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Wilhelm Lectures

Richard H. Wilhelm

This distinguished lectureship honors the memory of Richard H. Wilhelm, a graduate of Columbia University who spent his entire professional career at Princeton University. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1934 and served as chairman from 1954 until his death in 1968. In recognition of his distinguished teaching, he was named Henry Putnam University Professor by Princeton University and given the Warren K. Lewis Award in Chemical Engineering Education by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

For his research leadership in numerous areas of chemical reaction engineering, he received from the AIChE the William H. Walker Award in 1951 and the Professional Progress Award in 1952 and the Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 1966. In 1968 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction that can be conferred upon an American engineer.

In 1973, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers established the R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering, presented each year to an individual in recognition of significant and new contributions in the field. The Richard H. Wilhelm Lectureship was established through the generosity of his colleagues, friends, and students.

2013 Wilhelm Lecturer: Chaitan Khosla

Chaitan Khosla is Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, where he holds the Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professorship in the School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in 1990 from the California Institute of Technology. After completing postdoctoral studies at the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, he joined Stanford in 1992. His research on polyketide synthases has opened the door to fundamentally new approaches for the engineering of antibiotics. More recently, he has also investigated celiac sprue pathogenesis with the goal of developing therapies for this widespread but overlooked disease. He has co-authored over 300 publications, is a named inventor on 70 U.S. patents, and is the recipient of several awards and honors including the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry and the Pure Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society; the Allan P. Colburn Award and the Professional Progress Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Engineering. Over the past two decades, he has co-founded three biotechnology companies—Kosan Biosciences (KOSN), Alvine Pharmaceuticals, and Flamentera AG—and and the non-profit Celiac Sprue Research Foundation.

Previous Lecturers in the Series


James Wei

University of Delaware


L.E. Scriven

University of Minnesota


Michel Boudart

Stanford University


Jack B. Howard

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Neal R. Amundson

University of Houston


Roger A. Schmitz

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


John M. Prausnitz

University of California at Berkeley


Rutherford Aris

University of Minnesota


Dan Luss

University of Houston


Reuel Shinnar

City College of the City University of New York


George Gavalas

California Institute of Technology


John F. Davidson

Cambridge University


R. Byron Bird

University of Wisconsin at Madison


George K. Batchelor

Cambridge University


Roger W.H. Sargent

Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine


Robert A. Brown

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


John Villadsen

Technical University of Denmark


Eduardo D. Glandt

University of Pennsylvania


Cherry A. Murray

Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies


Alice P. Gast

Stanford University


Charles F. Zukoski

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


William R. Schowalter

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


John F. Brady

California Institute of Technology


Carol K. Hall

North Carolina State University


Frank S. Bates

University of Minnesota


Mark E. Davis

California Institute of Technology


Frances H. Arnold

California Institute of Technology


George Stephanopoulos

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Lanny Schmidt

University of Minnesota


Martin Feinberg

Ohio State University

2012 Klavs Jensen Massachusetts Institute of Technology