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Campus mourns passing of E. Bruce Nauman

It is with sadness that President Shirley Ann Jackson wishes to inform all members of the Rensselaer community of the passing of Professor E. Bruce Nauman, who passed away on Sunday, May 24, after a battle with lung cancer. He was 71 years old.

A professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Dr. Nauman was fiercely devoted to his students, and was respected and admired by his faculty colleagues.

Dr. Nauman joined Rensselaer in 1981 as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, after a successful career in research and development with the Xerox Corporation and Union Carbide Corporation. In addition to his positions of past department chair and professor at Rensselaer, he served for 25 years as Director of Industrial Liaison. Dr. Nauman was deeply committed to faculty advocacy and served for a time as Chair of the Faculty and President of the Faculty Senate.

A prolific researcher and scholar, Dr. Nauman published more than 150 journal papers and authored five books, 16 book chapters, and more than 30 other publications. His most well-known book, Chemical Reactor Design, Optimization, and Scaleup, published by McGraw-Hill, is in its second edition and is used by chemical engineering students around the world. During his career at Rensselaer he advised and graduated 32 doctoral students.

Dr. Nauman held six patents, each related to his research and investigations into polymers, nanoparticles, nanobiotechnology, nanothermodynamics, and nanofluidics. He was the recipient of several awards, including the 2000 North American Mixing Forum (NAMF) Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Last year, the American Chemical Society journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research published a special Festschrift Issue to celebrate the lifelong accomplishments and 70th birthday of Dr. Nauman. In the introduction to this issue, three of his former students, who are now professors at other institutions, wrote the following:

"Working as a student in the Nauman laboratory was a unique experience, due in large part to the confluence of academic and industrial influences. But it was Bruce, himself, who served as the greatest inspiration, inculcating in his students an enduring spirit of curiosity and passion for the practice of chemical engineering ... He was a leader who treated his students as intellectual equals. One-on-one meetings with Bruce were always challenging, as he would question every assumption that was made. Looking back, we realize that this was an essential part of our learning experience, because having the ability to convince Bruce that you were right made convincing the rest of the world easy."

Dr. Nauman was a fellow of the AIChE, a co-founder and past president of the NAMF, and a member of the Advisory Council at the United States Military Academy. He was an editor of the Chemical Engineering Journal and Chemical Engineering Research and Design, as well as a member of the editorial boards of Trends in Chemical Engineering and the Butterworth's Series in Chemical Engineering.

Dr. Nauman received his bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from Kansas State University, and earned his master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Leeds in England.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, children Cynthia and Michael, and six grandchildren. Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with the Nauman family during this time of mourning. The Rensselaer community will miss his contributions.