Emeritus Professor Roger Sargent awarded Royal Academy of Engineering Medal


Roger Sargent receiving the Sir Frank Whittle Medal

Professor Roger Sargent has received the Sir Frank Whittle Medal which recognises engineers whose sustained achievements have had a profound impact.

Professor Roger Sargent, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London has been awarded the Sir Frank Whittle Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). Professor Sargent joined Imperial as an undergraduate student in Chemical Technology in 1944, then stayed on to complete a PhD on improving air liquefaction columns. After a few years in industry, he returned to the department as a senior lecturer in 1958. His research focused on the application of mathematics and computing to the process industries, he is known as the "founding father of process systems engineering". 

Included in his many academic achievements is the establishment of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering in August 1989. The first of its kind in the field of Process Systems Engineering, the Centre was launched as a result of a 10-year government-funded program. Due to its truly outstanding successes (which included the launch of the spin-out company Process Systems Enterprise Ltd. in 1997), the Centre became self-funded after the initial 10-year trial period and is still one of the biggest and most successful centres in the history of Imperial College London.

He was awarded the Sir Frank Whittle Medal for his impact on industrial practice and academia on 8 September at the RAEng annual general meeting. Professor Roger Sargent was a founding Fellow of RAEng, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

“Roger Sargent is the undisputed father of process systems engineering, a discipline he has played a pivotal role in defining and developing during the course of his long and productive career. It is no exaggeration to say that the vast majority of PSE researchers globally can trace their academic origins back to him. His impact on industrial practice and academia has been enormous,” said former Head of Department John Perkins, who nominated Sargent for the award.

Based on materials provided by Institution of Chemical Engineering (IChemE): Sargent receives RAEng Whittle medal - 9 September 2016.

[Article prepared by Dora Olah an Undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering.]


Michael Panagopulos

Michael Panagopulos
Department of Chemical Engineering

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