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Memorial Tributes, Volume 12
engineering in 1960. In 1961, Aris’ Ph.D. thesis, “The Optimal Design of Chemical Reactors,” was published as a monograph by Academic Press and was so popular that it appeared also in Japanese, Russian, and Czech. In 1964, the University of London also awarded him the D.Sc. degree. Aris had a long and distinguished career at Minnesota, becoming a full professor in 1963 and receiving a regents professorship in 1978. He served as chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department from 1974 to 1978. Aris retired in 1996 and remained active as a regents professor emeritus until 2005.
Over his career, Aris held many distinguished visiting professorships in the U.S. and in England; these include National Science Foundation and Guggenheim fellowships at Cambridge University (1964-1965 and 1971-1972), Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at Caltech (1976, 1980-1981), Olaf Hougen Professor at the University of Wisconsin (1979), Brotherton Professor at the University of Leeds (1985), and visiting professor at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University (1994). Also, Aris has been further recognized by honorary degrees from universities in the U.S. and abroad: University of Exeter (D.Sc. 1984), Clarkson University (D.Sc. 1985), University of Notre Dame (D. Eng. 1990), and National Technical University, Athens (D. Eng. 1999).
Aris had an enormous impact on the field of chemical engineering through his publications (13 books and more than 300 research articles), teaching and advising (he received prestigious teaching awards and mentored more than 65 master’s and Ph.D. students), and his influence on the directions of the profession. Among Rutherford Aris’s most important technical contributions are his detailed explanations for sudden temperature runaways and oscillating behavior of processes involving chemical reactions. His work in this area led to better design and control of potentially explosive chemical processes and safer industrial operations. From the beginning of his career, he led the way in developing new mathematical techniques for optimizing and controlling chemical manufacturing processes and teaching these new methods to engineering students and industrial practitioners. His work on chemical kinetics and