Former Chemical Engineering Head Robert Greenkorn Passes Away
Robert A. Greenkorn, 87, of West
Lafayette, Ind., died Monday, June
13, 2016. Greenkorn was Head of the
School of Chemical Engineering from
1967-1973 and held numerous upper
administration positions at Purdue.
After graduating from Oshkosh High
School he joined the U.S. Navy Aviator
Training Program. As part of the program
he attended the University of Wisconsin,
Madison for four semesters. He entered
pilot training and then was assigned
to a patrol squadron. He flew combat
missions during the Korean War and was awarded the
Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.
After completing his service, he returned to the
University of Wisconsin and completed his BSChE,
MSChE and PhD in Chemical Engineering.
He joined the Jersey Production Research Company
as a research engineer. He also became a lecturer
in chemical engineering and mathematics at
the University of Tulsa. In 1963, he joined the
department of theoretical and applied mechanics at
Marquette University and then became an associate
professor of chemical engineering at Purdue
University in 1965 and two years later, professor
and Head of chemical engineering.
During his career at Purdue, he held several other
positions including Interim Head of Aeronautical
Engineering, Associate Dean of Engineering, Vice-President and Associate Provost, Vice-President of
the Purdue Research Foundation, Vice-President
for Research, Dean of the Graduate School, Special
Assistant to the President and Director of the
Technical Assistance Program. In 1995, he was
named the R. Games Slayter Distinguished Professor
of Chemical Engineering.
Greenkorn was a member of the
Board of the Bemis Corporation. He
served on a number of boards in his
capacity as an officer of Purdue and
the Purdue Research Foundation.
These included the Executive Planning
Committee of the Indiana Economic
Development Council, which wrote
Indiana's economic development
plan, Board of the Argonne University
Association, Indiana Institute for
New Business Ventures, INventure, a
start-up company, and member and
chairman of the Board of the Midwestern Universities
Consortium for International Activities. He also was the
Purdue member of the University of Chicago Board of
Governors for Argonne National Laboratories and a
member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission.
Greenkorn also served on the editorial advisory
boards of the journals Transport in Porous Media
and Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data. He
was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical
Engineers and American Society for Engineering
Education, and a member of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, the
American Geophysical Union, Society of Petroleum
Engineers, American Chemical Society and Sigma
Xi. He was a registered Professional Engineer in
Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
He authored or co-authored six books and over
150 technical publications. He was awarded the
Distinguished Service Citation by the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Sagamore of the Wabash by
the Indiana governor, and was inducted into the
Hall of Fame by Oshkosh High School. He received
two teaching awards—the Shreve Prize and the Tau
Beta Pi Outstanding Teacher Award from Purdue.