Wilhelm Lectures

Richard H. Wilhelm

Richard H. Wilhelm

This distinguished lectureship honors the memory of Richard H. Wilhelm, a graduate of Columbia University who spent his entire professional career at Princeton University. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1934 and served as chairman from 1954 until his death in 1968. In recognition of his distinguished teaching, he was named Henry Putnam University Professor by Princeton University and given the Warren K. Lewis Award in Chemical Engineering Education by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

For his research leadership in numerous areas of chemical reaction engineering, he received from the AIChE the William H. Walker Award in 1951 and the Professional Progress Award in 1952 and the Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 1966. In 1968 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction that can be conferred upon an American engineer.

In 1973, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers established the R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering, presented each year to an individual in recognition of significant and new contributions in the field. The Richard H. Wilhelm Lectureship was established through the generosity of his colleagues, friends, and students.

2018 Wilhelm Lecturer: Joseph DeSimone

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone is the CEO/Co-founder of Carbon, Inc. located in Silicon Valley. Prior to this, DeSimone was the Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC. DeSimone received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.  He has published over 350 scientific articles (> 21,000 citations and H-index = 70) and has nearly 200 issued patents in his name with over 200 patents pending. DeSimone has mentored and trained 73 postdoctoral research associates and has graduated 80 PhD students from his group, 50% of whom are women and people from underrepresented groups in the sciences.  In June, 2016 DeSimone was recognized by President Barack Obama with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

DeSimone is one of fewer than twenty individuals who have been elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies:  the National Academy of Medicine (2014), the National Academy of Sciences (2012), and the National Academy of Engineering (2005). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005). DeSimone has received over 50 major awards and recognitions including the 2017 Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment; the inaugural Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine; the 2015 Dickson Prize from Carnegie Mellon University; the 2014 Industrial Research Institute Medal; the 2014 Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success; the 2012 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation by Sigma Xi; the 2010 AAAS Mentor Award in recognition of his efforts to advance diversity in the chemistry PhD workforce; the 2009 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award; the 2009 North Carolina Award; the 2008 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation; the 2002 John Scott Award presented by the City Trusts, Philadelphia, given to "the most deserving" men and women whose inventions have contributed in some outstanding way to the "comfort, welfare and happiness" of mankind; and the 2002 Engineering Excellence Award by DuPont.

Thr, Oct 25, 2018, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location: Maeder Hall Auditorium, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment


Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location: Maeder Hall Auditorium, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Previous Lecturers in the Series


Matthew Tirrell

University of ChicagoArgonne National Laboratory


Kristi S. Anseth

University of Colorado at Boulder


Ronald G. Larson

University of Michigan


Enrique Iglesia

University of California at Berkeley


Chaitan Khosla

Stanford University


Klavs Jensen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Martin Feinberg

Ohio State University


Lanny Schmidt

University of Minnesota


George Stephanopoulos

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Mark E. Davis

California Institute of Technology


Frances H. Arnold

California Institute of Technology


Frank S. Bates

University of Minnesota


Carol K. Hall

North Carolina State University


John F. Brady

California Institute of Technology


William R. Schowalter

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Alice P. Gast

Stanford University


Charles F. Zukoski

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Cherry A. Murray

Bell LaboratoriesLucent Technologies


Eduardo D. Glandt

University of Pennsylvania


John Villadsen

Technical University of Denmark


Robert A. Brown

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Roger W.H. Sargent

Imperial College of ScienceTechnologyand Medicine


George K. Batchelor

Cambridge University


R. Byron Bird

University of Wisconsin at Madison


John F. Davidson

Cambridge University


George Gavalas

California Institute of Technology


Reuel Shinnar

City College of the City University of New York


Dan Luss

University of Houston


Rutherford Aris

University of Minnesota


John M. Prausnitz

University of California at Berkeley


Roger A. Schmitz

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Neal R. Amundson

University of Houston


Jack B. Howard

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Michel Boudart

Stanford University


L.E. Scriven

University of Minnesota