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Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Chemical Engineering



The Chemical Engineering Department of Northwestern's Technological Institute was established in 1940. The department was established in order to comply with the agreement the university had entered into with Walter P. Murphy in connection with Murhpy's endowment of the new school of engineering which became known as the Technological Institute. Murphy insisted that the new school include departments covering the four major areas in engineering; chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical, of which the university had hitherto included only the latter three.

The pre-history of the department began, however, with the offering of a scattering of engineering courses that eventually led to the establishment of the Technological Institute's immediate predecessor, the College of Engineering, in 1907. Beginning with 1907, courses were offered in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, and a degree in engineering was awarded after the fifth year.

Since the old Swift Hall of Engineering did not include laboratory facilities for chemical engineering, the department could not formally commence activity until the summer of 1942 when new facilities became available with the opening of the Technological Institute. Because of World War II, faculty were difficult to recruit and for the first two years Dr. A.B. Newman, Chairman of the Educational Committee of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, served as a consultant in establishing the curriculum. In February 1942, William E. Brinker, Jr. became the department's first professor and was named as the first departmental chairman after the addition of Virgil C. Williams to the staff in April. In 1943, the first graduating class of the newly established Technological Institute included twenty men who were awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. These students had provided technical assistance which aided the war effort during their tenure at the university. Dr. Brinker utilized these students to construct the department unit operations laboratories when professional help was not available.

The first graduate students entered the department in the fall term of 1945. This graduate program has been in continuous operation since that time and has contributed much of the basic research that has supported the department's curriculum and cooperative education program.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Chemical Engineering Department Minutes

Identifier: 22/2/1/3

This collection contains minutes of meetings of Northwestern University's Chemical Engineering Department, spanning the dates September 1956 through September 1981. Also included is one folder of minutes of the Departmental Administrative meetings, for the dates October 1, 1970 through April 28, 1971.

Dates: 1956-1981

Hugh M. Hulburt (1917-1987) Papers

Identifier: 22/4/6
Abstract Hugh McKinney Hulburt held several academic positions as well as working as a consultant at several private companies including his role as director of research at the Chemical Construction Corporation. In 1963 Hulburt accepted an appointment at Northwestern University as professor of chemical engineering. He chaired the department of chemical engineering from 1964 to 1970. 1980 he was associate dean of Northwestern's Graduate School and served as associate dean for planning and development...
Dates: 1938-1987

George G. Lamb (1906-1977) Papers

Identifier: 22/4/2
Abstract The George G. Lamb Papers span the years from 1935 to 1977. The Papers are arranged into nine categories: biographical materials, general and family correspondence, teaching files, research files, professional societies, papers presented at professional meetings, publications, administrative materials, and miscellaneous. The biographical materials include curricula vitae, faculty report forms, biographical data for various publications, lists of publications, news releases, clippings, and...
Dates: 1935-1977

Richard S. H. Mah (1934-2004) Papers

Identifier: 22/2/1/2
Abstract The Richard S. H. Mah Papers fill one half-size box and date from the period 1980-1981. In addition to one folder of biographical materials the series includes two folders of correspondence, mailing lists, papers, and related materials pertaining to a conference on computer-aided process design held July 6-11, 1980 at New England College, Henniker, New Hampshire, and sponsored by the Engineering Foundation and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.Mah was Co-chair of the...
Dates: 1980-2004

Technological Institute Department of Chemical Engineering Departmental Files

Identifier: 22/2/1
Abstract Once it was established, Northwestern's school of engineering became known as the Technological Institute. The Chemical Engineering Department of Technological Institute was established in 1940. Because of World War II and the lack of suitable professors, Dr. A.B. Newman, Chairman of the Educational Committee of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, served as a consultant in establishing the curriculum. The first graduate students entered the department in the fall term of 1945. This...
Dates: 1951 - 1986; Other: Majority of material found within 1963 - 1973

George Thodos (1915-2000) Papers

Identifier: 22/4/16
Abstract Thodos taught at Northwestern from 1947 until his retirement in 1986. His research specialties included heat and mass transfer, thermodynamic and transport properties, and solar energy. The George Thodos Papers span 1939-1997 and document Thodos' life as a teacher and researcher. The papers consist mainly of research materials, teaching files, professional correspondence, and article manuscripts. The collection is divided into six categories: Biographical, Correspondence, Teaching, Research,...
Dates: 1939-1997

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Chemical engineering--Study and teaching 4
Chemical engineers 3