April 2021

In Memory of Professor Henry C. Lim

Prof. Henry C. Lim was born in Seoul, Korea on October 24, 1935, and studied at Medical School, Seoul National University before moving to the U.S. in 1953. He earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at Oklahoma State University and a master's in chemical engineering at University of Michigan. After working for four years as a process development engineer at Pfizer, he received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Northwestern University in 1966. He then joined the faculty at Purdue University, where he was influential in establishing a biochemical engineering specialty within the School of Chemical Engineering. His research spanned applied mathematics, biochemical engineering, environmental engineering and process control. In 1987, he was recruited to establish a biochemical engineering graduate program in UC Irvine. He then worked to create a full undergraduate and graduate curriculum, as well as the necessary laboratories, that led to the establishment in 1994 of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. The following year, he brought materials science faculty into the department and served as founding chair of the combined department until 1997. He was an active faculty member until his retirement in 2009.

Professor Lim has been a mentor to countless people including his students since he started teaching at Purdue University in 1966. I met him there for the first time in 1980 when I started my PhD program, and I met him in Irvine in October 2019, which turned out to be the last time. I actually wrote him a letter in the spring of 2020 telling him, "Dear professor, after all these years, only recently did I realize that you have been one of the few true mentors in my life." Professor, when I was leaving Purdue to join Inha University faculty, you told me to "teach from the student's point of view." Those words stuck with me as the guiding principle for my own path as a mentor to my students.

- Yoon-Mo Koo, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University

I still fondly remember those happy days in West Lafayette when I was a faculty member of the School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University. I collaborated with Prof. Lim very closely with synergy on the optimization of fermentation processes involving engineered microorganisms using optimal control theory. Prof. Lim paved the way for the research area of optimization which greatly helped my academic career. Prof. Lim has been a role model of education and research. Good memories with Prof.Lim will be in my heart forever.

- Jin-Ho Seo, Emeritus Professor, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Director of Research Institute of Food and Biotechnology, The SPC Group

I met Prof. Lim for the first time in 1986 when I entered Purdue University for my Ph.D. course. After finishing my coursework and qualifying exam at Purdue, I followed him to UC Irvine in the summer of 1988 to complete the research work for my degree under his guidance. I also did my post-doc in his lab at UCI until coming back to Korea in February 1991. Afterwards, I also worked in his lab in 1996 for one year during my first sabbatical period. All these tell that he was my real academic father. I cannot believe that Prof. and Mrs. Lim are not with us any more. They were very healthy when I had a dinner with them in Irvine two years ago. Very sadly it became the last chance to meet them. Prof. Lim was a great scholar, teacher, mentor, and sometimes even our good friend. Prof. Lim, we all miss you!!!

- Tai Hyun Park, Professor, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University