Henry R. Linden - Energy Pioneer
Linden, a global authority in energy research and policy, passed away on September 13, 2009 at the age of 87. An IIT faculty member since 1954, Henry most recently was the Max McGraw Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, director of the IIT Energy + Power Center, and a member of the advisory boards for the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at IIT.
"He was one of the main thinkers about the mission to reduce climate change," Hamid Arastoopour, who holds an energy professorship in Linden's name, said of his mentor to the Chicago Tribune. "He was one of the first ones to think about the hydrogen economy." Read the Tribune obituary here.
After receiving his B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1944, Henry began his work in the energy field with Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (now part of ExxonMobil Corp.) in New York. He received a Master of Chemical Engineering degree from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now Polytechnic University) in 1947 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from IIT in 1952.
For 30 years, Henry served the Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) in various management capacities, including 17 years as director and four years as president and trustee. He was instrumental in establishing the Gas Research Institute (GRI), the United States natural gas industrys cooperative research and development arm, and served as its first president and member of the board of directors from 1977 until 1987. In 2000, IGT and GRI merged to form the Gas Technology Institute (GTI). He also served as a director of five major corporations: Sonat, Inc. and its subsidiary Southern Natural Gas Co. (19741994), Reynolds Metals Co. (19771992), UGI Corp. (19801992), and The AES Corp. (19871998).
After retiring from GRI, he turned his energy and attention to establishing a comprehensive research and education program in sustainable global energy development at IIT. As interim president of IIT from 1989-1990, Henry oversaw a year of important developments, including an $8 million grant from the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation to upgrade the residential and athletic facilities of the university and to begin work on the universitys Downtown Campus. Recently, his major research interests included global climate change, sustainable global energy systems, industrial ecology, and the energy/environment/economics (E3) paradigm.
"Henry Linden had the kind of wisdom that comes only from a lifetime of doing your own thinking and researchboth good theory and practical applications; both high objectives and real facts," said John Rowe, Exelon chairman and chief executive officer, and chair of the IIT Board of Trustees.
Henry was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the Institute of Energy. He was a member of the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel of the U.S. Department of Energy (19922003), the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute (19871993), and the Energy Engineering Board of the National Research Council (19861993).
"WISER was founded at IIT because Professor Lindens lifelong research and teaching in energy engineering made IIT a national center of excellence in the field," said Ralph Wanger, founder of Wanger Asset Management, chair of IIT WISER, and member of the IIT Board of Trustees.
Henry served on several federal advisory bodies dealing with energy policy, technology, and regulation, beginning with the Kennedy Administration, and held a presidential appointment during the Ford Administration. An author or co-author of more than 240 publications and 27 patents, Henry wrote and lectured extensively on U.S. and world energy issues throughout his lifetime. He received numerous awards for his technical and analytical work in the fossil fuel area, including the Homer H. Lowry Award for Excellence in Fossil Energy Research from the U.S. Department of Energy in 1991, the 1993 United States Energy Award from the United States Energy Association, the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award of The Energy Daily, and the American Chemical Society Division of Fuel Chemistry Award in 1967. The IIT Alumni Association awarded him the Professional Achievement Award in 1975 and the Alumni Medal in 1995; in 1982, he was inducted into the IIT Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was also inducted into Georgia Techs Engineering Hall of Fame. In 2000, AIChE recognized Henry with the Ernest W. Thiele Award and, in 2008, named him to its One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era list in celebration of the organizations centennial anniversary.
"Henry Linden was a giant in advancing the efficient utilization of fuels," said IIT President John Anderson. "He not only contributed greatly to energy technology, but also to the way we think about the effect of carbon-based fuels on the environment."
Born on February 21, 1922, Henry was a lifelong benefactor of the university. Today, a graduate fellowship bears his name, as does the Henry R. Linden Endowed Professorship. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Natalie, two children from a prior marriage, Robert S. Linden and Debra Linden Thomas, and one grandchild, Heather Anne Linden.