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Personal Achievement Award


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 2016 award will be accepted beginning in January 2016. 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, 2015. 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.

Email submissions to: [email protected]

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
1968 James Fair, Monsanto Co.M.F. Gautreaux, Ethyl Corp.H. Russell Sheely, Badger Co.Claude Talley, Texaco Inc. Fluid separations technologySynthetic straight-chain alcoholsFluidized-bed reactor designStiff boron filament
1970 Page Buckley, DupontJohn McWhirter, Union Carbide Corp.Arthur Morgan Jr., U.S. Dept. of AgricultureWilliam Tucker, The Lummus Co. Process controlWastewater treatmentFood processingPetrochemical technology
1972 Robert Heitz (1st prize), Dow Chemical Co. Arnold Ayers (merit), Allied Gulf Nuclear ServicesHarold Kaufman Jr. (merit), DCA Food Industries Inc. Membrane technologyNuclear fuel processing


Food production

1974 Alan Micheals (1st prize), Alza Corp.Frank Trocino (merit), Bohemia Inc.John Anderson (merit), Union Carbide Corp. Pharmaceutical engineeringWood byproducts processingSolid waste processing
1976 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 coalNatural gas liquefaction


1978 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 processesOxy hemihydrate processMass transfer effectsProcess commercialization (various projects)
1980 David K. Beavon, Ralph Parson Co. Petroleum refining
1982 John M. Googin, Union Carbide Corp. Nuclear chemistry
1984 William M. Burks, Stauffer Co. Technology transfer and licensing
1986 Frederick A. Zenz, F.A. Zenz, Inc.A.D. Reichle, Exxon Research andEngineering Co.Richard A. Conway, Union Carbide Corp. Fluid-particle dynamicsHydrocracking, fluid-catalytic cracking, catalyst technologyEnvironmental stewardship
1988 L.K. Doraiswamy, National Chemistry Laboratory (India)Raphael Katzen, ConsultantRobert Maddox, Oklahoma State University Reaction engineering


Wood-chemical process development

Gas and liquid desulfurization

1990 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

1992 Joseph Jacobs, Jacobs Engineering GroupBodo Linnhoff, Linnhoff March Ltd. Managerial and technical accomplishments“Pinch” process technology
1994 Lowell B. Koppel, Setpoint Inc. Process control and information-systems planning
1996 Paul Quencau, International Nickel Co. Pyrometallurgy
1998 Ernest Henley, University of HoustonHanns Paul Hoffman, University of Erlangen-NürnbergDan Steinmeyer, Monsanto Co. Computer-aided designChemical engineering education and reaction engineeringPolymer processing
2000 Michael Lockett, PraxairJohn Pelton, Praxair Distillation and heat-transfer technologiesCrystal formation and growth, flame coating, waste-to-fuel, aluminum refining
2002 Lawrence Evans, Aspen TechHenry Kister, Fluor Corp. Process modeling and simulationDistillation and absorption troubleshooting
2004 No award given
2006 No award given
2008 Brian W.S. Kolthammer, Dow Chemical Co.Shyam Lakshmanan, See Sen Chemical Bhd Kinetic modeling of catalyst systemsPlant improvement and efficiency
2010 Tom McGowan, TMTS Associates Inc.Kris Mani, NSR Technologies Inc. Combustion, air-pollution controlGreen chemistry, potash manufacturing
2012 Rajeev Gautam, UOP LLC, a Honeywell company(Winner)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