NJAIChE Meeting April 8, 2014

Note: Meeting Date has changed to Thursday April 10, 2014

NEW JERSEY and NORTH JERSEY SECTIONS of AIChE, with the North Jersey Chromatography Group of the American Chemical Society

Great Inventions that Changed the World


Dr James Wei


We have made tremendous progress in the last two million years, in comparison with the natural condition of mankind which is said to be “nasty, brutish, and short”.  Great inventions began with the stone axe two million years ago, to supplement the meager teeth and claws that we were given by nature; the latest are the computer and internet, which connect us well with friends and the world.  Inventions and technology are the most dynamic forces of change and progress in the world today.

Our expectations of a future with increasing prosperity and better quality of life are dependent on a continued stream of new inventions.  We are besieged by shortages of resources like water and energy, by natural calamities of hurricanes and earthquakes, by epidemic diseases such as malaria and AIDS, and by the dread of terrorists and nuclear wars.  We clamor for new inventions to solve these problems.

Every citizen of the world would benefit from the knowledge of how inventions were made, how they can change the world by intention or by surprise, and from discussions on how to use and manage inventions wisely.


James Wei received his Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952, M.S. and Sc.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1954 and 1955 (with a minor in Fine Arts from Harvard).  He also has a degree in Advanced Management from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1969.

He began his career as a Research Chemical Engineer for Mobil Oil Research in 1955, and advanced to Manager of Long-Range Analysis by 1969.  From 1971-1977, he was the Allan P. Colburn Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware.  He joined MIT in 1977 where he served as Department Head of Chemical Engineering until 1988, and was the Warren K. Lewis Professor from 1977-1991.  Between 1991 and 2002, he was Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University.  From 1991-2010, he was also Pomeroy and Betty Perry Smith Professor of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University.  He is now Emeritus Professor.

Dr. Wei has published more than 130 research papers on chemical kinetics, catalysis, reaction engineering, and cancer chemotherapy.  He is the author of many books, including “Product Engineering” with Oxford University Press in 2007, and “Great Inventions that Changed the World” with John Wiley in 2012.  He served as the president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 1988.  Among Dr. Wei’s honors are:  Member of the National Academy of Engineering, 1978; Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1982; Member of Academia Sinica, 1982.


Meeting Logistics


Thursday April 10, 2014 


     Registration and Networking 6:00 PM

     Dinner 6:30 PM

     Program 7:30 PM



Snuffy’s Restaurant Mountain and Park Avenues, Scotch Plains www.pantagis.com
(250 Park Avenue Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, phone 908-322-7726)



Members and Guests …………………..………..$25

Unemployed/Retired Section members………. $15

Students………………………………………….…No Charge

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