HOUSTON, Jan. 29, 2009 At every university, there are faculty members who inspire their peers and make permanent marks on their students. Few, however, manage to maintain superior research, reputations and relationships with the longevity and consistency of the University of Houston's professor Dan Luss.
Luss, whose legacy will be honored this week at a dinner and lecture series marking his 70th birthday, has spent more than four decades researching and teaching chemical engineering at UH's Cullen College of Engineering.
"There is no greater satisfaction than being honored by your colleagues, especially as this will be a very distinguished group," Luss said. "It is also very pleasing to be able to meet many ex-students, many of whom have come from out of town, and to find out about their achievements and accomplishments."
Luss' colleagues two of them his former students say he's a tireless mentor and natural leader.
Luss, who led UH's chemical engineering department for more than 20 years, laid the foundation to make the program one of the best in the nation, according to professor Ramanan Krishnamoorti, who today heads up the department, which now also covers biomolecular engineering.
"Much like his research, Dan has not feared to ask hard questions and challenge the accepted ideas in building a great academic program," Krishnamoorti said. "And these insightful introspections have created the legacy of the research, students and an academic department that reflect the ideals that he has brought to bear amongst several generations of UH students, faculty and the chemical engineering community."
Luss waxes poetic when describing the evolution of the department throughout his tenure at UH.
"When I look back, I realize that we are like a phoenix that magical bird that periodically is consumed by fire, rising renewed from the ashes to start a new and more active life," he said. "Our research intere
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University of Houston