Three faculty members in the Department of Chemical Engineering have been appointed to named chairs. William M. Deen is the new Carbon P. Dubbs Professor, Jefferson Tester is the first Herman P. Meissner Professor and Klavs F. Jensen is the Lammot du Pont Professor.
Professor Deen, known for his fundamental studies in the areas of transport across membranes and in body tissues, also studies the biological effects of nitric oxide as they might relate to the risk of certain cancers.
He received the BS in 1969 from Columbia and the MS (1971) and PhD (1973) from Stanford. He worked as a research engineer with Gulf and Chevron and as a research fellow with the National Kidney Foundation (1973-75) before being named an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California at San Francisco. Professor Deen was appointed an assistant professor at MIT in 1976 and was named to a Hermann von Helmholtz chair in health sciences and technology the following year. He was promoted to associate professor in 1980.
Professor Jensen has spent much of his career on problems related to semiconductor manufacturing, particularly chemical vapor deposition of thin films. He also studies the miniaturization of chemical reactors, and with Professor Martin A. Schmidt in the De-partment of Electrical Engineering, his group has succeeded in building a tiny "chemical plant" on a silicon chip. This buliding process will make it possible to distribute large numbers of microreactors operating in parallel and on a demand basis, providing economy of scale within a safer environment.
Professor Jensen received the MSc from Technical University of Denmark and the PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He joined the University of Minnesota's Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, rising from assistant to full professor from 1980-89. He joined the MIT faculty in 1989 as the Joseph R. Mares Professor in chemical engineering.
Early in his career, Professor Tester researched geothermal energy technologies and molecular simulation of condensed matter. Recently he has become interested in synthesizing organic compounds in a more environmentally sustainable way by replacing dangerous solvents such as methylene chloride with super-critical water and carbon dioxide.
Professor Tester received the BS (1966) and MS (1977) from Cornell and the PhD from MIT in 1971. He did postdoctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was assistant professor and station manager of MIT's School of Chemical Engineering Practice at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1972-74. He was later a group leader at Los Alamos and returned to MIT in 1980 as an associate professor, winning promotion to full professor in 1988. He was also the director of the School of Chemical Engineering Practice from 1980-89 and has been director of the Energy Laboratory since 1989.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 11, 1997.