50 years of chemical engineering: Prof Julian Chaudhuri reflects

Posted in: 50 years of chemical engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Design, Staff experiences

In this series of blog posts celebrating our Department of Chemical Engineering's 50th anniversary, we asked previous Heads of Depts about their time at Bath. Here, Professor Julian Chaudhuri, who was Head of Department from 2007- 2011, and is now Pro-Vice-Chancellor (education and Global), answers our questions.

What did you find most challenging in your time in the Department?

Trying to teach multi-component distillation to final-year students, in my first year lecturing – having been told by the then HoD  ‘its good for you!’

What is/was your favourite subject to teach?

Anything to do with biochemical engineering – it really is the best!

What were some of your highlights or achievements?

  • Developing my PhD students and post-docs and seeing them go on to have brilliant careers
  • Helping relaunch and reimagine the student-led annual ball as HoD in 2007.
  • Co-founding two University research centres with biochemical engineering at the heart: Centre for Extremophile Research (with Biology & Biochemistry), and the Centre for Regenerative Medicine ( with Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmacy & Pharmacology)

Do you have a favourite spot at the University or in the Department?

Yes, but I’m not telling you as it’s where I go to hide and do some work!

If you were to have a chemical engineering-related tattoo (e.g. formula, famous engineer, quote etc), what would it be?

A tattoo of the DNA double helix, because without that, there would be no biochemical engineering, which really was the best subject to learn, teach, and do research in.

Do you have any inspiring colleagues, lecturers, friends, or students you'd like to thank?

Professor John Howell, who recruited and mentored me. Also, Mike Bird and Tom Arnot – we started together as lecturers in 1991 and are still going some 30 years later!

If you had to describe the Department (in your time) in three words, what would they be?

  1. Welcoming
  2. Life-changing
  3. Better than everyone else thought we were!

Posted in: 50 years of chemical engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Design, Staff experiences

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