Dr. Giuseppe R. Palmese, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Engineering and professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), was named the first George B. Francis Professor of Engineering this week at an installation ceremony with an abundance of well-wishers in attendance.
Palmese has been with the College of Engineering for 18 years. He served 12 years as CBE department head, presiding over unprecedented growth there: undergraduate enrollment more than doubled, seven new faculty members were hired, and more graduates were matriculated under his leadership than the sum of all previous departmental graduates. Palmese has also served as associate dean of finance and administration for the College, and as interim dean from January 2017 to August 2018. He is a professor of materials science and engineering by courtesy.
His research focuses on thermosetting polymers and composites. He is an internationally recognized leader in his field.
“I thank my colleagues who, from the first day I set foot on campus, have provided a collaborative environment conducive to scientific discourse, discovery, and progress,” Palmese said to those gathered at the A.J. Drexel Picture Gallery. “Though we tend in academia to focus on individual accomplishment, I believe it is collaboration that generates the greatest results.”
He added, “I must thank my graduate students, current and past. Without you, my work would not be possible. With time, one realizes the great satisfaction that comes in seeing the success of the PhD students we have mentored years after graduation. I am fortunate to have witnessed quite a few. I see some of you here today. Keep doing great things.”
Palmese’s accomplishments as researcher and teacher were lauded in a series of speeches, beginning with Dr. Sharon L. Walker, PhD, dean of the College. Drexel’s Executive Vice President and Nina Henderson Provost M. Brian Blake was also on-hand to congratulate Palmese, along with faculty from the CBE department and throughout the College, students, and members of Palmese’s family, including his wife Elizabeth and their three children.
At Drexel, Palmese has obtained grants totaling more than $25M. He has more than 250 publications and 18 issued patents to his credit. His intellectual property involving materials from renewable sources has been licensed twice and is presently being commercialized. Palmese has mentored 20 PhD students through graduation; two of them, both women, now hold faculty appointments at other universities.