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Lamb & Peretti Retire with 35 Years of Service to NC State

two men and one holding a basketball
Steven Peretti, left, and Henry Lamb. The two share fond memories of pick-up basketball games in Carmichael Gym.

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering commemorated the achievements and contributions of Professors H. Henry Lamb and Steven Peretti. Lamb and Peretti enjoyed the ceremony while surrounded by family and friends on April 23rd, 2022, at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center.

Professor Henry Lamb

Professor Lamb earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from NC State in 1982. In 1987, he joined the department as Lecturer while completing his PhD at the University of Delaware. He was appointed Assistant Professor in 1988 and received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1989. Building on a previous collaboration with Professor Dale Sayers (Physics), he investigated supported metal cluster catalysts using in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 1988, Lamb began working on electronic materials processing with seed funding from the NSF ERC for Advanced Electronic Materials Processing. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1994.

former students with professor lamb
Several former students attended Professor Lamb’s retirement ceremony, some from as far away as Pennsylvania!

Lamb’s catalysis research was supported by NSF, DOE and industry, including Exxon-Mobil, DuPont, Caterpillar, Ford, Hoechst-Celanese and Eastman Chemicals. A joint USDA grant with Prof. Steve Peretti (2006) resulted in several key publications on biofuels processing, related patents and a start-up company (Red Wolf Refining).

Lamb helped launch the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) in 2007.  Lamb served on the BTEC curriculum committee and as liaison with industry partners on the design and upfit of the BTEC large-scale bioprocessing suite. He was promoted to Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2007.

lamb and simon holding awards
Each retiree received a certificate signed by Chancellor Randy Woodson and a framed image of the Belltower signed by their colleagues and friends.

Lamb taught a variety of CBE undergraduate courses and helped establish the Honors and the Biomanufacturing Sciences Concentrations. His graduate specialty course, “Surface Chemical Reactions” covering aspects of surface science, heterogeneous catalysis and electronic materials processing, has been taught biennially for the last 25+ years and has been offered via distance education.

Lamb is a member of AIChE, ACS, AVS and the North American Catalysis Society. He was President of the Southeastern Catalysis Society (2006-2007). He served on the University Radiation Safety Committee for many years and was Chairman (2015-2017).

He will retire on June 30th after 35 years at NC State.

Professor Steven Peretti

Peretti laughs with a friend.

Dr. Steven Peretti earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and joined the faculty in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 1986. He taught the undergrad and graduate courses in “Process Systems Analysis and Control,” CHE 596 “Biodiesel Production Technologies: Implications for Sustainability” and was involved in Senior Design.

The focus areas of Professor Peretti’s research program at NC State included metabolic characterization, population dynamics, bioremediation, chiral biosynthesis and bioreactor design. Peretti also served as the Director of the Integrated Biomass Research Initiative at NC State.

Peretti is now the Director of the Cellular and Biochemical Engineering Program at the National Science Foundation. He manages a $60 million dollar research portfolio and influences the strategic development of the field of synthetic biology as applied to biochemical engineering systems. He makes funding recommendations for roughly 200 proposals per year, and coaches over 30 principal investigators each year regarding grantsmanship, proposal development and strategic planning.

Professor Peretti has received many honors and awards across the span of his career. In 1985, he was awarded an ARCS Fellowship as an Outstanding Graduate Researcher. He received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the NSF in 1991. Most recently, he received another NSF Award, the Director’s Award for Superior Accomplishment.

Professor Peretti retired from NC State in June 2021 after 35 years of service.