Celebrated UH researcher and national academy member Neal Amundson, known as the "father of chemical engineering," was Luss' Ph.D adviser back in Minnesota and had a major impact on his professional career.
"He taught me not only how to conduct research and select suitable research goals but also how a good department should operate," Luss said. "My greatest accomplishment as a chair was convincing him to join UH. He has been a great asset to our department, as well as to the math department, and helped both to develop and recruit outstanding faculty members."
Thus far, Luss has garnered more than $6.7 million in funding, either as principal investigator or collaborator. He has published more than 290 journal articles and was named to the National Academy of Engineering in 1984.
Focusing on various aspects of chemical reactors' design, operation and control, Luss' research group develops policies that prevent chemical reactors from "runaways," or rapid, uncontrollable temperature increases that may lead to explosions. Other research projects have aimed to increase the efficiency of chemical processes and centered on the large-scale synthesis of advanced ceramics, such as superconducting materials.
"He's always had extremely high standards and tenacity second to none," said Harold, adding that Luss juggled the competing demands of his research and the department with great skill.
Balakotaiah agreed. "He is not only an excellent researcher but also an outstanding administrator who has utmost respect for scholarship," he said.
Luss has served as a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' council and president of the International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering, U.S.A. He is editor of the Plenum Book series in chemical engineering, editor of Review in Chemical Engineering and a member of the editorial board of IEC Research and Catalysis Reviews-Science and Engineeri
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University of Houston