The University of Utah’s College of Engineering is pleased to announce that chemical engineering professor and former associate dean for research, Eric Eddings, has been named the new chair of the U’s Department of Chemical Engineering. Meanwhile, chemical engineering professor Kevin Whitty has been appointed to replace Eddings as the new associate dean for research for the college. Both positions took effect July 1.


Eddings was associate dean since 2011. He replaces professor Milind Deo as the new chair of the U’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

Eddings earned a bachelor’s and doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the U. He worked as a lead chemist at Unisys Corp, a senior engineer and vice president of business development for Reaction Engineering International, and is a partner with Amaron Energy in Salt Lake City.

He joined the U in 1998 as a research assistant professor, was hired as a tenure-line associate professor in 2001 and was promoted to professor in 2009. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education and the Combustion Institute. His research area is in the utilization of fossil and renewable fuels, both for energy production and as a resource for the development of high-value products such as carbon fiber.

Eddings earned an honorary degree from the University of Miskolc in Hungary and received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the U’s College of Engineering, the Outstanding Instructor from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Honor Award.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve my fellow faculty colleagues and the great students in the Department of Chemical Engineering in this new role,” Eddings said. “I look forward to building on the great momentum of previous chairs, to continue growth in faculty size, research productivity and student excellence.”

Deo will return to teaching and his research on oil pipeline flow assurance, natural gas, hydrocarbon fuels and carbon dioxide capture. He was first named acting chair of the chemical engineering department in 2010 and permanent chair a year later. He is currently the Peter D. and Catherine R. Meldrum professor and chemical engineering director for the Petroleum Research Center.


Whitty joined the University of Utah in 2001. He became associate professor in 2006 and was promoted to full professor in 2015. He has 25 years’ experience in high temperature processing of fossil and renewable resources for production of power, heat, chemicals and fuels. His research focuses on advanced technologies for energy production with CO2 capture including gasification, chemical looping and high pressure oxy-coal combustion.

Whitty received a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and a master’s and doctorate degree from Åbo Akademi University in Finland, all in chemical engineering. Prior to joining the U, he spent four years in industry managing research and directing pilot operations for energy technology development companies in Stockholm, Sweden.

He also has an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Miskolc in Hungary, was given the Professional Achievement Award for Innovations in Green Process Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and received the University of Utah’s Celebrate U Achievement Award in 2016.

As associate dean for research, Whitty is responsible for administration of the research enterprise of the college, the departmental BEEF awards, the Honors program, College graduate fellowships, and co-chairs the University Seed Grant program. He works with the Dean on Retention, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) reviews, faculty mentoring and publicity efforts. He is also responsible for facilitating collaborative research efforts between faculty members from different departments and colleges across campus.

“I am excited to be joining the Dean’s office as associate dean for research,” Whitty said. “The faculty and students in engineering are amazing and there is a lot of really interesting research taking place in all departments. I look forward to contributing to the continued growth and success of the college.”