Blue Hen by choice, you were born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, earned both your Bachelor of Science and your Master of Science degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta, and worked for several years as an engineer in Quebec. You then decided to come south. Perhaps you were motivated by a desire to escape the cold, but there is no doubt that you liked what you found here in Delaware. You matriculated at the University of Delaware as a chemical engineering graduate student in 1961, and you never left.
You began teaching part time at UD while still a doctoral student, and upon completion of your degree you immediately joined the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. You retired recently after nearly five decades of academic service to the University and were honored with the title of Allan P. Colburn Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering.
Esteemed and respected teacher, several generations of engineering students have benefited from your unique understanding of both engineering and pedagogy. You brought real-world experience to the classroom, and you made it possible for your students to get hands-on experience through both formal internships and informal interactions with corporate engineers.
As testament to your success as a teacher, you received both the University's Excellence in Teaching Award and its Francis Alison Award. The American Society for Engineering Education awarded you its Lifetime Achievement Award in Chemical Engineering Pedagogical Scholarship. And, in your honor, the University of Delaware has seen fit to perpetuate your commitment to undergraduate research and internship experiences with the establishment of the T. W. Fraser Russell Undergraduate Enrichment Endowment.
Innovative researcher, your able presence in the classroom was matched by your significant contributions as a research engineer. Your research areas included semiconductor reaction and reactor engineering and fundamental studies of multi-phase fluid motions. You applied these basic studies to the design and operation of commercial scale equipment for both the photovoltaic and chemical process industries. You hold six patents and have authored nearly 100 technical publications as well as two texts used in chemical engineering undergraduate programs.
You have contributed your expertise to nearly two dozen corporations through short-term and long-term consultancies. Your most significant contribution was to the DuPont Company, where you consulted an average of one day per week for thirty years. In recognition of your guidance and technical leadership, the DuPont Company presented you with its Engineering Excellence Award, an honor traditionally reserved for DuPont engineers and scientists.
Effective and accomplished administrator, at various times during your career you have served the University as Chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Acting Dean of the College of Engineering, Director of the Institute for Energy Conversion, and most recently, Vice Provost for Research. Under your leadership as Vice Provost, sponsored research funding to the University increased dramatically. In addition, the UD Technology Corporation was initiated and the University significantly increased its technology transfer activities, resulting in the formation of start-up companies based on University technologies and new licenses of University technology to industry. In every administrative role you filled, your leadership was universally respected and admired.
In his preface to The Idea of a University, Cardinal John Henry Newman famously wrote, "To discover and to teach are distinct functions; they are also distinct gifts, and are not commonly found united in the same person." We always knew that you were an uncommon man, Dr. Russell–not only a gifted researcher and teacher but also a highly effective administrator. It seems, Dr. Russell, that you can do it all, and we are most grateful that you chose the University of Delaware as your academic home these many years.
Therefore, under the authority of the Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware, I have the pleasure and honor of conferring upon you, T. W. Fraser Russell, the degree of Doctor of Science and do declare you entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges to that degree appertaining throughout the world. In testimony thereof, I am pleased to present to you this diploma.
A. Gilchrist Sparks III
May 29, 2010