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1988-89 › Abraham E. Dukler
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1988-89 › Abraham E. Dukler (1925-1994)
11th Farfel Recipient

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

When Abraham Dukler arrived in Houston in the early 1950’s, fresh from the University of Delaware with a doctorate in chemical engineering, he found a city on the brink of unprecedented economic and industrial activity. He worked for Shell Oil Company, teaching part-time at the University of Houston’s newly formed department of chemical engineering. Within a short time he joined the faculty as a permanent member, becoming one of the pioneering professors in the department.

During the 1960’s, the department of chemical engineering experienced a period of rapid growth, facilitated in part by Abraham Dukler’s leadership during the time he served as department chair. Professor Dukler received a major grant from the National Science Foundation enabling the chemical engineering department to move ahead and take its place among the nation’s top engineering schools. Much of the grant went towards hiring faculty members and establishing outstanding laboratory facilities, so that by 1983, an Associated Research Council study rated the chemical engineering department the best in the South and among the top 10 nationally.

Professor Dukler became the dean of the college in 1976, after having served as executive director of the Texas Governor’s Energy Council during the energy crisis (1973-75). In 1989, he received the Esther Farfel Award as well as the Cullen College of Engineering Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award. Although Professor Dukler died in 1994, his influence is still felt in the Cullen College of Engineering. “For many years Abe Dukler set the tone of the department,” says Professor James Richardson, Dukler’s colleague. “He was very influential, both as chair and as dean. We still miss him very much.”

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