Skip to content ↓

Remembering Raymond F. Baddour, professor emeritus of chemical engineering

A visionary educator and entrepreneur, Baddour was a pioneer in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research, and spearheaded the creation of Building 66.
Press Inquiries

Press Contact:

Melanie Kaufman
Phone: 617-253-6500
Department of Chemical Engineering
Raymond F. Baddour
Raymond F. Baddour
Photo courtesy the Baddour family
Baddour during his tenure as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Baddour during his tenure as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Photo courtesy the MIT Museum

Raymond F. Baddour, the Lammot du Pont Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at MIT, died peacefully at his home Dec. 15, 2017, surrounded by his family.

Baddour received a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He received his SM in chemical engineering practice at MIT in 1949 and, upon earning his ScD from MIT in 1951, became an assistant professor in the department. He became a full professor in 1963 and founded MIT's Environmental Laboratory in 1970, becoming its first director. Baddour was head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1969 to 1976 and was awarded the Lammot du Pont Professorship in 1969.

While department head, Baddour put together and executed a visionary plan to expand the department's programs in energy and environmental engineering, bioengineering, and applied chemistry. He launched a bold and aggressive hiring initiative that broke with longstanding departmental traditions; now, 30 years later, Course 10 continues to see the positive impact of his vision.

The current home of the Department of Chemical Engineering is a physical example of Baddour’s impact: In order to revitalize and address space concerns for new faculty and research programs, Baddour conceived of the plan to create the Ralph Landau Building (Building 66). He also raised funds for the building completely through private sources, an act that has not been duplicated at the Institute since.

“Professor Baddour has left a great legacy in the department that has touched on almost every aspect of the department’s history and success,” says Paula Hammond, the David H. Koch Professor in Engineering and current department head. “Ray was an institution and a real driver at the biotechnology and pharmaceutical interface when it was still very new in the field of chemical engineering. As a teacher, he will be remembered as an inspirational educator who imbued a generation of students with a passion for chemical engineering.”

In 2014, Baddour made a generous gift to endow the Raymond F. Baddour (1949) Professorship in Chemical Engineering, established to support a distinguished faculty member in the department. Bernhardt Trout is the first and current recipient of the Baddour Professorship.

Baddour was also a role model for entrepreneurship: He started his first company in 1962, and in 1980 co-founded the biopharmaceutical company Amgen, serving as director until 1987. In addition, he was a co-founder of Ascent Pediatrics, MatTek Corp., BREH Partners, BREHK Inc., BLW Corp., Enterprise Management Corp., SKB Inc., Energy Resource Co., Abcor Inc., and Amicon Corp.

Baddour served as director at ActivBiotics Inc., Scully Signal Co., Hyseq Inc., Lam Research Corp., and the Raychem Corp. He was chairman of ERCO, AG. Baddour was a consultant to Oxbow Corp., Mobil Chemical Co., Freeport Minerals Co., Allied Chemical Co., Roger Milliken and Co., Loeb, Rhodes, and Co., LFE Corp., Stauffer Chemical Co., Hooker Chemicals Corp., Avco Research and Advanced Development, Celanese Corp., and Stone and Webster Engineering Corp.

He was a member of the Business Advisory Committee of Medical Science Partners and the Science Advisory Committee of General Motors, Corp. Baddour was a senior postdoc at the National Science Foundation of the Renal Biophysical Laboratory at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Baddour leaves his wife of 62 years, Anne; daughter, Cynthia Baddour (Christopher Ryan) of Harvard, Massachusetts; son, Frederick Baddour of Palmetto Bay, Florida; daughter, Jean Nardi (Edward) of Concord, Massachusetts; and five grandchildren.

Burial services will be private; a spring memorial service will be planned. Information will be provided on the MIT Chemical Engineering website, when available.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105, in memory of Raymond Baddour, or online to the Raymond Baddour Gift Fund.

Related Links

Related Topics

Related Articles

More MIT News