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Department History

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7/28/1964 David M. Mason, professor of chemical engineering, in front of library periodical shelves.

In 1960, Professor David Mason seized the opportunity to create an autonomous Department of Chemical Engineering as a result of a Ford Foundation grant to Stanford. The most notable aspect of the succeeding events is the rapidity with which Dave built up the department, hired senior and junior faculty, and provided the department with its first home, the John Stauffer Building, third of the buildings in the Stauffer complex. 

Early faculty pioneered or substantially influenced the emerging field of chemical engineering in a number of important areas including catalysis and transport/fluid mechanics. More recently, the department has added bioengineering and soft-material science to its core areas of excellence and has made a growing commitment to technology development that complements its long-held strength in fundamental applied science and molecular engineering.