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Rensselaer Professor Howard Littman Elected AIChE Fellow

October 20, 2009

Howard Littman, fluid mechanics expert and professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was recently named a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

“Howard is an example of a truly exceptional emeritus faculty member, and is well-deserving of this honor,” said Shekhar Garde, head of Rensselaer’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. “He is highly regarded for his accomplishments in the area of fluid mechanics. He not only actively engages in research and collaboration, but also provides invaluable mentoring and guidance to many of us in the department.”

The AIChE lauded Littman’s “significant contributions” to the field of chemical engineering.

Littman’s research focuses on the field of fluid-particle systems, particularly the study of fluidized beds, spouted beds, and draft tube spout-fluid beds. His current investigations include the theoretical study and experimental development of systems for the movement of particles in a pipe fed from a shallow spout-fluid bed, the coating of aerogel particles and the mixing of particles of different sizes such as sand and cement in such systems, and the effects of turbulence on the drag coefficient of particles in pneumatic and hydraulic transport.

Littman is widely published, holds several patents, and consults on fluid dynamics and other topics for more than 15 industrial organizations and governmental agencies.

A former Fulbright lecturer, Littman was also an International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) research fellow and spent two summers teaching and doing research at the University of Belgrade in what is now the nation of Serbia. That collaboration has lasted for 37 years. He has held visiting professorships at Imperial College in London and at Chonnam National University in South Korea. Littman is a past recipient of the William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award from Rensselaer, and in 1993 served as the international lecturer at the 21st Meeting on Fluid Flow in Porous Media (ENEMP) meeting in Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Littman joined the Rensselaer faculty in 1965, following positions as a professor at Syracuse University, a research assistant engineer at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and a resident research associate at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Littman received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University, and went on to earn his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from Yale University.