12 Chemical Engineers who Changed the World

“It always seems impossible until its done”

Nelson Mandela

Chemical engineering is involved in nearly every industry, and is critical in processing products which change the world. As the industrial revolution was building the need for material in bulk quantities and low prices was growing. This was also before the term ‘Chemical Engineering’ was used with many of the people in this list considered to be a combination of chemist, engineer, and inventor.

Over the next few months we will be profiling 12 famous chemical engineers who have changed the world:

1. Henry Bessemer - Cheap mass production of steel

2,3. Carl von Linde and William Hampson - Gas liquefaction and refrigeration

4,5. Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch - Mass production of ammonia

6. Karl Bayer, Charles Hall, and Paul Heroult - Cheap mass production of aluminium

7,8. Jasper Kane and John McKeen - Mass production of penicillin

9. Waldo Semon - Developed more than 5000 synthetic rubbers including PVC

10,11,12. George Rosenkranz, Luis Miramontes, and Carl Djerassi - Development of the contraceptive pill

All of these engineers developed methods for vastly changing not only the material world, but the way in which we perceive it. They succeeded in creating solutions that the rest of the world could not conceive, or thought to be outcome impossible. They overcame the odds and become truly great.

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”

Albert Einstein

These 12 engineers’ stories should be studied and their lessons remembered so that we can strive to emulate their achievements.

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