Professor Bill Graessley Passes Away
William W. Graessley, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Emeritus, passed away on February 18, near Evanston, IL at the age of 83. Graessley was Professor of Chemical Engineering at Princeton from 1987-1998, during which time he advised or coadvised 10 students for their Ph.D. degrees, and taught a range of courses, notably including ChE 416, “Structure and Properties of Polymers”, and ChE 542, “Polymeric Liquids and Networks”. He was a pioneer of “molecular rheology”, connecting the deformation and flow behavior of polymeric materials to their underlying macromolecular architecture, with a particular emphasis on the role of entanglements. He also launched seminal systematic studies of the mixing thermodynamics of polymer blends, particularly of saturated hydrocarbon polymers (polyolefins). Amongst the many awards Graessley received in recognition of his scholarly contributions were the Bingham Medal of the Society of Rheology (1979); the Polymer Physics Prize of the American Physical Society (1990); election to the National Academy of Engineering (1990); and election to the inaugural class of Fellows of the Society of Rheology (2015). Following his transfer to emeritus status in 1998, Graessley authored two interconnected books on “Polymeric Liquids & Networks”, with volume 1 subtitled “Structure and Properties” (published in 2004), and volume 2 subtitled “Dynamics and Rheology” (published in 2008). To mark Professor Graessley’s passing, the University flag over East Pyne Hall flew at half-mast from March 13-15.