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Neal Russell R. Amundson Edit Profile

educator , Mathematician , Chemical engineer

Neal Russell Amundson, American Chemical engineer, mathematician, educator. Recipient Aaron Farfel award University Houston, 1985, Medal of Merit, University of Pennsylvania, 1993, Neal R. Amundson award International Society Chemical Reaction Engineering, 1996; Fulbright scholar, Guggenheim fellow Cambridge (England) University, 1954-1955; Gugenheim fellow, 1975, 76, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Senior fellow 1975.


Amundson, Neal Russell was born on January 10, 1916 in St. Paul. Son of Oscar and Hazel (Cottrell) Amundson.


Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Engineering, University Minnesota, 1937. Master of Science, University Minnesota, 1941. Doctor of Philosophy in Math, University Minnesota, 1945.

Doctor of Science (honorary), University Minnesota, 1985. Doctor in Engineering (honorary), Notre Dame University, 1986. Doctor (honorary), University Guadalajara, Mexico, 1994.

Doctor of Science (honorary), Northwestern University, 1997.


He was the Cullen Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Houston. Amundson was considered one of the most prominent chemical engineering educators and researchers in the United States. He taught in the mathematics department until 1947 and joined the University of Minnesota's Chemical Engineering Department, where he served as Chair from 1949 until 1977.

He served as UH Provost from 1987 to 1989. Amundson is known internationally for his pioneering work applying mathematical modeling and analysis to the solution of chemical engineering problems. His technical contributions are in the areas of mathematical modeling and analysis of chemical reactors, separation systems, polymerization units, and coal gasification units.

Amundson was one of the main architects of the analytical methodology practiced by chemical engineers today. Amundson wrote more than 200 technical articles as well as several books. He chaired the U.S. National Research Council committee that wrote the influential "Frontiers in Chemical Engineering" report.

He was the U.S. editor of Chemical Engineering Science from 1955 to 1972. In 1996, Amundson was the first recipient of the International Symposia on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE) award for excellence, an award that is also named for him. The chemical engineering building at his alma mater University of Minnesota is named in his honor.

He received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, Guadalajara, and Northwestern University. He received the highest faculty honors given by the Universities of Minnesota and Houston. Amundson died on February 16, 2011, at the age of 95.


  • During his 25 years as department chair, Amundson helped the department to achieve a high national ranking among chemical engineering departments, which it still retains. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) bestowed on Amundson the prestigious NAE Founders' Award in 1990.

    He received numerous professional awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS), International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE), and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).


  • Other Work

    • Editor: International Series on Physical and Chemical Engineering Sci. Contributor research papers to professional journals.


Member National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering (Founders award 1990), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (William H. Walker award 1962, Warren K. Lewis award 1971, R.H. Wilhelm award 1973, Founder's award 1985), American Academy Arts and Sciences (recipient industrial and engineering chemistry award 1960), American Society Engineering Education (Vincent Bendix award 1970, Medal for Distinguished Achievement., University Pennsylvania 1993), Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Alpha Chi Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi.


Married Shirley Dimond, September 25, 1941. Children: Gregg Russell, Beth Eva, Erik Neal.

Oscar Amundson

Hazel (Cottrell) Amundson

Shirley Dimond

Gregg Russell Amundson

Beth Eva Amundson

Erik Neal Amundson