IChemE Presents Sargent With Lifetime Achievement Award

Dec. 6, 2016
Chemical engineer and Imperial College Professor Emeritus Roger Sargent is awarded the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ inaugural MM Sharma Medal.

Jonathan Seville, IChemE president, and Roger Sargent, MM Sharma Medal winner

Chemical engineer and Imperial College Professor Emeritus Roger Sargent is awarded the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ (IChemE) inaugural MM Sharma Medal for his role in the definition and development of process systems engineering (PSE). The lifetime achievement award was presented by IChemE’s president, Jonathan Seville, at the 23rd Roger Sargent Lecture at Imperial College London.

The Roger Sargent Lecture is an annual event held at Imperial College London and hosted by the Centre for Process Systems Engineering, founded by Sargent himself in 1989. It pays tribute to his vision, leadership and contributions in the field of process systems engineering. This year Professor Jay H Lee of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology gave the lecture, on the theme of mathematical programming and dynamic programming.

Sargent is regarded as the founding father of the process systems engineering branch of chemical engineering. He first founded the concept in the 1950s, identifying a need to focus on scientific engineering, as a counterbalance to the prevalent focus on engineering science, according to IChemE. His 60-year-long career has reportedly been spent championing the application of mathematics and computing to the solution of engineering problems in the process industries.

He was a prolific academic and supervised over 50 PhD students during his career, many of whom have gone on to become hugely influential academics and engineers in their own right, according to IChemE. Today Sargent’s academic tree runs to seven generations and has over 2,000 members.

Earlier this year Sargent received the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Frank Whittle Medal for an outstanding and sustained achievement to the industry. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday, an occasion that will be honored with a special issue of IChemE journal Chemical Engineering, Research and Design.

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