Chemical Engineering Personal Achievement Award
— Honoring the human component

Chemical Engineering focuses the majority of its monthly content on technologies, and the companies that supply them. But while products and services bond the CPI together, the strength of that bond depends unequivocally on people. In professional life, individuals — more than corporations or institutions — teach us, inspire us and drive us to succeed. If you would like to bring recognition to someone whose excellence in chemical engineering you admire, consider nominating him or her for Chemical Engineering’s Personal Achievement Award. See Table 1 for a list of past winners.

Congratulations to the 2012 Winner:

Rajeev Gautam

The aim of the CE Personal Achievement Award is to honor individuals for distinguished careers. The awards salute individual excellence in diverse areas — research, development, design, plant operations, management and other activities. The distinction can also emerge in less-ordinary ways, such as government service. The one major criterion is that the individual’s career must have related, fully or largely, to the use of chemical engineering principles in solving industrial, community or other problems.

Offered biennially since 1968, the CE Personal Achievement Award complements CE’s Kirkpatrick Award for Chemical Engineering Achievement, which is presented in alternate years, and honors companies — as opposed to individuals — for specific chemical-process technology.

The selection process

Early in a given award year (even numbered years), readers are invited to submit Personal Announcement Award nominations through an announcement in the magazine. Nominees may live anywhere in the world, and need not be chemical engineers by degree. The unyielding requirement is a record of notable achievement in the application of chemical engineering principles for solving industrial, community or governmental challenges.

Around the middle of the award year, the nominations are reviewed by a Board of Judges, which consists of chemical engineering professors. Professors are invited to serve on the board based on the recommendation of their own colleagues. The judges work independently of each other, either assigning a weight to or casting a vote for one or more of the nominees. Depending on how the resulting overall ranking is clustered, one or more winners are designated. An article announcing the winners appears in the December issue of CE. At around the same time, winners are presented with a plaque at a ceremony honoring their achievements.

Submit nominations

The CE Personal Achievement Awards are given out biennially, and nominations for the 2012 award will be accepted beginning in January 2012. If you would like to nominate a candidate for the CE Personal Achievement Award, send a letter or email to CE with the following information:

  • Name, job title and address of the candidate
  • Your name and address
  • A summary of around 500 words that describes the nominee’s career and illustrates his or her creativity and general excellence in the practice of chemical engineering. At least some of the activity must have taken place during the three-year period ending December 31, 2011. Without divulging confidential information, try to be specific about key contributions
  • CE encourages those submitting nominations to ask others to provide information in support of the nominee.

Address: Chemical Engineering, c/o Scott Jenkins, 88 Pine Street, Suite 510, New York, NY 10005


Past winners of the Chemical Engineering Personal Achievement Award

* Click on award year for more information on the winner.
* Note: No electronic archives exist for 1984 and prior.

Award year

Names and affiliations of winners

Basis of award/area of expertise


James Fair, Monsanto Co.

M.F. Gautreaux, Ethyl Corp.

H. Russell Sheely, Badger Co.

Claude Talley, Texaco Inc.

Fluid separations technology

Synthetic straight-chain alcohols

Fluidized-bed reactor design

Stiff boron filament


Page Buckley, Dupont

John McWhirter, Union Carbide Corp.

Arthur Morgan Jr., U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

William Tucker, The Lummus Co.

Process control

Wastewater treatment

Food processing

Petrochemical technology


Robert Heitz (1st prize), Dow Chemical Co. Arnold Ayers (merit), Allied Gulf Nuclear Services

Harold Kaufman Jr. (merit), DCA Food Industries Inc.

Membrane technology

Nuclear fuel processing


Food production


Alan Micheals (1st prize), Alza Corp.

Frank Trocino (merit), Bohemia Inc.

John Anderson (merit), Union Carbide Corp.

Pharmaceutical engineering

Wood byproducts processing

Solid waste processing


Donald Garrett, Garrett Energy R&D Inc.

Lee Gaumer, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. 

Tom Nicklin, Peabody Holmes Ltd. Sour gas; hydrocarbon reforming catalysts Morgan Sze CE Lummus Co. Catalytic hydroliquefaction

Flash pyrollysis of coal

Natural gas liquefaction



Bernard S. Lee, Institute of Gas Technology


Fernando Oré, Occidental Research Corp. Charles Sternling, Shell Development Co.

Utah Tsao, CE Lummus

Coal-to-fuels and coal-to-chemicals processes

Oxy hemihydrate process

Mass transfer effects

Process commercialization (various projects)


David K. Beavon, Ralph Parson Co.

Petroleum refining


John M. Googin, Union Carbide Corp.

Nuclear chemistry


William M. Burks, Stauffer Co.

Technology transfer and licensing


Frederick A. Zenz, F.A. Zenz, Inc.

A.D. Reichle, Exxon Research and
Engineering Co.

Richard A. Conway, Union Carbide Corp.

Fluid-particle dynamics

Hydrocracking, fluid-catalytic cracking, catalyst technology

Environmental stewardship


L.K. Doraiswamy, National Chemistry Laboratory (India)

Raphael Katzen, Consultant

Robert Maddox, Oklahoma State University

Reaction engineering


Wood-chemical process development

Gas and liquid desulfurization


Francis G. Dwyer, Mobil Research & Development Corp.

George E. Keller, Union Carbide Corp.


Trevor Kletz, Consultant

Zeolite catalysts


Separations technology and chemical engineering education

Chemical plant safety


Joseph Jacobs, Jacobs Engineering Group

Bodo Linnhoff, Linnhoff March Ltd.

Managerial and technical accomplishments

“Pinch” process technology


Lowell B. Koppel, Setpoint Inc.

Process control and information-systems planning


Paul Quencau, International Nickel Co.



Ernest Henley, University of Houston

Hanns Paul Hoffman, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

Dan Steinmeyer, Monsanto Co.

Computer-aided design

Chemical engineering education and reaction engineering

Polymer processing


Michael Lockett, Praxair

John Pelton, Praxair

Distillation and heat-transfer technologies

Crystal formation and growth, flame coating, waste-to-fuel, aluminum refining


Lawrence Evans, Aspen Tech

Henry Kister, Fluor Corp.

Process modeling and simulation

Distillation and absorption troubleshooting


No award given



No award given



Brian W.S. Kolthammer, Dow Chemical Co.

Shyam Lakshmanan, See Sen Chemical Bhd

Kinetic modeling of catalyst systems

Plant improvement and efficiency


Tom McGowan, TMTS Associates Inc.

Kris Mani, NSR Technologies Inc.

Combustion, air-pollution control

Green chemistry, potash manufacturing

2012 Rajeev Gautam, UOP LLC, a Honeywell company

Steve Donen, Rivertop Renewables (Honoree)

Fabio Bravo, Dow Chemical Co. (Honoree)

Dianne Dorland, Rowan University (Honoree)

Charles Easley, BSI Engineering (Honoree)
Methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process






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