Rezac named first recipient of the Tim Taylor Chair in Chemical Engineering
Monday, Sept. 14, 2015
MANHATTAN —Mary Rezac, professor of chemical engineering and co-founding director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Kansas State University, has been named the first recipient of the Tim Taylor Chair in Chemical Engineering.
The award is newly created through a gift from Tim and Sharon Taylor, The Woodlands, Texas. Tim Taylor graduated from Kansas State University in 1975 with a degree in chemical engineering and is now president of Phillips 66.
Rezac began her career in research and development for Phillips 66, then known as the Phillips Petroleum Co. Now nearing 13 years of working for the university, Rezac said the faculty award will enhance the financial flexibility and the credibility of her academic work.
"I am both flattered and humbled that Tim and Sharon would step forward to do this and that I have been recognized as someone deserving of such an honor," she said. "I really appreciate the fact that Tim can look back and recognize that his education played a role in his current success. The support that's provided for me personally is really appreciated, and faculty support vouches for the quality and impact of the work we are doing."
Rezac has more than 75 publications to her credit and is a joint inventor on three patents. She has directed research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, American Chemical Society, Environmental Protection Agency and others. During her tenure she has guided the research of more than 55 undergraduate and 35 graduate students.
As the Tim Taylor Chair in Chemical Engineering, Rezac will receive flexible funding annually to help cover needs such as doctoral student stipends, research equipment and supplies, professional travel or seed funding for new research projects.
"The beauty of a gift to support faculty is that it can provide seed funding for high-risk, high-payoff research," said Darren Dawson, dean of the College of Engineering. "Through their tremendous commitment to investing in K-State and successful faculty members like Dr. Rezac, the Taylors advance our progress toward become a top 50 public engineering college, and we are grateful."
Philanthropic contributions to Kansas State University are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.