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The Warren K. Lewis Lectureship in Chemical Engineering

The Warren K. Lewis Lectureship was established in 1978 to recognize Professor Lewis' revolutionary impact on chemical engineering education. By developing the concept of unit operations, first proposed by A. D. Little and William Walker, he revolutionized the design of chemical engineering processes and equipment. Throughout his career, Professor Lewis was mindful of the needs of industrial practice; accordingly, the Lewis lecture features speakers from industry and academia.

The Lewis Legacy
Warren K. "Doc" Lewis came to MIT in 1901 as an early student of the new program in chemical engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Breslau, Germany in 1908. Doc joined MIT as an Assistant Professor in 1910, and was promoted to Professor in 1914. He was the first head of the newly formed Chemical Engineering department from 1920 to 1929. After this, he devoted himself to teaching, research, and consulting and remained an influential member of the Department until his death in 1975 at the age of 92.

Doc Lewis was a superb educator. His text, Principles of Chemical Engineering, written with William Walker and William McAdams in 1923, first defined the discipline and provided the basis for quantitative calculations of unit operations. His lectures are legendary for their combination of beautifully organized material and Socratic exchanges with his students. As an inventor, he contributed to the fields of industrial stoichiometry and industrial chemistry with over 80 patents. He also pioneered the use of the fluidized bed, which led to catalytic cracking processes in refining.

Doc's numerous honors and awards include the President's Medal of Science, the President's Medal of Merit, and the John Fritz Medal. He was honored by the AIChE with the establishment of the Warren K. Lewis Award, which recognizes outstanding educators in chemical engineering.

Previous Lectures
2016 Zhenan Bao, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Material Science and Engineering, Stanford University
2015 Bernardo Gradin, Chief Executive Officer, GranBio
2014 Professor Mark E. Davis, California Institute of Technology
2013 Dr. Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp.
2012 George M. Whitesides, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard University
2011 Gary S. Calabrese, Senior Vice President and Director, Photovoltaic Glass Technologies, Corning, Inc.
2010 Chaitan Khosla, Professor, Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and (by courtesy) Biochemistry, Stanford University
2009 Dr. William F. Banholzer, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Dow Chemical Company
2008 John F. Brady, Professor of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
2007 Stefan Marcinowski, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF
2006 Frances Arnold, Professor of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology.
2005 Lynn Elsenhans, Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Shell Downstream, Inc.
2004 Frank S. Bates, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota
2003 Nance Dicciani, President and CEO, Specialty Materials Honeywell International Inc.
2002 Ulrich Suter, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich
2001 Jeffrey M. Lipton, President and CEO, NOVA Chemicals Corporation
2000 James Wei, Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Princeton University
1999 Gordon A. Cain, Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation
1998 Raymond F. Baddour, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1997 William B. Russel, A.W. Marks '19 Professor and Director of the Princeton Materials Institute, Princeton University
1996 Frank Popoff, Chairman and CEO, The Dow Chemical Company
1995 Matthew W. Tirrell, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota
1994 L. Louis Hegedus, Vice President, Research Division of W.R. Grace & Co. - Conn
1993 John M. Prausnitz, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
1992 Karl Heinz Büchel, Board of Management, Bayer AG
1991 Arthur W. Westerberg, Swearingen Professor of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie-Mellon University
1990 Samuel W. Bodman, CEO, Cabot Corporation
1988 L.E. Scriven, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota
1987 Fred L. Hartley, CEO, Union Oil Company of California
1986 John H. Seinfeld, Louis E. Nohl Professor and Executive Officer, Department of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
1985 Edward Jefferson, CEO, E.I. duPont de Nemours
1984 Andreas Acrivos, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
1983 George M. Keller, Chairman of the Board, Standard Oil Company of California
1982 R. Byron Bird, Vilas Research Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Wisconsin
1981 Jerry McAfee, CEO, Gulf Oil Company
1980 Richard S. Stein, Professor, University of Massachusetts
1979 Ralph Landau, Halcon International
1978 Neil R. Amundson, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Houston