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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.

2018 Wilhelm Lecturer: Joseph DeSimone

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone is the CEO/Co-founder of Carbon, Inc. located in Silicon Valley. Prior to this, DeSimone was the Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC. DeSimone received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.  He has published over 350 scientific articles (> 21,000 citations and H-index = 70) and has nearly 200 issued patents in his name with over 200 patents pending. DeSimone has mentored and trained 73 postdoctoral research associates and has graduated 80 PhD students from his group, 50% of whom are women and people from underrepresented groups in the sciences.  In June, 2016 DeSimone was recognized by President Barack Obama with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

DeSimone is one of fewer than twenty individuals who have been elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies:  the National Academy of Medicine (2014), the National Academy of Sciences (2012), and the National Academy of Engineering (2005). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005). DeSimone has received over 50 major awards and recognitions including the 2017 Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment; the inaugural Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine; the 2015 Dickson Prize from Carnegie Mellon University; the 2014 Industrial Research Institute Medal; the 2014 Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success; the 2012 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation by Sigma Xi; the 2010 AAAS Mentor Award in recognition of his efforts to advance diversity in the chemistry PhD workforce; the 2009 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award; the 2009 North Carolina Award; the 2008 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation; the 2002 John Scott Award presented by the City Trusts, Philadelphia, given to "the most deserving" men and women whose inventions have contributed in some outstanding way to the "comfort, welfare and happiness" of mankind; and the 2002 Engineering Excellence Award by DuPont.

Previous Lecturers in the Series

1975

L.E. Scriven

University of Minnesota

1976

Michel Boudart

Stanford University

1977

Jack B. Howard

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1978

Neal R. Amundson

University of Houston

1979

Roger A. Schmitz

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1980

John M. Prausnitz

University of California at Berkeley

1981

Rutherford Aris

University of Minnesota

1983

Dan Luss

University of Houston

1985

Reuel Shinnar

City College of the City University of New York

1987

George Gavalas

California Institute of Technology

1988

John F. Davidson

Cambridge University

1991

R. Byron Bird

University of Wisconsin at Madison

1992

George K. Batchelor

Cambridge University

1994

Roger W.H. Sargent

Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine

1995

Robert A. Brown

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1997

John Villadsen

Technical University of Denmark

1998

Eduardo D. Glandt

University of Pennsylvania

1999

Cherry A. Murray

Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies

2001

Alice P. Gast

Stanford University

2001

Charles F. Zukoski

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2002

William R. Schowalter

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2003

John F. Brady

California Institute of Technology

2005

Carol K. Hall

North Carolina State University

2006

Frank S. Bates

University of Minnesota

2008

Mark E. Davis

California Institute of Technology

2008

Frances H. Arnold

California Institute of Technology

2009

George Stephanopoulos

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2010

Lanny Schmidt

University of Minnesota

2011

Martin Feinberg

Ohio State University

2012

Klavs Jensen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2013

Chaitan Khosla

Stanford University

2014

Enrique Iglesia

University of California at Berkeley

2015

Ronald G. Larson

University of Michigan

2016

Kristi S. Anseth

University of Colorado at Boulder

2017 Matthew Tirrell University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory