In 1958, Saville enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Nebraska, where he received a master’s degree in 1959. He then worked in industrial research at Chevron Oil Company in Richmond, California, from 1959 to 1961, when he entered the University of Michigan, where he studied with Stuart W. Churchill and obtained his Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1966. His thesis was an analytical and numerical investigation of laminar-free convection in boundary layers near axisymmetric bodies. The journal articles based upon this work stand today as the definitive benchmark of the subject. Upon completion of his Ph.D., he joined an exceptional group of chemical engineering researchers at Shell Development Company in Emeryville, California, where he was strongly influenced by the quality and originality of research by Charles Sternling on mass transfer across interfaces.
In 1968, Saville joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Princeton. In his letter of application for the position, he wrote prophetically: “If I were to choose one area of interest, it would be electrohydrodynamics.” At the time of his death, he was one of the world’s most distinguished scholars in that field.
Saville was promoted to associate professor in 1971 and to full professor in 1977. From the very beginning, his interests were centered on the dynamics of electrically conducting fluids. Suspensions of nanometer-to-micron-sized particles in fluids, or colloidal suspensions, also attracted his scientific curiosity. Over the years, his research came to define a vast intellectual territory involving the behavior of colloidal suspensions in the presence of electric fields.
The practical applications of Saville’s research ranged from protein crystallization to electrohydrodynamic printing, and from the behavior of fluids in microgravity to enhanced oil recovery. With both theoretical and experimental components, his research was invariably characterized by formal elegance and deep insights. Among his most notable accomplishments were the invention of dielectric spectroscopy for the measurement of the surface charge of colloidal particles and the development of the Dynamic Stern Layer model for the interpretation of