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Lynd Awarded Queneau Professorship

Mar 04, 2011

CONTACT: Catharine Lamm

Lee Lynd
Lee Lynd

The next appointee to Thayer School's Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professorship in Environmental Engineering Design has been approved by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. The Queneau Chair, designated for an outstanding authority in chemical engineering recognized for solving environmental problems of industry, will be held by Professor of Engineering Lee Rybeck Lynd (left).

A member of the Dartmouth engineering faculty since 1987, Professor Lynd is also Adjunct Professor of Biology at Dartmouth, Professor Extraordinary of Microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and co-founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Mascoma Corporation, a biomass energy start-up. Lynd holds a B.S. in biology from Bates College, an M.S. in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, and master's and doctoral degrees in engineering from Dartmouth.

Lynd is an expert on utilization of plant biomass for production of energy. His contributions span the science, technology, and policy domains and include leading research on fundamental and biotechnological aspects of microbial cellulose utilization. He has led an active research group addressing these issues over the last two decades, authoring over 75 archival papers, book chapters, and reviews as well as 11 patents and patent applications.

A frequently invited presenter on technical and strategic aspects of biomass energy, Lynd has three times testified before the United States Senate and was a speaker at the 2007 Nobel Conference. In 2007 Lynd was the inaugural recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Sustainability prize for inventions and innovations that enhance economic opportunity and community well-being while protecting and restoring the natural environment. In 2005 he received the Charles D. Scott Award for distinguished contributions to the field of biotechnology for fuels and chemicals.

Created with the entire income from Professor of Engineering Emeritus Paul E. Queneau's 12 inventions during his tenure at Thayer School from 1971 to 1997, the Queneau Chair is augmented by a grant from INCO, for which Professor Queneau served as vice president and chief technical officer before coming to Thayer School.

Paul and Joan Queneau
Paul and Joan Queneau

An Engineer Officer and Colonel in World War II, Queneau (right with wife, Joan) graduated third in his class of 1,500 at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After decorated service overseas—participating in the devastation of five campaigns from the Normandy Beach-head to beyond the Rhine—he returned home to his wife and children dedicated to environmental conservation. Queneau, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has been awarded 36 U.S. patents mainly devoted to continuous converters and processes employing oxygen technology to achieve environmentally-clean, energy- and cost-saving metal production. In Queneau's eyes, technical progress and environmental conservation are allies.

Professor Queneau's wife, Joan, was equally committed to protecting the environment, as reflected by the Joan Hodges Queneau Palladium Medal named for her services to environmental conservation. This award is given jointly by the National Audubon Society and the American Association of Engineering Societies, and emphasizes the importance of mutual understanding between conservationists and engineers.

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