November 12, 2003
Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, William W.
Shuster, died last March at the age of 85. He is survived by one daughter, five
sons, and his wife Nancy to whom he
was married for 54 years. They resided in Melrose
for 40 years, moving to the Beechwood Retirement Community in Troy
in 1993. Bill was inducted into the Hall
of Fame of Norristown High School, Pennsylvania
in 1981 as a distinguished graduate. He
earned B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at R.P.I.
Bill worked as a process engineer at E.I. du Pont de Nemours
& Co. in Belle, WV from 1939 to 1945 and in 1946
came to RPI as an instructor of Chemical Engineering. He advanced through the ranks at RPI becoming
Full Professor in 1955 and Emeritus Professor in 1983. Bill helped to establish one of the first
environmental engineering programs in the nation and served as its director. He
was appointed Chairman of the New York State Hazardous Waste Disposal Advisory
Committee and New York State Technical Advisory Committee on Hazardous Waste
Disposal by Governor Hugh L. Carey.
Bill Shuster received many awards and honors. He was a
Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering and won its national
award for distinguished service. He was a diplomat of the American
Academy of Environmental
Engineering and a member of several professional societies. Bill was a fine,
considerate teacher and an excellent administrator who headed the chemical
engineering department on two occasions. He was inspiration to students and
professors. Many of us remember him marching in the graduation processions as
Marshal, carrying the mace. He was recognized by receipt of the Distinguished
Faculty Award and the RPI Silver Bowl Award.
Bill was also a community leader. He was active in the Boy
Scouts and Cub Scouts as Scoutmaster and committee member. He was a volunteer
fire fighter and president of the Melrose Fire Company. He served as
commissioner of the Melrose
district of the Rensselaer County Environmental Management Council and Sewer
District Advisory Council He was president of the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club. The Erie
Canal was one of his hobbies, and he showed his slides and
lectured about the canal many, many times. He belonged to the First United
Presbyterian Church in Troy having
served as trustee, elder, deacon and church treasurer and later was a member of
Brunswick Presbyterian Church.
Many consider Bill Shuster one of the most significant
contributors to the RPI community who represented us at a national, state, and
local level. No professor was more liked and respected. His wise advice,
friendly demeanor, and tireless help were truly admirable. He was a key man in
the right places as our university advanced to the position it now holds among
the top technical universities in the world.
Fritz Lenel was born in Kiel,
Prussia, on July 7, 1907. He was educated in Germany
in the turbulent period between the great wars, studying chemistry at the
universities of Breslau and Munich
in the mid-1920’s, and then receiving the Ph.D. from the University
of Heidelberg in 1931. His postdoctoral studies were at the University
of Gottingen, under the tutelage of
two famous scientists, Arnold Eucken and Edward Teller. Following this, Dr. Lenel, as did many
others, emigrated to the United States
in 1931, as National Socialism rose to power in Germany.
Once in this country, Dr. Lenel initially worked several
years in New York City as a
metallurgist for Charles Hardy, Inc., and in 1937 moved to Dayton, Ohio, where
he joined the Moraine Division of General Motors Corporation as and R&D
metallurgist researching the properties and processing of mainly iron-based
powder metallurgical parts for automotive applications. In the mid-1930’s powder metallurgical
processing for the production of near-net-shape small parts was making its
initial impact on manufacturing, as an alternative to the more expensive and
less efficient technologies of rough casting and machining to tolerance. During the 10 years he worked at GM, Dr.
Lenel became the lead engineer in transferring powder metallurgy, then known as
a relatively new laboratory technique for the shaping of metals, to pilot
scale, and finally toward full production.
Perhaps most important about his decade-long sojourn in Ohio
was meeting and marrying Margaret Schroy, of Dayton. Together they raised five children – four
daughters and a son. They extended Lenel
family now consists of 13 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
In 1947, Dr. Lenel was invited by Professor Matthew A.
Hunter to join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an Assistant Professor in
the then newly formed Metallurgical Engineering Department. Professor Hunter, internationally famous for
his extraction of titanium metal and the study of its properties, encouraged
Dr. Lenel to initiate a program of powder metallurgy research at Rensselaer. The success of his research program, which
was recognized as one of the strongest, if not the strongest in the country,
and Dr. Lenel’s excellent record of teaching, led to his promotion to Associate
Professor in 1949, and to Professor of Metallurgical Engineering in 1953. He chaired the Materials Engineering
Department from 1962 to 1969. Fritz Lenel
formally retired in 1973. Over that time
he served as advisor to over 50 graduate students, of which I (John B. Hudson)
am one, including Cornelius Barton, former Rensselaer Acting President and a Trustee,
and George Ansell, former Dean of Engineering at Rensselaer
and President of Colorado School of Mines.
