The Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award

The aim of the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement
Award is to recognize and honor the most  noteworthy
chemical- engineering technology commercialized anywhere in the world  during the two years prior to a given award year. Chemical  Engineering magazine has awarded this biennial prize  continuously since 1933.

The long and distinguished roster of past winners includes such milestones as Lucite International for its Alpha process for making methyl methacrylate (2009); Cargill Dow LLC: For its production of thermoplastic resin from corn (2003); Monsanto hollow-fiber membranes for gas separation (1981); Union Carbide low-pressure low-density polyethylene (1979); M.W. Kellogg single-train ammonia plants (1967); Linde zeolite adsorbents (1961); Dow Corning silicones (1955), Merck streptomycin (1947); the U.S. synthetic rubber industry (1943) and Standard Oil Development Co. aviation fuels (1939). The most-recent winners' achievements are summarized in the table.

Although the staff of CE organizes and bestows the award, neither the editors nor others associated with the magazine play any role in the selection or judging of the winner. Instead, the winner is selected by a Board of Judges comprised of the nine current chairs of chemical engineering departments at accredited U.S. (5) and EU (3) universities. The nine members of the Board of Judges are, in turn, selected by over a hundred Ch.E. department chairs of accredited U.S. and EU universities. It is this unbiased selection process, combined with a more than 70-year tradition that makes the Award one of the most prestigious honors that a CPI company can receive.

The path to the winner

In a given award year, Chemical Engineering magazine announces its call for nominations in either the January or February issue. Nominations can be submitted by employees at the company being nominated, or by others familiar with the process technology being nominated.

Deadline for Nominations:

March 15, 2013

Please submit 500 word nominating brief to:

The 500-word nomination summarizes the achievement, as well as spells out the novelty of the technology and the difficulty of the chemical-engineering problems that were encountered and solved. The nomination must specify how, where and when the development reached its initial commercial status during the two years prior to the award year.

After the deadline for nominations has passed (typically mid-to-late April), the Secretary reviews the nominations to make sure they are valid; for instance, that the first commercialization did in fact take place during the two years prior to the award year. Then he or she will submit copies to over 100 senior professors who head accredited university chemical engineering departments and accordingly constitute the Committee of Award. Working independently of each other, each will vote for what he or she considers to be the five best achievements, without ranking them.

The five entries that collectively receive the most votes become the finalists. Each finalist company is then asked to submit a package of more-detailed information; for instance, a description of the teamwork that brought forth the achievement, a fuller description of the technology, performance data, and exhibits of press coverage.

The Secretary sends copies of these packages to a nine-person Board of Judges, which meanwhile has been chosen by and from within the Committee of Award. In late summer, the Chair of that Board will inform the Secretary as to which finalist achievement has been judged the most noteworthy.

The company that developed the technology will then be named the winner of that year’s Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. The other finalist companies will be designated to receive Honor Awards. The Achievement Award and Honor Awards are bestowed with appropriate ceremony around the end of the year. 

Kirkpatrick Award Winners


Winning Companies

Winning Process


Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Co.

Petrochemical syntheses


E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.



Monsanto Co.



Standard Oil Development Co.

For its aviation fuels


Dow Chemical Co.

Magnesium from seawater


American Synthetic Rubber Industry

Rapid wartime commercialization of synthetic rubber


 Atomic Bomb Project



 Merck & Co.

 Large-scale manufacture of streptomycin


 Shell Development Co.



 Celanese Corp. of America



 Phillips Petroleum Co.



 Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Co.



 Dow Corning Corp.

 Silicone products


 Contributors to Extractive Metallurgy of Atomic Age Metals



 Texaco, Inc.



 Linde Co., Div. of Union Carbide Corp.

 For its zeolite adsorbents


 American Potash & Chemical Corp.



 Monsanto Co.



 The M.W. Kellogg Co

 For its single-train ammonia technology


 General Mills, Inc.

 Textured protein foods


 E.I du Pont Nemours & Co.

 Hollow-fiber reverse osmosis


 BP Proteins Ltd.



 Amoco Oil co.



