Robert Clyde Forney, alumnus and major supporter
of the School of Chemical Engineering, passed away
August 3, 2016.
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering is named in honor
of Forney and his wife Marilyn Glenn Forney, who also is
a 1947 Purdue chemical engineering alumna.
Forney entered Purdue University in 1944 as
an undergraduate, and by 1950 had received a
Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, a
Master's degree in Industrial Engineering, and a Ph.D.
in Chemical Engineering. He was a member of the
Purdue Research Foundation for 20 years and the co-chair of the Purdue Class of 1947 scholarship fund.
Following graduation, Forney was employed at
DuPont Company, eventually becoming a senior
vice president from 1979 to 1989. As senior vice-president, Forney's portfolio included all research
activities at DuPont. He also served on the Executive
Committee and the Board of Directors until his
retirement in 1989.
In 1989, NASA presented Forney with the "Silver
Snoopy" award in recognition for his work as a
volunteer consultant to the space shuttle program
after the Challenger disaster. He also served as a
volunteer consultant to the federal government for
a series of National Academy of Engineering studies
on chemical and radioactive disposal, technology
transfers from academia to industry, and the
transition from socialist to capitalistic economies in
During his lifetime, Forney was chairman of the
Chemical Manufacturers Association, a member of
the Management-Labor Textile Advisory Committee
of the Department of Commerce, the Advisory
Board of the National Science Resources Center of
the National Academy of Sciences, the Council of
Family Services and the Criminal Justice Council
in Wilmington, Del., the National Academy of
Engineering, and the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. He served on the Board
of Directors of the Wilmington Trust Corporation,
UGI Inc., AmeriGas Inc., and Petrolane Inc. He was
an emeritus member of the Philadelphia Academy
of Natural Sciences and a former trustee of the
Wilmington Grand Opera House and the Delaware
Forney also was highly decorated by Purdue and
the School of Chemical Engineering. His awards
included the President's Council Pinnacle Award
(2004), Honorary Doctorate ('81), Distinguished
Engineering Alumnus ('74), and Outstanding
Chemical Engineer ('93).
ChE Alumnus and Supporter Robert Forney Passes Away