Hall of Distinction Class of 1983-1984

There are few individuals alive today who are more intimately associated with the progress of LSU's College of Engineering than Roger W. Richardson. His relationship with LSU goes back to his student days in the 1920's when he served as president of the College of Engineering student body. His industrial career began in 1930 with the duPont Company following receipt of the doctoral degree from Iowa State University. Dr. Richardson spent almost 32 years of his professional life with affiliates of Exxon. He was with the Baton Rouge Exxon Research Laboratories for about 18 years and then with the Exxon Research and Engineering Company in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Richardson directed research and development on problems of lubrication including the development of new lubricants and fuels for internal combustion engines, methods of testing lubricants, automotive fuels, etc. For several years he was responsible for the direction of catalyst research. In addition, he helped develop a number of processes used in the petroleum industry including fluid catalytic cracking, fluid coking, and processes for the production of olefins and diolefins, aviation alkylate, and various petrochemicals. Much of this research and development was done to solve critical problems during World War II. He also worked on the Manhattan Project and later on nuclear power and other advanced ways of producing energy. He is the author of several technical publications in the petroleum refining and lubrication fields and holds some 25 U.S. and foreign patents.

After taking early retirement from Exxon, he returned to LSU where he served as dean of the College of Engineering and professor of chemical engineering for 11 years. He has a major leadership role in organizing the program which led to construction of LSU's Center for Engineering and Business Administration. As dean, he made good use of his prior contacts with government scientific agencies, bringing such persons as Edward Teller, Willard Libby, and Eugene Wigner (the latter both Nobel Laureates) to LSU in various capacities.

Dr. Richardson is a member of many professional and honorary societies. Throughout his career he was active in both business and civic organizations. In addition, he is an avid and outstanding tennis player. In 1952 and 1954 Roger and Hamilton Richardson won the National Father and Son Championship. Since his retirement form the dean's position in 1976, he has maintained professional activity as consultant to various industrial and governmental agencies.

Dr. Richardson has had a truly illustrious career in both industry and education.