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THOMAS BRADFORD DREW 1902-1985 BY SHELDON ISAKOFF THOMAS BRADFORD DREW, professor emeritus at the Mas- sachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ant! former head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University, died on May 5, 1985, at the age of eighty-three. Professor Drew was born on February 9, 1902, in Med- ford, Massachusetts. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he received his B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering in 1923 and 1924, respectively. Professor Drew began his long and distinguished academic career in 1924 as a teaching assistant at MIT. After he ob- tained his master's degree, he joined the faculty of Drexe} Institute in Philadelphia and taught both chemistry and chemical engineering. After three years, he returned to MIT as an instructor in chemical engineering and initiated re- search in the fundamentals of heat transfer, a field! that con- tinuec! to occupy his attention throughout his lifetime and to which he macle many creative and outstanding contributions. During a six-year period at MIT, Professor Drew joined with W. H. McAdams and H. C. Hotte! in pioneering efforts in heat transfer and fluid flow research. Their work culmi- nated in their coauthorship of one of the first reviews on mathematical approaches to convective heat transfer ~ "Heat Transmission," Transactions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 32E ~ 9361: 27 I-3051. 133
134 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES In 1934 Professor Drew left the academic community for a six-year sojourn with E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Com- pany in Wilmington, Delaware, where he joined a small group of chemical engineers conducting research in the area of unit operations uncler the direction of T. H. Chilton. Their work at Du Pont proved to be quite significant: Appar- ently, Du Pont was the country's first industrial organization to carry out funciamental research in chemical engineering. For Du Pont, Drew supervised research in heat, mass, and momentum transfer. In aciclition, he developecl rational pro- cedures for the design of chemical process equipment and manufacturing systems. Much of the data that Drew and his Du Pont colleagues generated were made available on a broad basis to chemical engineers by Drew's authoring of im- portant segments of I. H. Perry's Chemical Engineer's Handbook (New York: McGraw-Hill, 19341. Moreover, a second paper published with his coworker A. P. Colburn, "The Condensation of Mixed Vapors" (Trans- Drew left Du Pont in 1940 to begin a twenty-five-year as- sociation with Columbia University, first as a professor and then as heat! of the Department of Chemical Engineering, a position he hell! for ten years. During WorIcl War Il. Profes- sor Drew lecl the Columbia University research efforts asso- ciated with the Manhattan District Project. On leave to Du Pont for two years, he was a major contrib- utor to the (resign of the gaseous diffusion technique for iso- tope separation of the Hanford Plutonium Plant, as well as a contributor to other critical plant aspects. As the chemical engineering department head at Columbia University, he in- troducecl some of the country's earliest courses in nuclear actions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 33~19373: 197-215), remains one of the most incisive papers written about this highly technical area. It clarified a number of confusing misunclerstandings about the subject that were prevalent at the time and is still referred to today, almost fifty years later, as a means to a better unclerstancting of mixed vapors.
THOMAS BRADFORD DREW 135 engineering and established a major heat transfer research facility that operated for many years under the sponsorship of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. After the war, Professor Drew was a consultant to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, an association he main- tainect for fifteen years. During this period, he helped guide the laboratory's research program in the physical sciences; he also servect as chairman of the Brookhaven Engineering AcI- visory Committee for eight years. During the early 1960s, he was a consultant to the Ford Foundation and worked in India to improve the quality of engineering instruction at the BirIa Institute of Technology and Science. In 1965 Professor Drew returned to his first love, MIT, where he helct an emeritus professorship until his death. ~ ~ 1 1. . ~ Brews ctec~lcatlon to research and progress In the fielct of chemical engineering never waned. For almost thirty years (from ~ 954 to ~ 98 ~ ), until shortly before his death, he served as editor of Advances in Chemical Engineering (New York: Aca- clemic Press), a series of volumes that featured comprehen- sive reviews of the many new, evolving aspects of chemical engineering cluring that period. Professor Drew received many awards and honors cluring his long, illustrious career. He was one of the earliest recipi- ents (1937) of the William H. Walker Award, which is pre- sented annually by the American Institute of Chemical En- gineers (AIChE) to recognize excellence in contributions to chemical engineering literature. Professor Drew was also se- lected by AIChE to be its Annual Institute Lecturer in 1951. His lecture, "Diffusion, What We Know and What We Don't," clemonstrated his remarkable ability to apply advanced mathematics to complex physical problems and thereby cle- · · . · · · ~ rive practical engineering Utl~ lty result ts. In 1967 Drew was the recipient of the Max Jakob Memo- rial Award in Heat Transfer, given jointly by AIChE anc! the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1983 he was designated by AIChE as one of the nation's eminent chemical engineers. Drew was also a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta .
136 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES Pi, and Phi Lambda Upsilon honorary societies, and a fellow of AIChE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, ant! the New York Academy of Sciences. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1983. Yet Thomas Drew was far more than a remarkably tal- ented researcher, engineer, and academician. He was a great source of acivice ant! inspiration for his students and col- leagues. He combined extraordinary technical talents with a profound! sense of fairness, sincerity, personal warmth, and friendship. He had a strong sense of history, placing current events into a sound framework. He was a Proust member of the Society of Cincinnati, an organization of direct male cle- scendants of the officers who served with George Washing- ton cluring the Revolutionary War. Thomas Drew was thoroughly devoted to his wife Alice and to his three claughters, Mary Drew of Cambridge, Mas- sachusetts; Sally Cokelet of Rochester, New York; and Wendy Cavanaugh of Manlius, New York. He will be missed very much by the many people whose lives he touchecl.