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Starling, Kenneth

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Kenneth E. Starling


Professor of Emeritus, Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering


B.S., 1958 Texas A & M University
M.S.,1960 Illinois Institute of Technology
Ph.D., 1962 Illinois Institute of Technology


Equation of state devcelopment and prediction of thermodynamic and phase behavior; equlibrium and nonequilibrium molecular theory of fluids; correlation of transport properties; process simulation; low temperature difference cycles; geothermal; ocean thermal; solar and waste heat energy conversion.

Ken Starling is emeritus George Lynn Cross Research Professor and emeritus Cedomir Sliepcevich Professor of Chemical Engineering.  He was named a fellow of AIChE in 1996, and in 2003 was awarded the Gas Processors Association’s Don Katz Award for outstanding accomplishments in gas processing research and technology, and for excellence in engineering education. Starling retired in January 1995 from CBME following nearly three decades at the University of Oklahoma. Starling's most outstanding contributions to the chemical engineering profession have included two well-know equations of state that bear his name:  the Carnahan-Starling equation of state, a closed form solution, of the hard sphere fluid compressibility that is the basis for several extended van der Waals equations; and the BWRS (Benedict-Webb-Rubin-Starling) equation of state, resulting from his work to develop more accurate equations of state for systems of interest to chemical engineering. His hard sphere equation of state has been of prime importance even beyond his profession, to physicists and chemical physicists as a theoretical tool to separate hard sphere molecular interactions from other short range molecular interactions. Prior to joining the CBME faculty, Starling gained considerable industrial and research experience at Republic Pipeline Co., the Institute of Gas Technology in Chicago, Esso Production Research Co. in Houston, and at the Electric Power Research Institute in California. Starling joined the CEMS faculty as an assistant professor in 1966. He was promoted to associate professor in 1969 and served as school director in academic year 1974-75. He was promoted to George Lynn Cross Research Professor in 1978 and served as Vice Provost for Research Administration during 1978-79. Starling's many honors include the MASUA Honor Lectureship during 1977 and 1978 and the OU College of Engineering Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement in Research in 1981. Starling served on the editorial review board of Energy Progress, and as director of the AIChE Fuels and Petrochemicals Division. He has chaired numerous technical sessions at national meetings of AIChE and was a member of the national program committee from 197 1 through 1977. Starling has long been active in continuing education for engineers in the oil and gas industry through affiliation with the John Campbell Co., as chairman of the executive committee of the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement from 198 1 to 1992, and through his own company, Starling Associates Inc., which applies expertise to implementing software into the oil and gas industry's real-time measurement and rapid accounting systems to meet the 1992 industry standards set out in the American Gas Association Reports Numbers 3 and 8. Starling published more than 100 papers and a book, Fluid Thermodynamic Properties for Light Petroleum Systems.

If you would like to donate to the Ken Starling Endowed Scholarship Fund click HERE.

Thanks to the generosity of Bob and Cyndy Purgason and in deep appreciation of Ken and Barbara, $100,000 in matching funds are available in hopes of encouraging all CBME alumni and friends to make a gift.


Kenneth Starling was honored October 9, 2012 as a recipient of the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society (OHEHS).  Pictured above is Professor Roger Harrison, CBME Director Lance Lobban, Kenneth and Barbara Starling, COE Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs Musharraf Zaman, CS Director Sridhar Radhakrishnan.