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Kirkpatrick Award


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.

Click here to nominate your company’s technology.


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 Chemical Engineering 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 current chairs of chemical engineering departments at accredited U.S. and EU universities. The 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 80-year tradition that makes the Award one of the most prestigious honors that a CPI company can receive.

The path to the winner

Chemical Engineering magazine is now accepting nominations. Nominations can be submitted by employees at the company being nominated, or by others familiar with the process technology being nominated.

Please submit 500 word nominating brief to:
[email protected]

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, 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 will submit copies to more than 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 the 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 at the CHEM SHOW 2021 in New York City.

Kirkpatrick Award Winners


Winning Companies

Winning Process

1933 Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Co. Petrochemical syntheses
1935 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.  
1937 Monsanto Co.  
1939 Standard Oil Development Co. For its aviation fuels
 1941 Dow Chemical Co. Magnesium from seawater
 1943 American Synthetic Rubber Industry Rapid wartime commercialization of synthetic rubber
 1946  Atomic Bomb Project  
 1947  Merck & Co.  Large-scale manufacture of streptomycin
 1948  Shell Development Co.  
 1949  Celanese Corp. of America  
 1951  Phillips Petroleum Co.  
 1953  Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Co.  
 1955  Dow Corning Corp.  Silicone products
 1957  Contributors to Extractive Metallurgy of Atomic Age Metals  
 1959  Texaco, Inc.  
 1961  Linde Co., Div. of Union Carbide Corp.  For its zeolite adsorbents
 1963  American Potash & Chemical Corp.  
 1965  Monsanto Co.  
 1967  The M.W. Kellogg Co  For its single-train ammonia technology
 1969  General Mills, Inc.  Textured protein foods
 1971  E.I du Pont Nemours & Co.  Hollow-fiber reverse osmosis
 1973  BP Proteins Ltd.  
 1975  Amoco Oil co.  
 1977  Union Carbide Corp., Davy Powergas Ltd, and Johnson Matthey & Co.  
 1979  Union Carbide Corp.  For its low-pressure low-density polyethylene process
 1981  Monsanto Co.  For its hollow-fiber membranes for gas separation
 1983  Stauffer Chemical Co.  
 1985  Tennnessee Eastman Co.  Coal-based acetic anhydride
 1987  Air Products & Chemicals  
 1989  Union Carbide Corp.  
 1991  Amoco Chemical  Anaerobic treatment of process wastewater
 1993  BHC  For its streamlined production of ibuprofen
 1995  Air Products & Chemicals  For oxygen-based technology enabling efficient recycle of office wastepaper
 1997  Membrane Technology and Research  For a system to recover monomer from polyolefin-plant purge streams
 1999  CK Witco  For a streamlined process to manufacture organofunctional alkoxysilanes
 2001  BOC Group, Inc.  For low-temperature NOx absorption out of fluegases
 2003  Cargill Dow LLC  For its production of thermoplastic resin from corn
 2005  Chevron Phillips Chemical  For significant advances in alpha-olefins technology
 2007  Axens  For its Esterfip-H process for making biodiesel
 2009  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 
2013 Genomatica For its process to produce Bio-based butanediol
2015 Dow Performance Plastics

Intune Olefin Block Copolymers


CB&I (The Woodlands, Texas; and Albemarle Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.;

AlkyClean process — the world’s first solid catalyst alkylation process


Emissions-to-Ethanol Fermentation 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
2013 Genomatica for Bio-based butanediol Braskem for sugarcane-based ethylene and polyethylene Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Archer Daniels Midland for propylene glycol from renewable resources Rive Technology for Molecular Highway catalyst technology Eastman Chemical Co. for Perennial Wood
2015 Dow Performance Plastics for Intune Olefin Block Copolymers Newlight Technologies, AirCarbon Process Clariant, HGM Technology for propylene dehydrogenation AM Technology, Coflore Reactor CB&I, CDAlky alkylation technology
2017 Chemetry Corp.  eShuttle technology The Dow Chemical Company Canvera polyolefin dispersion technology The Dow Chemical Company Paraloid Edge Technology Microvi Biotech Inc. Denitrovi biocatalytic nitrate removal Praxair, Inc. Oxygen-fired combustion process with thermochemical regenerators

Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics Symbiex technology

Johnson Matthey Catacel SSR catalyst technology

Reliance Industries  Simultaneous production of benzene and gasoline

Technip FMC Direct Heating Unit

Braskem Partially renewable EVA