Dr. John Chen ChE’56

John Chen was born in China and came with his family to America at the end of World War II. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from The Cooper Union in 1956. He received a MS from Carnegie Institute of Technology and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Univ. of Michigan.

He worked for about a decade at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 1970, he began his teaching career. He taught at Lehigh University for 34 years. He taught courses in both Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. He served as Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department from 1983 to 1989, and he served as Dean of the Engineering School from 1999 to 2001. John passed away in December of 2013.


John Chen published over 200 journal articles and received numerous awards including the Max Planck Research Prize from Germany and the Max Jakob Award in Thermal Science which is awarded jointly by the AASME and the AICHE.

John received the Melville Medal for archival literature from the ASME. He also received the D. Q. Kern Award, the Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion Division Award, and the Particle Technology Forum’s Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems from the AICHE.

John was elected the 2006 President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Remembering John C. Chen, 2006 AIChE President, AICHE 2014, Link

John Chen Obituary, Morning Call, Allentown, PA. January 26, 2014. Link