Endowed Professorships and Chairs
Jeff and Dianne Child established an endowment in honor of Emeritus Professor Steve Whitaker, shown here.

Donor Endowments Support CHE Faculty and Research

Endowed Professorships and Chairs

Endowed professorships and chairs are both an important way to help faculty research groups to flourish and a mark of profound generosity from donors to the Department of Chemical Engineering.

An endowed professorship is established by a donor making a significant gift (>$500,000) to the department; an endowed chair requires a gift of $1,000,000. The principal is held in perpetuity while the interest is used to fund the endowed professorship or chair. All the endowed professorships and chairs in CHE are “term appointments,” i.e., the appointments are not permanent but are held for three to five-year terms by the professor who best matches the donor’s criteria. Here is some information about the current CHE faculty endowments.

Joe and Essie Smith Endowed Chair

This is the first of the endowments, established in 1996 by a gift from Joe and Essie Smith. Joe was the founding chair of CHE. This award funds a five-year period of research and scholarly activity. The current holder is Professor Bill Ristenpart.

Jeff and Dianne Child-Steve Whitaker Professorship in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

In their letter establishing the professorship, Jeff and Dianne Child wrote that by establishing this endowment they sought to honor Professor Steve Whitaker, who “is widely regarded as one of CHMS’s finest professors,” and who “influenced Jeff in countless positive ways while he was an undergraduate student.” This professorship rewards excellence, especially in teaching, and provides support for the selected faculty’s educational and research activities. Professor Nael El-Farra is the current recipient of this prestigious award. We thank Jeff and Dianne for their continued generous support of the Department.

If you would like more information on how endowments make a difference for our department, faculty and research, please contact Chemical Engineering Department Chair Tonya Kuhl.

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