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Chemical engineering department to celebrate 100th anniversary

100th Anniversary of Chemical Engineering Logo

WVU will celebrate the 100th anniversary of chemical engineering on March 23-25.

A program that grew from seven undergraduates to 300 students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels will celebrate its 100th anniversary at West Virginia University.

Founded in 1916-17, chemical engineering has grown from being a program that taught students to design, build and manage manufacturing plants to one that now includes biomedical engineering and a focus on biotechnology, energy and materials. Alumni, students and friends of the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering with celebrate that growth in a series of events that will be held March 23-25.

“The centennial is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni and faculty and to build confidence in our future,” said Rakesh Gupta, the George and Carolyn Berry Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus.”

Friday’s public events begin at 8:45 a.m., at the Erickson Alumni Center, with a series of lectures that explore the history of the Department as well as the state’s chemical industry. Joseph D. Henry, ’64, former professor and chair of the Department, will deliver the Inaugural C.Y. Wen Lecture. Wen, who served as Department chair from 1969-1981, was a world-class researcher and an internationally recognized leader in the areas of fossil energy research, coal conversion technology, fluidization, solid-gas reactions and modeling of chemical reactors. During his tenure as chair, Wen oversaw exceptional innovation and productivity in both the undergraduate and graduate research programs. The lecture, which honors Wen for his contributions to the profession, will begin at 9:45 a.m.

Following a lecture on the status of the Department today and into the future, students in the Department will present their senior design projects at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., the public is invited to a series of technical lectures that look at carbon capture as well as the future of chemical engineering.

Rounding out the afternoon are student poster sessions and tours of the Department, which will take place in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resource’s Engineering Sciences Building. Two blocks—one beginning at 1:30 p.m. and another at 3 p.m.—will be offered.

A complete schedule of events, including times and locations, can be found online.

The anniversary celebration is sponsored, in part, by Braskem, Dow, Pickering Associates and NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.



For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135