On Wednesday, 2 November 2011, Professor Christopher Hewitt of Loughborough University presented Professor Howard Chase with the Donald Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
Professor Hewitt read out the nomination, "With initial undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Biochemistry, Howard has shown himself to be both technically fearless and culturally broadminded in the many significant impacts he has made in various fields of Process Technology since his appointment to the Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering in 1984. His thorough approach to industrially relevant research, together with his enthusiastic leadership and training of young research teams, has earned him a deserved reputation for rigour, candour and insight in the highest academic and industrial circles.
Although known principally for his activities in bioprocessing, downstream processing and bioseparations, he has also led productive research in biological waste treatment and the use of microwave heating in process engineering applications.
Howard has always moved with the times and proactively responded to new industrial needs. Most recently, he has established activities in the field of bioprocesses customised to service manufacturing needs in regenerative medicine. Novel bioreactors have been developed to optimize up-scaled growth and proliferation of stem cells in suspended culture, and new adsorbents and contactors have been established based upon perflorocarbon constructs to achieve the selective separation of different mammalian cell types.
In addition to this cutting edge research activity and associated teaching, Howard has contributed greatly to the functions of the University of Cambridge. He was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering (1998-2006) and more recently assumed Headship of the University School of Technology with an annual turnover of over £50 million."
The medal is awarded by the Biochemical Engineering Subject Group of the IChemE for outstanding services in biochemical engineering and is named after a long-serving Honorary Secretary and former Ramsay Professor at University College London where biochemical engineering was first established in the UK.
After presenting the silver medal and scroll to Prof Chase, Prof Hewitt went on to give a seminar entitled "Challenges for stem cell bioprocessing - scale-up or scale-out?"