Elected in 1998
“For research on molecular transport in polymers and on tribology, and for leadership in engineering education.”
BY RONALD P. DANNER
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
JOHN LARRY DUDA, preeminent researcher, dedicated teacher, and professor of chemical engineering at Pennsylvania State University, died on September 24, 2006, after a valiant struggle with pancreatic cancer.
Born in the steel-mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, Larry was fond of noting that if a member of his family attended college, he did so thanks to a football scholarship, but he didn’t make the team. Thus forced to pursue an academic path, he succeeded in getting a different kind of scholarship to Case Institute of Technology, where, influenced by his high school chemistry teacher, he elected to pursue the chemical engineering curriculum. He received his B.S. in 1958 and then his M.S (in 1961) and Ph.D. (in 1963) from the University of Delaware. In 1962, while still a student, he married Margaret Kathleen Barbalich, who remained his constant companion for the next 44 years.
After completing his formal education, Larry spent eight years with the Process Fundamentals Group of the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, where he began a long and successful collaboration with Dr. James S. Vrentas. Their analyses of the transport properties in polymeric systems