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Professor Art Westerberg’s after dinner comments
Imagine being given the opportunity to make a few comments about George and to return the favors he has “done” to me at similar events. (That sounds better than to say “get even.”)
Submitted by Jarvis Cheung
Some great memories with George at our wedding in 1989. The first 2 pictures are then and now with the same pose. The third picture was with the LISPE graduate students and associates. This could be the only group photo of LISPE ever taken. The fourth picture was George speaking at our dinner banquet. The last picture was Eleni and George dancing the night away.
Submitted by Babatunde A. Ogunnaike
Friends, colleagues, former students and current associates of George Stephanopoulos, good evening. As you all know, we are here today to celebrate two events simultaneously: the achievement of that biblical milestone age of 70 years by our colleague, teacher and mentor; and his retirement after an illustrious career that spans decades in time, and several continents in space.
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Submitted by Theodoros Kritikos
I deeply feel honored and privileged not only to be one of his first undergraduate students during his first taught in Greece at NTUA pioneering Process Design class, but also the first student to have George all in one: as my undergraduate diploma thesis advisor, as my early graduate studies advisor in Greece, and as the one who opened to me the door of MIT. Then he continued his inspiring advisory and mentoring and extremely supporting work with me till the end.
It has been his dedicated to me work, that definitely shaped me.
I owe him all the best happened to me.
Wish to be there and meet or reunite with the rest of the impressive George’ s family tree in research, education and professional practice.
Thank you George for everything!
p.s. 1. And this is the first time I call him with his first name. 2. Can’ t believe you are stepping down. A philosopher never does!
Submitted by Michael Mavrovouniotis
George’s Design class at NTUA, was an instant legend. He had brought a level of intensity, seriousness, and incisiveness that made his class feel like the pinnacle of the program. I was hooked.
George soon left for MIT, and when I graduated I was able to follow him – by far the most important and most fortunate pivot point in my academic and professional life. I know (now!) that I was an unruly advisee – yet George never despaired of me. He pushed me hard, but gave me the extra space I needed. Whenever I was failing he encouraged me, and whenever I was succeeding he raised his expectations. George gave me not only a Ph.D. but also a fondness for research and a relentless problem-solving attitude that have been with me ever since. And of course George continued to be there for me at every step to promote my career, to help and guide me.
Working with George transformed me. I owe my career – and what my career has done for my life – to his influence and help.
Submitted by Vasilis Burganos
Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, FORTH, Patras
I would like to express my fortune for having met George Stephanopoulos early in my life, when I was an undergraduate student at the School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens. George impressed us with his teaching style, content, and approaches. He introduced us to material and concepts that sounded radical to our ears. I took all the courses that he taught, and I was among the lucky ones that worked for their diploma thesis under his supervision (complex distillation columns with heat integration). No matter how busy he was, he never neglected our regular, long meetings every Friday, to guide us through new design concepts and computer programming, quite fascinating at that time, all pervaded by a fresh look at things and wrapped by a whole set of modern, stimulating perspectives. George has remained a discreet and vigilant mentor, and a constant inspirer ever since. My decision to come to the US for a PhD was clearly due to his suggestion and encouragement, and I am sure that many other colleagues from Greece would give him the same credit without any hesitation. He was there to answer questions, to encourage in difficult moments, to show his care, and to come up with always meaningful and to-the-point ideas. Several years later, I met George in Patras during an evaluation procedure, always there to offer, to support, to inspire.
George, thank you for showing us the way, for your distinct aura over my generation of chemical engineers, and for always being there when needed.
Submitted by Nicholas A. Peppas
- George Stephanopoulos received the Allan P. Colburn Award of AIChE in 1982, the year he had returned to Greece and was a professor of Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens.
- From a 1986 article on George Stephanopoulos in Chemical Engineering Education http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00000383/00095/1x
- George Stephanopoulos receiving the CAST Award of AIChE in 1993.
Submitted by George N. Papatheodorou
University of Patras, Greece
(Post updated: 5/8/17)
Submitted by Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Modelling has become most useful tool and at the same time common language in research, development, design, operation of plant and management together with advances of optimization technology and information & computer technology. Before joining with MCC, we learned them very much from him, at such official and unofficial events, as “1st PTEC Symposium, Mizushima, MCC(1996)”, ”DERC Mini-Symposium, Santa Clara, Cal, USA(1997)“, “DYCOPS-5, Corfu, Greece(1998)”, several workshops and so on. Through acquaintances, I felt George san is visionary and thoughtful on a kind of philosophy. The photo shows that George san was enjoying Greek dancing as one of the hosts at the farewell party of DYCOPS -5, Corfu, his home country, till next morning.
