CEAT mourns the loss of CHE emeriti faculty member and friend
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
CEAT was saddened to receive the news that emeriti CHE faculty member Dr. Kenneth Bell passed away on April 17, 2023.
Ken was a Regents Professor Emeritus and Kerr-McGee Chair in Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He started his career at OSU as an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering in 1961. He was a world renowned expert in the areas of Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer and Heat Exchanger Design that spanned the fields of both chemical and mechanical engineering. He wrote many books and journal articles in the field that were highly used and referenced even to this day. His work was funded by all of the major federal and state agencies, as well as by numerous companies. He also had a long and active consulting career with too many companies and organizations to list.
He had an impact on students by teaching many of our classes in the department and college, and was the research advisor for 29 PhD and 40 MS students. He was active in service across the university, serving on faculty council and as interim department head for chemical engineering. Even as an emeritus faculty member, he continued to stay active on campus in various emeriti groups. He rose through the ranks and became an emeritus Regents Professor in 1994, which he remained until his passing.
"He never really retired, because those that knew Ken, know that he always stayed active in contributing to his field and the university," said Dr. Heahter Fahlenkamp, department head for the School of Chemical Engineering. "When I joined the department in 2006, Ken still had an office on the floor and was in the office working on a regular basis. His record and reputation in the field was very impressive, but just as impressive was his energy and commitment he put into everything he did. One of my fondest memories of Ken was trying to match his energy running up the stairs to the 4th floor, not mattering that I was over forty years his junior. He also took the time to help mentor new faculty and made an impact on the careers of many of us still in the department. Ken will be greatly missed and is irreplaceable. We are forever grateful for all he did for OSU and the field of chemical engineering and will honor his memory by following in his example."