Austin Lamont Tyler, a beloved professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah who was chair of the department for 13 years and a former member of the Utah Legislature, passed away May 8, 2022, in his Millcreek, Utah, home after a brief illness. He was 85.

The eldest of five children, Lamont was born July 21, 1936, in Provo, Utah, and graduated from Provo High school in 1954. He then attended the University of Utah’s College of Engineering where he earned a bachelor’s in 1961 and a doctorate degree in 1965, both in chemical engineering.

During and after college, he worked for a range of companies, including Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Idaho Falls, Hercules Powder Company in Salt Lake City, Bell Telephone Laboratories in Pennsylvania, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California.

Tyler joined the University of Utah in 1970, first as an assistant professor of chemical engineering and was named associate professor in 1978. He was named a full professor in 1983. He was chair of the U’s Department of Chemical Engineering from 1981 to 1994. After retiring, Tyler taught classes at Salt Lake Community College from 2005 until his death in subjects ranging from algebra to chemical engineering courses such as “Material and Energy Balances.”

Tyler’s research focused on the study of oil shales, heavy oil and catalytic cracking. He was a co-developer of a staged low-profile fluidized catalytic cracker (LP-FCC) technology and spearheaded the development and construction of pilot-scale LP-FCC unit, operated at the University of Utah’s off-campus energy research lab. He was then instrumental in the design, construction, and operation of a 1,000-barrel-per-day commercial demonstration unit (CDU) that operated at the Flying J Refinery in North Salt Lake, Utah. He was also a technical support liaison for a later generation of the LP-FCC technology constructed at FUELogistics’ Crude Oil Upgrade Facility in Duchesne, Utah.

In addition to a sterling academic career, Tyler also was elected as a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1995 to 2002, and he served a senior church mission in Australia with his wife, Carol, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2002 to 2004.

“Public education was an important issue to him while in the legislature, and he bestowed upon his posterity a love of learning,” according to his family obituary. “All seven children graduated from college, four with advanced degrees. One of his retirement goals was to establish college savings to pay tuition for each of his 23 grandchildren and he has helped fund each of their education, including bequeathing funds for those yet to pursue higher education.”

As an educator and researcher, Tyler has received numerous awards and was a member of many engineering societies. He was given the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Outstanding Counselor Award and Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He was also director and vice chair of the Great Salt Lake Section of AIChE and a member of the Utah Engineers Council, among others.

All services will be held at the East Millcreek 2nd Ward Chapel at 3750 S. 2500 East (Hillside Ln), Millcreek, Utah. Visitations will be held Friday, May 13 from 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. The funeral service will follow commencing at 11 a.m.

You can read his family obituary here.