 Union Carbide Corp., Davy Powergas Ltd, and Johnson Matthey & Co.



 Union Carbide Corp.

 For its low-pressure low-density polyethylene process


 Monsanto Co.

 For its hollow-fiber membranes for gas separation


 Stauffer Chemical Co.



 Tennnessee Eastman Co.

 Coal-based acetic anhydride


 Air Products & Chemicals



 Union Carbide Corp.



 Amoco Chemical

 Anaerobic treatment of process wastewater



 For its streamlined production of ibuprofen


 Air Products & Chemicals

 For oxygen-based technology enabling efficient recycle of office wastepaper


 Membrane Technology and Research

 For a system to recover monomer from polyolefin-plant purge streams


 CK Witco

 For a streamlined process to manufacture organofunctional alkoxysilanes


 BOC Group, Inc.

 For low-temperature NOx absorption out of fluegases


 Cargill Dow LLC

 For its production of thermoplastic resin from corn


 Chevron Phillips Chemical

 For significant advances in alpha-olefins technology



 For its Esterfip-H process for making biodiesel


 Lucite International UK Ltd.

 For its Alpha process for making methyl methacrylate (MMA)

2011 VELOCYS, INC. and OXFORD CATALYSTS GROUP  Small Scale, Modular Synthetic Fuel Technology 



Honor Companies

* Click on year or name of company for more information on winning process and honor process.







1985 Tennessee Eastman Co. Exxon Research & Engineering Co. Texaco Inc Himont, Inc. Union Carbide Corp.
1987 Air Products & Chemicals Exxon Chemical Co. Homestake Mining Co. Union Carbide Corp. Unocal Corp.
1989 Union Carbide Corp. Allied Signal Aquatech Systems Brunswick Co.’s BioTechnetics Subsidary Mobil Research & Development  
1991 Amoco Chemical Monsanto Chemical Co Hoechst Celanese Corp. Union Carbide Chemicals & Plastics Co ABB Lummus Crest Inc. & Alusuisse Italia


BHC, a joint venture of The Boots Co. and Hoechst Celanese Corp. Degussa AG Imperial Chemical Industries Merck & Co. Westinghouse Electric Corp.
1995 Air Products & Chemicals Chevron Research & Technology Dow Chemical Co. Sasol Ltd. Texaco Inc. and UOP, Inc.
1997 Membrane Technology and Research Ashland Petroleum Co. BOC Gases Linde AG Praxair and Union Carbide Corp.
1999 CK Witco Corp. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. Lyondell Chemical Co. Mobil Oil Co. and W.R. Grace & Co UOP LLC
2001 BOC Group, Inc. DSM Anti-Infective Itronics, Inc. Mitsubishi Chemical Co. TNO Environmental Energy and Process Innovation and Cirmac International
2003 Cargill Dow LLC Axens Davy Process Technology Nippon Shokubai Co. Teijin Ltd.
2005 Chevron Phillips Chemical Engelhard Corp. Lurgi AG Praxair, Inc. Uhde GmbH
2007 Axens APSI Eastman Chemical Co. Oxford Catalyst Ltd.  
2009 Lucite International UK Ltd. The Dow Chemical Co. and BASF SE Evonik Industries AG and Uhde GmbH Solvay SA DuPont

Get more from
Get email updates in your inbox


Subscribe to:
Chemical Engineering Magazine

Chemical Engineering Magazine and Archives

Plant Cost Index

Join us on... Twitter LinkedIn

LinkedIn Groups

Our LinkedIn group is now over 33,000 members strong!

  1. Join other CPI professionals from all over the globe and share best practices, expertise, concerns and more.
  2. Provide feedback to Chemical Engineering Editors

Current members represent Worley Parsons, DuPont, SABIC, Fluor, Air Products, LyondellBasell, Nalco, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, BASF, Jacobs Engineering, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and more.

Join Now

We also offer the following subgroup for more targeted discussions:

Search the Buyers' Guide

Plant Cost Index

Facts at Your Fingertips (archive)

Ask the Experts

Back Issues
To access this area, please log in or create an account.
Forgot your password?
Request it now.
Live chat by BoldChat