Professor Allen Recognized as Distinguished Chemical Engineering Educator
Professor David Allen was awarded the Warren K. Lewis Award for his contribution to chemical engineering education at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting on October 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The award recognizes inspirational teachers with lasting educational influence who have impacted chemical engineering students as a result of creative ability and leadership.
“Dave was one of the first to understand the need to incorporate waste reduction and pollution prevention engineering into the education of a chemical engineer,” said Danny Reible, the Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. “His groundbreaking work provided the tools needed for faculty and students throughout the U.S. to focus more attention on pollution prevention rather than end of pipe treatment.”
Allen created a widely used series of practical educational modules on pollution prevention for chemical engineering curriculum in 1992, which led him to publish the first textbook on pollution prevention five years later.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) then selected Allen to lead a team to develop EPA’s first green engineering text entitled Green Engineering: Environmentally Conscious Design of Chemical Processes, which was published in 2001 and is used in chemical engineering departments around the world.
Then, moving beyond the incorporation of pollution prevention and green engineering into engineering curricula, in 2008 Allen led a faculty team to obtain funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to start UTeachEngineering, a five year $12.5 million effort to train more than 600 teachers to deliver high school engineering courses across Texas.
“Dave’s educational efforts have impacted high school students and teachers, university students and faculty, and environmental policy-makers. He is an excellent educational leader and very deserving of this award,” said Dr. Roger T. Bonnecaze, department chair and the T. Brockett Hudson Professor and Bill L. Stanley Endowed Leadership Chair in chemical engineering.
The Warren K. Lewis Award is sponsored by the ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company and was awarded to fellow UT Austin chemical engineering professors Tom Edgar in 2005 and John J. McKetta in 1969.
Allen holds the Melvin H. Gertz Regents Chair in chemical engineering and directs the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources at UT Austin. He received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering, with distinction, from Cornell University in 1979. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering were awarded by the California Institute of Technology in 1981 and 1983.
AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 40,000 members from over 90 countries. AIChE has the breadth of resources and expertise allowing members to access information on recognized and promising chemical engineering processes and methods, a global network of intelligent, resourceful colleagues and their shared wisdom, and learning opportunities from recognized authorities.