Rice Professor Named to National Academy of Engineering

first_imgShare Contact: Philip Montgomery Phone: (713) 831-4792 Rice Professor Named to National Academy of Engineering The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) elected Riki Kobayashi, a Rice University professor of chemicalengineering, as a member of the academy. He was one of 77 engineers in the United States elected to the NAE during the annual February induction. The NAE is a national advisory body of the federal government. Election to the body isconsidered one of the highest honors conferred on engineers. The letter announcing the elections said the academy elects members based upon their “important contributions to engineering theory and practice including significant contributions to the literature of engineering theory and practice and those who have demonstrated unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new anddeveloping fields of technology.”“I am delighted that Riki has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, a well deserved honor,” said ClarenceMiller, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Rice. “For many years, he has been a central figure in the department’s research program in thermodynamics, which is widely recognized for its excellence. Riki and his coworkers have designed and built many novel types of equipment to allow improved measurements of properties of a wide range of fluids over a wide range oftemperatures and pressures.” George Hirasaki, a Rice professor of chemical engineering and a member of the NAE, said, “Perhaps more than any other living individual, Professor Kobayashi has provided the engineering database for the natural gas industry. The Gas Processors Association recognized this outstanding lifetime accomplishment in their first Donald L. Katz Award. His work was characterized in a 1987 AIChE symposium in his honor as `one of the century’s most prolific and lasting efforts in thermodynamic and transportproperties.’” Hirasaki said Kobayashi had the vision to pioneer the measurement of hydrocarbon vapor-water-gas hydrate equilibrium; the use of gas chromatography to measure vapor-liquid and vapor-solid equilibria, phase transitions and molecular diffusivity; and the useof laser light scatter to measure properties in the critical region. Some recent industrial applications of Kobayashi’s work include the design of CO2 processing facilities for enhanced oil recovery and design criteria for dehydrating natural gas in North Slope andNorth Sea production to prevent hydrate formation. Most recently, Kobayashi along with two research associates, Fouad Fleyfel and Kyoo Song, have submitted a paper for publication announcing their discovery of the mechanism that allows gas and water to form an icy mixture called hydrates. Hydrates plague the natural gas industry by forming icy plugs that prevent thetransmission of gas through pipelines. Rice University is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian private university dedicated to undergraduate teaching and graduate studies, research and professional training in selected disciplines. It has an undergraduate student population of 2,584, a graduate and professional student population of 1,489 and a full-time faculty of 448. ### FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img
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