Robert N. Cochran, PhD
- Adjunct Faculty
- PhD, Physical Chemistry (1977)
Michigan State University (MI)
My teaching philosophy is to emphasize proper analysis and identification of problems before seeking solutions and an understanding of the fundamentals behind the engineering and physical science being applied.
My 30-plus years of industrial R&D experience at Air Products and Arco Chemical/Lyondell focused on process development, catalysis, kinetics, and reactor design. I have worked at the bench, pilot plant, and production plant implementation levels.
As project leader and manager for new process R&D, I initiated and managed a project to develop a new single-step propylene oxide technology by reaction of propylene, hydrogen, and oxygen to replace the multi-step PO/MTBE and PO/Styrene co-product processes. The project started at the exploratory catalyst discovery level and developed into a large fully integrated pilot plant that continuously produced purified PO product. Arco Chemical/LyondellBassell holds 64 U.S. patents covering this process.
My research interests focus on catalysis and kinetics, chemical process development, and mathematical modeling.