UB CBE Receives $1M endowment to create the Walter E. Schmid Chair in Chemical Engineering

Walter E. Schmid.

Walter E. Schmid

Published October 5, 2021

SUNY Distinguished Professor David A. Kofke has been selected as the first holder of this chaired professorship.

“One area of growing interest is in developing materials for separation systems, to reduce energy requirements and improve the sustainability of the processes we rely on to serve society’s needs. I’d like to develop and apply new methods, models, and tools that can guide my colleagues as they design and synthesize these materials. ”
Walter E. Schmid Chair in Chemical Engineering


In 1959, together with James Meyers, Walter founded Chemical Design, Inc. (CDI) in Lockport, NY, where the company is still going strong. CDI specializes in purification of gases and liquids, using molecular sieves and other catalysts. Mr. Schmid developed many new processes that are still used in chemical plants today. One of these technologies was a leap forward in safety and reliability for air separation plants. Another is critical for growing silicon for use in solar cells and computer chips. The success of CDI provided  the basis for establishing the Walter E. Schmid Family Foundation as a philanthropic entity, which also generously supports an undergraduate scholarship in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UB.

David A. Kofke.

Professor Kofke  at the Taj Mahal during a workshop and conference  in Feb., 2020

Professor Kofke is a globally recognized leader in the development of molecular simulation and statistical mechanical methods for prediction of fluid properties. He served as Department Chair of UB CBE from 2006 to 2012, and currently serves as Director of Undergraduate studies. Both his research and teaching activities have been recognized with numerous awards.