Robert Pigford;
  • a volume of experiments on transport phenomena by Ed Crosby;
  • the first process synthesis textbook by Dale Rudd, Gary Powers (PhD '71) and Jeff Siirola (PhD '70);
  • a successful kinetics and reaction engineering textbook by Charles Hill;
  • a popular undergraduate textbook on control by Babatunde Ogunnaike (PhD '81) and Harmon Ray;
  • creation of opportunities for ChE undergraduates to study abroad through establishment of cooperative programs to offer unit operations laboratory courses in London and Oviedo;
  • establishment of the Hougen Visiting Professorship through which scholars visit our department to collaborate on educational and research projects.

Our faculty have produced a number of graduate or advanced undergraduate level texts as well, including:

  • an upper level text on strategy of process engineering by Dale Rudd and Chuck Watson;
  • a text on transport phenomena in living systems by Ed Lightfoot;
  • a text on microkinetics of heterogeneous catalysis by Jim Dumesic;
  • a two volume set on dynamics of polymeric liquids by Bob Bird, Bob Armstrong (PhD '73), Ole Hassager (PhD '73) and Charles Curtiss;
  • an advanced process control text by Harmon Ray;
  • a volume on solar engineering of thermal processes by Jack Duffie and Bill Beckman;
  • a text on microhydrodynamics by Sang Kim and Seppo Karrila (PhD '88).

Several of these innovations have had international educational impact.

We currently have at least three other major textbook writing projects underway in the department:

  • together with John Ekerdt (BS '74), I am finishing an undergraduate textbook emphasizing modern computational approaches to reactor analysis and design;
  • Jay Schieber (PhD '89) and Juan de Pablo are writing an undergraduate thermodynamics textbook to support our recently introduced two-semester sequence in thermodynamics;
  • Regina Murphy and Thatcher Root are developing an undergraduate textbook to support our new introductory course in process synthesis.

The challenge to our younger faculty is to maintain and enhance this tradition of innovation in today's rapidly changing environment, given both the tremendous diversification of the field of chemical engineering, and the opportunities to use modern technology to enhance education and deliver it to audiences at a distance.

James B. Rawlings


ON THESE FOUNDATIONS is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the UW-Madison Department of Chemical Engineering.

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Date last modified: Friday, 09-Nov-2001 11:00:00 CST
Date created: 08-Nov-2001 17:01:00