William L. Luyben's research interests include design and control of coupled reactor-column processes and plant recycle stream management. Reactive distillation is becoming more commonly employed in industry as a way to increase yields and reduce energy and capital costs. One popular version employs a stirred-tank reactor with a rectifying column mounted above it. Luyben seeks to provide a better understanding the steady state design and the dynamics of these coupled units. Luyben also explores control systems to support interconnected units in a plant in the handling of recycle streams.

Professor Luyben has been teaching and researching at Lehigh since 1967 and has written 13 textbooks, advised 35 Ph.D. candidates, and helped educate countless Lehigh chemical engineers. He was recently honored by the American Institute for Chemical Engineers(AIChE), the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, for outstanding contributions in the field of distillation. At the AIChE's 2011 annual conference in Minneapolis, several sessions were held in Luyben's honor. His former students, as well as academic and industrial colleagues from around the world, gave presentations about their own work in distillation design and control.

William L. Luyben
William L. Luyben
(610) 758-4256
Mountaintop Campus
Lehigh University
Iacocca Hall, D317
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D., University of Delaware
B.S., Pennsylvania State University

Areas of Research

Coupled Reactor-Column Processes, Plant Recycle Stream Management