Title and Description Page
Family and Early Education 1
Born in Imlay City, Michigan. Guidance counselor encourages study of chemical engineering. Predisposed to University of Michigan because mother attended. Diverse academic and extracurricular interests. Chicago World's Fair heightens interest in science.
University of Michigan, Undergraduate 4
Strong interest in applied mathematics. Plays in marching band. Chemical engineering department has strong ties with industry. Works on senior research project under Don Katz. Discussion of textbooks and faculty.
Shell Oil Company 14
Deferred from draft. Works on catalytic cracking. Urgency caused by war. Develops anti-rust compound for turbine oil.
Frontier Chemical Company 21
Curtis Cannon convinces to join new enterprise. Starts electrochemical plant to produce hydrochloric acid using new method. Builds and operates plant with few engineers. Endeavor is extremely successful but requires tremendous amount of time and energy. Leaves because of impending sellout.
University of Michigan, Graduate School 27
Disheartened by industry. Receives M.S.E. in 1948. Stunned by changes that had taken place in chemical engineering and applied mathematics. Begins teaching while working as research assistant, taking graduate courses, and working on thesis. Fellow graduate students and faculty. Updates heat transfer and fluid flow course. Studies and publishes on heat transfer at great temperature differences and ignition of propellants with Brier. Much of research sponsored by the military.
University of Michigan, Faculty Member 36
Works on Armed Forces Special Weapons Project to develop shield against nuclear weapons. Limited by lack of computer technology. Research on radiative scattering. Turns to natural convection and combustion. Hellums, a student, develops method for simplifying partial differential equations. Work for nuclear industry. Among the pioneers in using computers. Requires all students to have strong mathematics and physics backgrounds. Influence of R. R. White. Rankings of various chemical engineering programs. Effects of Transport Phenomena and the rate concept. Trends in engineering education.
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 56
Member of National Council. Serves as vice president, president, and past president. Active in improving university–industry relations. Government Relations Committee. Broadens international relations.
Major Accomplishments at University of Michigan 60
Research on attenuation of thermal radiation from nuclear weapons. Mathematical advances.
Industrial Consulting 62
Katz, White, and Brown foster numerous opportunities. Research on liquid heat transfer, radiative transfer through fibrous materials, and ignition of propellants. Promotes exchange of information between industry and academe. Students and consulting projects. Helps arrange DuPont and Hercules program for young faculty members.
University of Pennsylvania 65
Leaves Michigan to return focus to teaching and research. Comparison of Penn and Michigan. Restarts combustion work with Joseph Chen. Continues to work closely with Hiroyuki Ozoe after Ozoe returns to Japan. International flow of students. Maintains close relationships with most students. Quality of facilities is frustrating but inspires use of superior methods. Importance of integrating theory and experimentation. Devises exceptional method of correlation. Current publishing activities.
Changes in Chemical Engineering 75
Shift from empirical basis to theoretical orientation. Impact of computers and advanced mathematics. Effects on industry. Changes in quality of various universities' programs. Importance of a productive faculty. Evolution of industrial relations. Close-knit chemical engineering community endures. Journals. Changes in textbooks.
Approach to Teaching 80
Rarely uses textbooks. Interactive approach. Encourages students to consider teaching. Descriptions of students and subsequent careers.
Current Activities 87
Hopes to resume research on natural convection. Much work with combustion. Professional organizations. Major awards. Family. Final statements on passion for chemical engineering.