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About Julian Smith

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At the time of his retirement in 1986, Professor Emeritus Julian C. Smith had completed forty years of service to Cornell University. A member of the Cornell class of 1941, Smith was appointed to the faculty of the School of Chemical Engineering in 1946 as an assistant professor. He was named associate professor in 1949, and became a full professor in 1953.

Professor Smith served as director of continuing education for the College of Engineering from 1965 through 1971 and as director of the School of Chemical Engineering from 1975 until 1983. He guided the school through a period of unprecedented growth, increasing the emphasis on research and greatly expanding the graduate program.

He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a member of the American Chemical Society. His textbook, Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, written with Warren L. McCabe, was first published in 1956 and has been translated into Greek, Spanish, and Indonesian. The seventh edition (with Cornell professor Peter Harriott as the third author on editions 4-7) appeared in 2005. Smith also authored, The School of Chemical Engineering at Cornell: A History of the First Fifty Years, which was published in 1988.

Prior to his passing in 2015, Professor Smith had been a long-time advisor to the U.S. government on engineering education in the United States and abroad, and had served as a consultant to several major corporations on chemical process design and the disposal of nuclear waste.