operation efficiency of distillation columns. He wrote many review articles and contributions to handbooks in these areas. After joining the University of Texas at Austin, Jim started an active research program on separations, mainly in the areas of distillation and extraction. These topics had been largely abandoned by most universities owing in part to the lack of government funding for topics of such practical concern to companies. However, Jim solved the funding problem by using his strong industry background and connections to obtain very generous support of both fundamental and applied separation research from a wide array of corporations. He added professional staff and included a number of his faculty colleagues and supported their contributions via the industrially funded Separations Research Program.
Jim Fair was involved in many professional activities, with service on many boards and committees. He was widely recognized for his contributions to engineering practice and education. He served as vice president of Fractionation Research, Inc., and was a registered professional engineer in Texas and Missouri. He received the Professional Achievement Award from Chemical Engineering magazine in 1968 “for contributions to chemical engineering design education and to the field of separations technology” and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974.
Jim was especially active in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), where he served a term as an elected director and held the grade of fellow since 1971. He received the following awards from the AIChE: the William H. Walker Award (1973), the Chemical Engineering Practice Award (1975), the Founders Award (1976), and the Gerhold Award in Separations Technology (1994). In November 1979 he delivered the annual institute lecture before AIChE and in November 1983 was recognized as one of 30 living eminent chemical engineers at the AIChE Diamond Jubilee Meeting. In November 2000 he was honored in a special symposium of AIChE for his many contributions to the institute’s distance-learning program. He received the Malcolm Pruitt Award from the Council for Chemical Research (1991), the Gold Medallion