Chemical engineering’s Stan Sandler reaches 50-year mark as UD faculty member
Stan Sandler usually takes the steps to get to his second-floor office in the University of Delaware’s Colburn Lab. But today he’s taking the elevator because he’s hauling two black bags filled with heavy books — books that will be added to a growing pile destined to be shipped to developing countries including Nigeria and Ethiopia. It’s easy to accumulate a lot of books over the course of an academic career, especially one that spans half a century, and, even with 150 or 200 books already boxed up, the shelves in Sandler’s office are far from empty. While Sandler is proud of those awards — which include membership in the National Academy of Engineering and being named one of the top 30 chemical engineering authors by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers — there are other things for which he would like to be remembered. The first, he says, is the many books he has authored, including two new ones in just the past two years. “One of my texts is now in its fifth edition,” he says. “It not only changed what we do here but also has had an impact on instruction around the world.” He’s also proud of the accomplishments of his students, his efforts to promote the use of computers in chemical engineering instruction, and his initiation of a conference series in thermodynamics that was supposed to be a one-time event but so far has had a 40-year run. The most recent meeting was last year in Porto, Portugal. Now the Henry Belin du Pont Chair of Chemical Engineering at UD, Sandler has served as department chair and as interim dean of the College of Engineering, but his heart lies with research and teaching, not with administration.