Sigma Xi Symposium Feb. 10 to Honor Professor Emeritus Charles Eckert
Feb 5, 2016 | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) will hold the Sigma Xi Monie A. Ferst Award Symposium on Feb. 10 in honor of Professor Emeritus Charles A. Eckert.
The event, which will run from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building (345 Ferst Drive, Rooms 1116-1118), will feature presentations by four of Eckert’s former students as well as his long-time researcher collaborator, Charles Liotta.
Sponsored by Georgia Tech’s Chapter of Sigma Xi, the annual Monie A. Ferst Award recognizes science and engineering teachers who have inspired their students to excel in research.
More than 100 graduate students received their PhD under Eckert’s guidance. Many of these have inspired subsequent generations of students after entering their own academic careers.
“Throughout his academic career, Professor Eckert has been committed to both excellent teaching and research,” says ChBE Professor Ronald Rousseau, holder of the Cecil J. "Pete" Silas Chair. “Indeed, he has emphasized how these often-separated activities come together to stimulate undergraduates and graduate students to learn their chosen field of study and to explore new horizons.”
Presenters at the symposium include:
- Keith Johnston, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Texas-Austin, “Subsurface Nanotechnology for Energy Applications and a Healthier Planet.”
- Joan Brennecke, a professor of chemical engineering at Notre Dame University, “Comparison of Ionic Liquids to Conventional Organic Solvents for Extraction of Aromatics from Aliphatics.”
- Charles Liotta, a Regents’ professor emeritus at Georgia Tech,“Solvents for Green Chemistry: A chemist’s and a chemical engineer’s journey.”
- Barbara Knutson, a professor at the University of Kentucky, “Engineering Tools for Advanced Plant-Derived Natural Products.”
- Heather McCloskey, a faculty member at Pace Academy in Atlanta, “A Lasting Legacy: An Unconventional Teacher Inspiring Generations of Educators.”
A reception from 5 to 6 p.m. will follow the presentations.
Eckert obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD from the University of California-Berkeley.
After appointment as a NATO postdoctoral fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France, he joined the chemical engineering faculty at the University of Illinois. He rose through the academic ranks and served as department head at Illinois before moving to Georgia Tech in 1989 as professor and holder of the J. Erskine Love Institute Chair in Engineering.
His many honors through the years include: National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), three major awards from AIChE (Clarence Gerhold Award, William H. Walker Award, and the Alan P. Colburn Award), two major awards from the American Chemical Society (E.V. Murphree Award and the Ipatieff Prize), and the State of Georgia Regents’ Research in Undergraduate Education Award.
The Monie A. Ferst Award is named for an outstanding engineer and businessman, who received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1911. While a student, Ferst became interested in scientific research conducted in an educational setting. In 1933, he and two other influential Georgians used their own funds to establish the Georgia Tech Research Institute, to make it possible for faculty members to conduct research, in addition to teaching.
As the culmination of his life-long concern, his family and the Ferst Foundation established in 1975 a $100,000 trust fund for the Monie A. Ferst Award.