Introducing the Robert W. Lyczkowski Reading Room

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By Simon Morrow

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Photo of Lyczkowski Reading Room

On September 14, 2021, the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology held a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicated to the formal opening of the Robert W. Lyczkowski Reading Room in Perlstein Hall, Room 117. 

Robert Lyczkowski (M.S. GE ’66, Ph.D. GT ’70) provided funds to renovate what was previously laboratory space occupied by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dimitri Gidaspow into a lounge, workspace, and library for the department.

The transformed space features computers, a printer, bookcases, and files to accommodate a growing collection of books and documents donated by Lyczkowski and Illinois Tech faculty. 

“I think it turned out very nice and comfortable,” says Lyczkowski. “It adds some shine.” 

With a carpeted floor and comfortable furniture, the reading room provides a welcoming atmosphere giving students a quiet place to study in between classes.    

“This room provides a very inviting space for students to collaborate on their educational endeavors and also socially interact to improve their overall educational experience at Illinois Tech’s CHBE department,” says Sohail Murad, department chair and professor of chemical engineering. 

The dedication was originally planned for March 2021 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vice President of Advancement Ernie Iseminger officiated the ceremony. 

“We are honored to call Bob Lyczkowski an alum of the Armour College of Engineering, and we thank him for his ongoing philanthropy in support of the CHBE department,” says Carol and Ed Kaplan Dean of Armour College of Engineering Ken Christensen. “As we undertake a bold renewal of Armour College’s excellence, it is the generosity and support of alumni like Bob that will help us pave this path to success.”

Lyczkowski has been an ongoing supporter of Illinois Tech. In addition to supporting these renovations, he previously helped to establish the Endowed Gidaspow Fellowship and initiated the Endowed Lyczkowski Fellowship, both of which support graduate students. 

He has also established the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering with the  Robert W. Lyczkowski Endowed Lecture Series, which is planned to begin in spring 2022.