Octave Levenspiel is Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University, with primary interests in the design of chemical reactors. He was born in Shanghai China in 1926, where he attended a German grade school, an English high school and a French university. He started out wanting to be an astronomer, but it was not in the stars, and he somehow found himself in chemical engineering. He studied at U. C. Berkeley and at Oregon State where he received a Ph.D. in 1952.
His pioneering book, "Chemical Reaction Engineering" was the very first in the field, has numerous foreign editions, and has been translated into 13 foreign languages (the most of any engineering text anywhere). His other books are, "The Chemical Reactor Omnibook", "Fluidization Engineering" (with a co-author D. Kunii), "Engineering Flow and Heat Exchange" and "Understanding Engineering Thermo", all of which have been translated into foreign languages. Octave recently gathered his notes and musings together and self-published his favorite book "Rambling Through Science and Technology" and in 2011 "Tracer Technology, Modeling the Flow of Fluids" was published as part of a series on Fluid Mechanics.
Octave has received major recognition from A.I.Ch.E. (the R.H.Wilhelm award, the W.K. Lewis award and the Founders award with gold medal), from A.S.E.E. (the ChE Lectureship award), the P.V. Danckwerts award of the IChE, three honorary doctorates, (one from France, one from Serbia, and one from the Colorado School of Mines), and he was elected in 2000 into the National Academy of Engineering. In 2011, Octave received a Fluidization Achievement Award from the fluidization community at the CFB-10 Conference in Bend, Oregon for his tremendous contribution to the field.
Of his numerous writings two have been selected as Citation Classics by the Institute of Scientific Information. But what pleases him most is being called the "Doctor Seuss" of chemical engineering.