Fritz Lenel, a charter member of the American Powder
Metallurgy Institute, was held in the highest regard as an internationally
renowned expert. His textbook, Powder
Metallurgy, Principles and Applications, was published in 1980, remains
today an authoritative source of information on that field. His travels as a lecturer and teacher spread
the name of Rensselaer worldwide: He was a guest scientist 6 times at the Max
Planck Institute, Stuttgart, Germany; an invited doctor at Hebrew University,
Jerusalem Israel; a teacher at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science, Seoul,
Korea and the Institute of Metals, Changsha, China: and an exchange scientist
at the USSR Academy of Science.
In recognition of Fritz’s many contributions to the
Materials Science and Engineering Department and to the School
of Engineering, a student area was
built in the Materials Research
Center and named the Fritz V.
Lenel Student Lounge. (This is somewhat ironic to those of us who knew
Fritz, as Fritz never “lounged” a day in his life.) It is, however, fitting, in that our students
over the years have held him in high regard as a mentor whom they understand
and admire for hi academic commitment and contributions.
Paul K. Rummel died on Monday September 15, 2003, at the Eden Park Nursing Home
in East Greenbush after a short illness. He started at Rensselaer
as an Instructor of Mechanical Engineering in 1949 and served as an Assistant
Professor before he left Rensselaer to join the staff of
the Watervliet Arsenal in 1957.
Mr. Rummel held a bachelor's degree in physics from Franklin
and Marshall College
in Lancaster, PA,
and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from RPI.
Mr. Rummel was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and
was discharged with the rank of lieutenant colonel. While in the Army, he
served as a meteorologist. He joined the
faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1949.
In 1957 Mr. Rummel began his career at the Watervliet
Arsenal as a mechanical engineering consultant and became a full-time employee
later that year. He served as a mechanical engineer in the Research and
Engineering Division, Industrial Processes Branch of the Arsenal in 1959 and a
year later was named chief of the Industrial Processes Unit.
In 1962 he was named chief, Industrial Engineering Laboratory
of Benet. In 1977 he was named associate director of Benet and in 1981 was
named director, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.
He was a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma, Pi Tau Sigma, Tau
Beta Pi and Sigma Xi as well as the American Meteorological Society, American
Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Engineering
Mr. Rummel was a member of the Church of the Covenant United
Methodist in Averill Park.
He enjoyed the wildlife that would visit his backyard.
Survivors include his present wife, Margery Craig Merow
Rummel of Sand Lake;
two sons, Peter K. (Rita) Rummel of Sand Lake and David P. (Julie Richter) of Howes
Cave; a daughter, Susan C. (Greg)
Killingsworth of Florida; a sister, Ruth Buyens of Haines
City, FL; and three
Harrison Shull died in the summer
of 2003. He was a distinguished scholar,
educator, and administrator. He served
as Vice President and Provost of Rensselaer from 1979 to 1982.
Shull was born August 17, 1923 the youngest son of George Harrison Shull, inventor of
hybrid corn and professor of genetics at Princeton
University, and Mary Julia Nicholl Shull. He graduated from Princeton with highest honors in 1943. From then until 1945, he served in the U.S. Navy
at the Naval Research Laboratory. He
earned his PhD in physical chemistry at the University
of California at Berkeley in 1948. On a
Rockefeller scholarship, Harrison worked with Robert Mulliken at the University
of Chicago, where he began developing molecular orbital theory.
Dr. Shull joined the
chemistry department at Iowa State University as an assistant professor and was awarded a Guggenheim
Fellowship to pursue research in Quantum Chemistry at Uppsala University in Sweden. While in Sweden he helped establish the Quantum Chemistry Summer School at
Valadolen, Sweden and Sanibel, FL.
From 1955- 1979 he was a
professor and chair of the chemistry department at Indiana University in Bloomington. He was the author
of over 140 scientific papers and a college level Chemistry textbook. He became an innovator in Computer
development and use, originating the model Quantum Chemistry Program Exchange
and heading the University's Research
Computing Center. He also served as
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice President of the University.
From 1979 to 1982, Dr. Shull
served as Vice President and Provost of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1982, he was appointed Chancellor of the University
of Colorado at Boulder. In 1985 he became
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey CA. He retired in
Dr. Shull was elected to the
National Academy of Sciences in 1969. He
was also a fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American
Physical Society, the American Association for the advancement of Science, the
American Chemical Society, and several other scientific and research
associations and Phi Beta Kappa. He was
an active International member of the Kungliga Vetenskaps Akademin and the
He was active on a number of
national boards and commissions, including the Federal Manpower Commission, the
Institute for Defense Analysis, and the Naval Studies Board. He led a science policy initiative with the then
Soviet Union and worked for the release of Professor Andrei
Sakharoff. Dr. Shull was awarded a
Congressional Medal and a Special Tribute from the Institute for Defense