Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas, director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and the Erle Nye ’59 Chair Professor for Engineering Excellence in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, passed away at age 56 in August while on vacation with his family in Greece.
He previously served Princeton University for 29 years and was the Stephen C. Macaleer ’63 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Emeritus at Princeton.
Born in Ioannina, Greece, he earned a diploma of chemical engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1982 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1986, studying under Professor I. E. Grossmann.
During a career that spanned four decades, Floudas developed useful tools for optimization of, and found novel pathways for, energy conversion and conservation. The scope of his research included chemical process synthesis and design, process control and operations, discrete-continuous nonlinear optimization, local and global optimization, and computational chemistry and molecular biology.
Professor Floudas was a world-renowned authority in mathematical modeling and optimization of complex systems. His research interests were at the interface of chemical engineering, applied mathematics, and operations research, with principal areas of focus including multi-scale systems engineering for energy and the environment, chemical process synthesis and design, process operations, discrete-continuous nonlinear optimization, local and global optimization, and computational chemistry and molecular biology.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for teaching and research, including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011, selection as a member of TAMEST (The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Sciences of Texas) in 2015, and induction as a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens in 2015. Among other recognitions, Floudas was the recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1988, the 2001 AIChE Professional Progress Award for Outstanding Progress in Chemical Engineering, the 2006 AIChE Computing in Chemical Engineering Award, and he was named a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in 2014 for the 11 years between 2002-2012 and again in 2015.
Amid all of these awards, he was particularly proud of the Graduate Mentoring Award that he received at Princeton University in 2007.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Fotini Flouda, as well as their daughter, Ismini Flouda.
A memorial will be held in his honor on the campus of Texas A&M University.