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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

  • John Monnier

In Memoriam: John Monnier, Ph.D.

The College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) was saddened to learn of the death of Chemical Engineering Professor John Monnier on April 6, 2024, in Columbia. He was 76 years old.

“He made a significant and lasting difference in many lives, both scientifically and personally, and will be missed by many far beyond our campus,” says Melissa Moss, chair of the CEC Department of Chemical Engineering.

A native of Basco, Illinois, Monnier earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Monnier was a research scientist at Eastman Kodak (1978-1993) in Rochester, New York, and Eastman Chemical Research Laboratories (1993-2004) in Kingsport, Tennessee. In recognition of his work, Monnier received numerous accolades, including the C.E.K. Mees Award from the Scientific Council of Kodak Research Laboratories and the 1998 Outstanding Industrial Innovator Award by the American Chemical Society.

Transitioning from industry to academia, Monnier arrived at the CEC in 2004, serving as a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering until his death. He published more than 100 journal articles and held over 30 patents. Monnier also mentored numerous undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. In 2017, Monnier was elected by his peers to the National Academy of Engineering, a nonprofit institution whose members are among the world’s most accomplished engineers. 

Monnier’s research expertise was in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, which refers to a catalyst being in a different phase from the reactants. His work included the design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of heterogeneous catalysis. Monnier’s research projects were funded by organizations including the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, and several industrial companies. 

“During one’s academic career, if one is lucky, one will have a handful of memorable mentors and role models who will shape their career, style and character. John was a shining beacon for his students, mentees and colleagues both here as well as across the globe,” says CEC Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri. “The quality of John’s work speaks for itself and led to his election to the National Academy of Engineering. But what will stay with his students even more than his immense scientific command is that he lived and enjoyed doing what he loved. John carried forward everyday by creating knowledge, mentoring the next generation, and sharing the love of his field. I will miss his humility and his beaming smile.”

Memorials may be made to the Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) Society.

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