Submitted by Prof. Michael Nikolaou
University of Houston
Upon entering the classroom as an undergraduate at NTUA in my first day of TOMXB (that’s Greek for “Plant Design and Economics”) I came across a lean bearded young instructor who would give an engaging lecture with a transparency that you “cannot define it but know it when you see it”. I was immediately hooked to his charisma, and by the end of that very first lecture I assumed that – judging by his age and level of engagement with students – the lecturer must surely have been a gifted associate substituting for the professor, a certain George Stephanopoulos whom I had never met before. So, when the instructor invited last questions before leaving the classroom, I ask him what his name was. Surprised, he asked me back whether the professor’s name for the class was included in the schedule of classes. I confidently replied “Oh, of course I know the professor’s name, but what is YOUR name?” At that point my class mates intervened to rescue me.
I subsequently took every single course that George offered at NTUA, and did my Diploma thesis with him (on interaction of feedback control loops, no less!). His tireless efforts left an indelible mark on the ChE program at NTUA, not only through his teachings but also through peripheral activities he organized, such as a first-class series of seminars by mostly outside speakers (Alkis Payatakis, then newly moved to Patras from Houston, started with “Tertiary Oil Recovery” («Τριτογενής Απόληψη Πετρελαίου») a title where I could understand approximately one word). Later on, as a colleague, George was graciously a host – both academically and socially – during a sabbatical I spent at MIT in 1995, and has kept a line of communication open offering priceless advice, encouragement, and personal friendship.
To this day, even after all these years, as much as I enjoy his camaraderie, I have to force myself to call him “George”. This is not for trepidation or distance. Rather, it is for respect, admiration, and appreciation of the age-old teacher/student relationship, one that this student will always treasure.
Many happy returns, (…deep breath) George, and may your diverse talents continue to bring happiness to you and those around you.
Submitted by Andreas Boudouvis
National Technical University of Athens
“Techno-Economic Study of Chemical Industries” was the first course taught by George Stephanopoulos at the National Technical University of Athens in 1980. I was privileged, as an undergraduate student, to take this course with him and get involved in a design project. It was at that time that I realized the essence of chemical engineering studies “integration”. I enjoyed getting exposed to his inspirational teaching and, following his advice, I found myself, one year later, at the University of Minnesota starting my PhD. At that time, he was already a world-class leading figure in chemical engineering. Besides feeling proud of my former teacher and compatriot for his achievements and recognition, I came to realize that his ideas and vision were reaching as far as nonlinear science, materials science and life science. I will always think of George Stephanopoulos as an engineering visionary, an influential educator and a unique role model for the younger generations of chemical engineering academics, most certainly the Greeks who followed international careers.
Submitted by Nicholas A. Peppas
I first met George Stephanopoulos a few weeks after our first ChE semester had started at the National Technical University of Athens in November 1966. He was a sophomore, I was a freshman. As indicated in his biography, George had finished the Classical High School of Paralia Kalamatas. While taking six years of ancient Greek and Latin, George excelled also in mathematics, so he entered ChE at the NTU Athens with great ease.
His mathematical strength was already nationally known to all of us in Greece who were active in the Greek Mathematical Society (EME). Indeed, in May 1965 he had received the First Prize of the Greek Mathematical Society. Its Bulletin had been adorned at that time with this rare photograph of George. Congratulations George! Thanks for 51 years of friendship.
Submitted by Arthur Westerberg
May 1974 University of Florida commencement photo of George when he got his PhD.
Submitted by Prof. Alexander Mitsos
RWTH Aachen University, Germany
I had the honor to have Prof Stephanopoulos as a thesis committee member for my PhD and as an invaluable mentor over the years. I vividly remember the advice he gave me in the regular committee meetings and more important in the irregular one-to-one meetings.
His advice through the years was crystal-clear and always to the point. The advice was not always easy to follow or I dare say pleasant; but it turned out to always be the right one for me. I admire him for this ability, not to mention for his success and legacy in process systems engineering, chemical engineering and beyond. To top things he also has a great family! I am very grateful to all his advice and I hope I can live up to his expectations.