In Memoriam: Lanny Schmidt, Regents Professor Emeritus

March 28, 2020 - Regents Professor Emeritus Lanny D. Schmidt passed away on March 27, 2020 with his wife, Sherry, by his side. He was born on May 6, 1938 in Waukegan, Illinois. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Wheaton College in 1960 and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1964. He served on the CEMS faculty for 49 years (1965-2014). He was a beloved faculty member and supervised approximately 90 Ph.D. theses and 15 M.S. theses at Minnesota.

His research focused on various aspects of the chemistry and engineering of chemical reactions on solid surfaces. He also researched catalytic partial oxidation to convert methane and higher alkanes into syngas, olefins, and oxygenated hydrocarbons using monolith catalysts operated autothermically with very short residence time. Renewable fuels such as alcohols, biodiesel, carbohydrates, and lignocellulose were also areas of interest.

Schmidt published over 350 papers in refereed journals and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Among his many honors, he was awarded the Neal R. Amundson Award at the 3rd North American Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering, Parravano Award (1997) by the Michigan Catalysis Society, the Alpha Xi Sigma Award (1993) by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a Humboldt Prize (1994) from Germany. He was honored by several institutions through supported lectures.

Lanny & Charlotte (Sherry) Schmidt, along with Lanny's student, Duane Goetsch, and his wife, Nancy Dickerson, created the "Lanny and Charlotte Schmidt and Duane Goetsch and Nancy M. Dickerson Fellowship" in 2003 to support CEMS graduate education.

A memorial service will be held at Hope Church of Richfield when larger gatherings are permitted. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (University of Minnesota), Wheaton College (IL), Hope Church of Richfield Building Fund, or charity of donor's choice.

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