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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.

2014 Wilhelm Lecturer: Enrique Iglesia

Enrique Iglesia is the Theodore Vermeulen Chair in Chemical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, a Faculty Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Director of the Berkeley Catalysis Laboratory. He received a B.S. from Princeton University (1977) and a Ph.D. from Stanford University (1982) in chemical engineering. He joined Berkeley in 1993 after 12 years as a research scientist and manager at the Exxon Corporate Research Labs. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Catalysis (1997–2010) and acted as President of the North American Catalysis Society since 2008. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2008. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society.

His group addresses the synthesis and the structural and functional characterization of solids used as catalysts for production of fuels and petrochemicals, for conversion of energy carriers, and for improving the energy and atom efficiency and the sustainability of chemical processes. His work combines synthetic, spectroscopic, theoretical, and mechanistic techniques to advance novel concepts and applications in heterogeneous catalysis. He has coauthored more than 300 publications and 40 U.S. patents.

His research has been recognized with the 2012 ENI Research Prize, the Somorjai and Olah Awards of the American Chemical Society, the Wilhelm and Alpha Chi Sigma Awards of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Emmett and Burwell Awards of the North American Catalysis Society, the Cross Canada Lectureship of the Chemical Institute of Canada, and the François Gault Award of the European Federation of Catalysis Societies. He has also received the Award for Excellence in Natural Gas Conversion, the Tanabe Prize in Acid-Base Catalysis, a Humboldt Senior Scientist Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Noyce Prize, the highest teaching honor in the sciences at Berkeley, as well as several teaching awards within the College of Chemistry.

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


Klavs Jensen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Chaitan Khosla

Stanford University