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1984-85 › Neal Amundson
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1984-85 › Neal Amundson
7th Farfel Recipient

Department of Chemical Engineering
Cullen Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mathematics
Cullen College of Engineering

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Neal R. Amundson received a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Minnesota. After taking his degree, Professor Amundson remained at the University of Minnesota, teaching both chemical engineering and mathematics. In 1949 he became head of the department of chemical engineering. It was a post he was to retain for the next 25 years, relinquishing it a short time before he joined the University of Houston’s chemical engineering department in 1977.

Professor Amundson’s honors and awards are legion. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the first recipient and namesake of the Neal R. Amundson Award, given by the International Society of Chemical Reaction Engineering in 1996. Professor Amundson has published six books and almost 200 scholarly articles. He has also been awarded four honorary doctorates. The most dramatic symbol of his many successes, however, is undoubtedly Amundson Hall, the University of Minnesota’s chemical engineering building, which was named in his honor in 1982.

What does Professor Amundson treasure most in his long and distinguished career? His answer bespeaks the dedication characteristic of those professors who receive the Esther Farfel Award: “The highlights of my career lie in having some very successful students,” he explains. He takes great delight in keeping in touch with as many of his former students as possible, adding, “They’re like your own children.”

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