I grew up in Manhattan, but chose to go to Tech because of its dedication to engineering. I graduated from Tech mid-year in a rapid advancement program; this turned out to be somewhat of a problem since engineering programs in the colleges I looked at were all started in September; otherwise courses would have to be taken out of sequence, which I did. In the end, I chose to go to City College because of its very small tuition and because I could live at home since my family had limited income. I didn’t realize when entering the university system that I would never leave it.
After CCNY, I went to the University of Minnesota, which at that time had the top-rated chemical engineering program in the country, to earn my Ph.D., though I spent the last year of my studies at the University of California at Berkeley. After a year at a special institute at the University of Maryland, I accepted a professorship at the University of Delaware where I have been ever since, apart from year-long sabbatical leaves at the University of California, Berkeley, the Technical University of Berlin, and several at my favorite place: the University of Melbourne in Australia. Since coming to the University of Delaware, I started as an assistant professor and have risen through the ranks including an appointment as department chair, followed by a position as interim dean, and then the H. B. DuPont chair of chemical engineering, from which I recently retired.
When I entered Minnesota, I twice failed the thermodynamics examination given to all entering students. While working on my Ph. D. and also during my early years at Delaware, I decided there could be a better way to teach thermodynamics than I the education I received at both CCNY and Minnesota. Thus, while carrying on an active research program, I also began writing the textbook Chemical and Engineering Thermodynamics, which has been widely used and now is in its fifth edition.
Over the years, I have also consulted for chemical and oil companies, as well as for the U. S. Government on the destruction of our vast storage of chemical weapons, and made a small contribution to NASA in designing an unmanned vehicle to enter Jupiter. Most likely none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the education I received at Brooklyn Technical High School.