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Edwin R. Gilliland

Edwin Richard Gilliland
BornJuly 10, 1909
El Reno, Oklahoma
DiedMarch 10, 1973
Belmont, Massachusetts
ResidenceArlington, Massachusetts
FieldChemical engineering
Alma materUniversity of Illinois
Academic advisor  Thomas K. Sherwood
Known forFractional distillation columns
fluidized catalytic cracking

Edwin Richard Gilliland (1909–1973) was an American chemical engineer and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gilliland was born on July 10, 1909 in El Reno, Oklahoma and moved with his family to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1918. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in 1930 and an M.S. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1931. He received his Sc.D. from MIT in 1933 under the direction of Thomas K. Sherwood for work on a wetted-wall column technique used in mass-transfer. With Professor Warren K. Lewis, Gilliland developed mathematical analyses of fractional distillation columns and both developed fluidized catalytic cracking techniques. He consulted extensively with Exxon, Merck, Goodyear, General Electric, and Nestle and also served as the President and CEO of Ionics, Inc. between 1946 and 1971.

Gilliland also held several appointed offices in public service. He was the Assistant Rubber Director for the War Production Board between 1942 and 1944, Deputy Chief of the Chemical Engineering division of the National Defense Research Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Guided Missiles Committee on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the President's Science Advisory Committee under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1948 and the National Academy of Engineering in 1965.

Gilliland married Ann Frances Miller in 1938 and had one daughter, Gail.


  • P.L. Thibaut Brian. Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 1 (1979). National Academies Press. Retrieved on 2007-04-22.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edwin_R._Gilliland". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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