Nov. 30, 2017
- The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) lost a beloved alumnus, friend, and colleague, Arnold "Arnie" Fredrickson (ChE '54, M.S. '56), on November 27, 2017. Fredrickson was born in Faribault, Minnesota on April 11, 1932 and earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin under the direction of Professor Robert Bird. Fredrickson worked as a Process Engineer at ADM, Co. in Minneapolis for one year before joining the CEMS faculty in 1958. He served on the CEMS faculty until his retirement in 2001.
Fredrickson was one of the founding faculty of The BioTechnology Institute (BPTI) at the University of Minnesota. In his early collaborative work with Prof. H.M. Tsuchiya, who was a microbiologist, Fredrickson experienced the benefits of interdisciplinary research between engineers and biologists. This was the touchstone of the BPTI - to conduct research at the interface of engineering and biology. Fredrickson's early work in mathematical modeling of cell populations was seminal for much of today's work in cell population dynamics.
Fredrickson was an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was an avid nature and wildlife photographer. He got hooked on photography at the age of 32 when he received a Kodak Instamatic camera for his birthday. Fredrickson started out photographing wildflowers and landscapes, but discovered white pelicans at age 66 and was captivated by photographing birds. Soon he included tundra and trumpeter swans, herons and egrets, and sandhill cranes in his passion for the big birds. He also served as a volunteer trumpeter swan monitor for the Three Rivers Park District.
Fredrickson's legacy in CEMS is further exemplified through funds that were established in his honor by friends and former students, including the Arnie Fredrickson Fellowship Fund and Arnie Fredrickson Symposium Fund.