Abstract: Alan Turing and Martin Feinberg were two of the most abstract thinkers in the history of scientific computing. Their theories led to successful and practical applications for chemical reaction systems, thus validating the maxim that there is nothing so practical as a good theory. In this lecture we will take a 90 year journey from the 1930’s to the 2020’s to discover how we arrived at the current state-of-the-art, and how to calculate the ultimate selectivity of a complex reaction system over all conceivable integrated reactor configurations without ever needing to specify exactly what the integrated process actually is. The results of the methodology do not lead directly to a practical embodiment of a chemical process but they often give insights that stimulate the imagination of creative chemical engineers.
Bio: Michael F. Doherty is the Duncan & Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Process Systems Engineering and former Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Trinity College Cambridge. To mark its centenary in 2008 the AIChE named him one of the One Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era. He serves as an external member of the Royal Dutch Shell Science Board.