The Neal Amundson era. Rapid evolution of chemical engineering science


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to D. Ramkrishna at


Neal Amundson (1916–2011) influenced the chemical engineering profession more profoundly than any other single individual, and in this article the author has attempted to capture the man and his era, as well as his lasting legacy. His influence extended well beyond those of other chemical engineers of renown, whether they were known for exploring and establishing new avenues, or for the resolution of outstanding issues, or for other forms of creative endeavors. Amundson reached into the depths of the profession, noted for its expanse, complexity and diversity that had led earlier efforts into a shrine of empiricism, to foster a culture of strongly scientific thinking with a mathematical edifice, which must be the crux of all engineering. The growth of chemical engineering science owes most significantly to Amundson's extraordinary role as an educator, department head and leader, and to the lasting impact of his contributions to chemical engineering research and practice. This article is in salutation of the man who came to be known as the Minnesota Chief, and was responsible for an academic movement that raised the intellectual level of the chemical engineering profession. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 3147–3157, 2013