School of Chemical Engineering History

Although the BSChE curriculum was approved on April 26, 1907, the Board of Trustees didn't approve the School's founding until June 14, 1911. Therefore, the School declared 2011 its Centennial Celebration Year and highlighted the achievement with:

  • Centennial Seminars – the seminars took place throughout the calendar year 2011, the speakers were prominent School alumni from industry, academia, entrepreneurial and non-traditional walks of life. Videos of the seminars are available via our YouTube Channel.
  • A pictorial history book, A Pictorial History of the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, co-authored by Dr. Phil Wankat and Cristina Farmus
  • Centennial Celebration Event, October 7-8, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011:

1:00 Welcome address, Arvind Varma, Head
1:15 Centennial Lecture

2:30 Panel Discussions

3:45 Sculpture Unveiling
4.00 Poster Session
5:00 Adjourn
6:30 Reception and dinner

Saturday, October 8, 2011:
  • Industry Lecturer: Paul Oreffice, BS '49, HDR '76, OChE '93, Chairman/CEO, Dow Chemical Company, (Retired)
  • Academia Lecturer: Nicholas Peppas (faculty member 1976 to 2003), OChE 2002, Fletcher Stuckey Pratt Chair in Engineering, University of Texas – Austin
  • Entrepreneurship/Other Lecturer: Robert Weist, BS '62, OCHE 2005, entrepreneur
  • Industry Panelists
    • Jeff Hemmer, BS '80, OChE 2001, DEA 2009, Senior Vice President, The Sinclair Group, Ltd.
    • Michael Ramage, BS '66, MS '69, PhD '71, DEA '86, OChE '93, HDR '96, Executive Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corporation, (Retired)
    • Rick Roberts, BS '76, OChE 2004, DEA 2007, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
    • Ronna Robertson, BS '92, Maintenance Senior Department Manager, Roquette America Inc.
  • Academia Panelists
    • Abbie Griffin, BS '74, OCHE 2000, Presidential Professor, University of Utah
    • Duncan Mellichamp, PhD '64, OCHE 2007, Professor – emeritus, University of California
    • Tony Mikos, MS '85, PhD '88, OChE 2008, J. W. Cox Professor, Rice University
    • Jamey Young, PhD 2005, Assistant Professor Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
  • Entrepreneurship/Other Panelists
    • Don Dunner, BS '53, OChE 2001, DEA 2001, Lawyer/Partner, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
    • Linda Huff, BS '70, OCHE '91, DEA 2000, President, Huff & Huff Inc.
    • Tim McGinley, BS '63, DEA '72, OCHE '93, HDR 2010, Principal, House Investments, Inc.
    • Gerald Skidmore, BS '54, OChE 2011, Chairman, Skidmore Sales & Distributing, (Retired)
  • Dinner Speaker: Robert Forney, BS '47, MS '48, PhD '50, DEA '74, OCHE '93, HDR '81, Executive Vice President, E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., (Retired)
  • Pregame reception in Henson Atrium (8.00 to 11.00 am)
  • Forney Hall and Discovery Park Tours (9.00 to 11.00 am)
  • Football Game – Purdue vs. Minnesota (12.00 noon)

photo montage of Centennial Events also is available.