Elected in 1990
“For research contributions in mass transfer and chemical reaction and for
advancing the study of innovative design processes in engineering education.”
BY IGNACIO E. GROSSMANN AND ARTHUR W. WESTERBERG
HERBERT LAWRENCE TOOR, affectionately known as “Herb” and recognized as one of the top academic leaders in chemical engineering, died of Alzheimer’s disease in Middlebury, Vermont, on July 15, 2011. He was born on June 22, 1927, in Philadelphia to Matthew and Jean Mogul Toor. He grew up in Philadelphia and enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17. He was discharged as a seaman first class shortly after the end of World War II. He then obtained a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Drexel University in 1948 and an M.S. and a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, finishing in 1952. In 1950, while at Northwestern, he married fellow graduate student of chemistry Elizabeth M. Weir (“Beth”) of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Herb Toor became an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh in 1953. He was promoted to associate professor in 1957 and to full professor in 1961. In 1962 he and his family spent a sabbatical year in Madras, India, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to help establish a graduate program at what is now the prestigious IIT Chennai. He became head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Tech in 1967 and was appointed dean of the