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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
WARREN EARL STEWART
Elected in 1992
“For leadership in chemical engineering research and the application ofadvanced mathematical and numerical methods.”
BY R. BYRON BIRD, W. HARMON RAY, AND EDWIN N. LIGHTFOOT
WARREN EARL STEWART, McFarland-Bascom Professor Emeritus of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, died on March 27, 2006, after a long and distinguished career. Warren was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, on July 3, 1924, to Earl and Avis Stewart. He received both B.S. and M.S. degrees at Wisconsin, in 1945 and 1947, and the Sc.D. in 1951 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). All of his degrees were in chemical engineering. While an undergraduate at Wisconsin, he gained fame as the first student in the history of the College of Engineering to graduate with a straight-A academic record. His MIT experience introduced him to numerical analysis and computational techniques, which proved to be essential at the dawn of the electronic computer age.
In World War II, Warren enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve (1944–1946). He returned to Wisconsin as a Navy engineering trainee under the V-12 Program, and after graduation served as a communications officer on the aircraft carrier USS Midway. In 1947 he married Jean Durham Potter, who later was alderman for the city of Madison for 16 years (1977–1993). They had six children and 18 grandchildren.
After five years at the Sinclair Research Laboratories, Warren Stewart joined the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin in 1956, where he taught until 1997. As chairman of the department (1973–1978), he re-