Influential Chemical Engineers

Do you have a favorite chemical engineer?

I received an e-mail from Claudia Flavell-While, Director of Publications, Institution of Chemical Engineers, which publishes a monthly magazine, tce, that read in part:

We’ve just opened the voting on a mission to find some of the most influential chemical engineers in history, and we’d like to extend an invitation to your readers to take part. As you’re probably aware, tce for the past two years has run a series of articles in which we profile some of the  most interesting chemical engineers we can think of. Every year at the end of the year we invite the global chemical engineering community to cast their vote for who was the most influential featured that year. We’ve just opened the votes for the 2011 season and to make it as comprehensive a vote as possible, we’d like to invite the readers of Chemical Engineering to cast their votes too.


Our shortlisted entries this year are:


Yoshio Nishi (lithium-ion batteries)

Nicholas Leblanc (soda production)

Victor Mills (disposable diapers)

Wilbert & Robert Gore (outdoor fabrics)

Arthur D Little (unit operations)

Charles E Howard & Norbert Rillieux (vacuum evaporation & multi-effect evaporators)

Tomio Wada (LCD screens)

Vladimir Haensel (platforming process)

Reginald Gibson, Eric Fawcett, Michael Perrin & Dermot Manning (polyethylene)


You can find a summary of their entries with links to the full article at

We are collecting votes here:


Closing date for votes is 9 January and we’ll announce at the end of January who got the most votes.


Yes, Flavell-While confused C&EN and Chemical Engineering, but that’s OK. We can still have an opinion!


Author: Rudy Baum

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  1. No Carl Bosch?

  2. Robert Byron Bird. He wrote several books that have become part of the canon for chemical engineers: Transport Phenomena, Dynamics of Polymeric Liquids, and Molecular Theory of Liquid and Gases. For anyone to have written one of these would be quite the accomplishment. To have written three is beyond imagination.