Carnegie Mellon University
December 15, 2017

Bob Tilton named the Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering

It is with great honor that the Department of Chemical Engineering would like to congratulate Robert Tilton on being appointed as the Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering. Professor Tilton succeeds Professor Dennis Prieve who held this title under the former name of, “Gulf Professor of Chemical Engineering” from 1997 until his retirement in 2017.

Robert Tilton serves as Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.  He earned degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware (B.Ch.E., 1986) and Stanford University (M.S., 1987; Ph.D., 1991).  Bob began his Carnegie Mellon academic career in 1992 immediately after completing postdoctoral research at the Institute for Surface Chemistry and the Royal Institute of Technology Chemistry Department in Stockholm, Sweden.

His research addresses fundamental adsorption, self-assembly and nanoscale interaction processes that control multicomponent complex fluid and colloidal systems as well as their application in industrial, biological and environmental settings.   Particular emphasis is placed on surfactant, polymer and colloidal interfacial phenomena and their role in emulsification, foaming, lubrication, colloidal stabilization and thin film dynamics.

He has served as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Councilor representing the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry. Nearly continuously since 1999, he has been a member of that Division’s Executive Committee, including a term as Chair and as a member or chair of several ACS subcommittees.  He was a regular member of the National Institutes of Health Nanotechnology Study Section from 2009 to 2013 and is currently a fellow of the ACS and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. In addition, Bob is an Editor of the Elsevier journal Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects.

The Chevron Chair provides well-deserved recognition of Professor Tilton’s past and future accomplishments as well as financial support for his continuing research, academic, and student mentorship efforts. 


In a celebration on February 26, 2018, Professor Robert D. Tilton was officially installed as The Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering.  The presentation of the Chevron Chair to Professor Tilton honors his outstanding research and academic accomplishments to date, in addition to recognizing the promise of his continuing excellence in this field.  

The Chair was presented to Professor Tilton by Stacey Olson, President, Chevron Appalachia, LLC; Trip Oliver, Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of the Appalachian Business Unit of Chevron; Professor Laurie Weingart, Provost (Interim); Jonathan Cagan, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, College of Engineering; Professor Lorenz Biegler, University Professor and Department Head, Chemical Engineering; and Professor Stephen Garoff, Physics Department.