Elected in 1996
“For the advancement of biotechnology for chemicals from renewable resources worldwide.”
BY DONALD JOHNSON
RAPHAEL “RAY” KATZEN, leading visionary on fuels and chemicals from renewable resources and founder of the foremost cellulosic ethanol consulting firm, Katzen International, passed away in July 2009, 16 days short of his 94th birthday.
Dr. Katzen was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 28, 1915, to Isidor and Esther (nee Stein) Katzen, and was raised in New York, New York. He had one brother, Saul, who preceded him in death. Ray achieved his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, all in chemical engineering, from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now the Polytechnic Institute of New York University). After teaching chemical engineering at the institute for a short while, Dr. Katzen began a long industrial career, starting as director of research for Northwood Chemical Company. Later, he joined the Diamond Alkali Company as technical supervisor in research and development and then moved on to manager of the Engineering Division of Vulcan Copper and Supply Company, which became Vulcan Cincinnati during his tenure.