1. K-State home
  2. »Engineering
  3. »CHE
  4. »News
  5. »Larry E. Erickson

Chemical Engineering

Larry E. Erickson

Larry E. EricksonIn 1964, Kansas State University graduated its first Ph.D. student in chemical engineering. He was subsequently hired by the department, and went on to teach and inspire hundreds of students. Now, Larry Erickson has retired after 51 years, but is continuing his service as professor emeritus. Throughout his career, concern for students remained front and center for the Wahoo, Nebraska, native.

“Larry is peerless in his dedication to students and K-State,” said James Edgar, head of the department of chemical engineering. “He enthusiastically supports the K-State ethos that everyone should have the opportunity for a great college education. Encouraging students to achieve their full potential is his passion.”

Ever advocating for students, Erickson is inviting supporters and well-wishers to make a gift to the Larry Erickson Fellowship Award, a fund to help offset the costs for educating chemical engineering graduate students. You can make a gift to the Larry Erickson Fellowship Award by going to www.found.ksu.edu/give/erickson

Whether researching solar-powered charging stations or the beneficial use of plants to address environmental issues, it’s clear that Erickson is passionate about his field. He learned to enjoy his work from the late L.T. Fan, his major professor who would later become his colleague. In reflecting on his own career, Erickson hopes he instilled that same passion in his students.

“We don’t know which of our students are going to be Nobel Laureates, which are going to be in the National Academy of Sciences, be president of a university or president of the United States,” Erickson said. “We try to nurture each student and I think it’s good to have them realize there are possibilities ahead they haven’t even considered yet.”

October 1, 2015 a luncheon was held to thank and honor Larry Erickson for his dedicated years of service as a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Director of the Center for Hazardous Substance Research (CHSR).  Following are just a few remarks from the luncheon.

Blase Leven, Associate Director, Center for Hazardous Substance Research

Larry Erickson has been THE central catalyst for all of this activity: Rare combination of smarts, organizational skills, and way of valuing people, has benefited 100s of students, faculty, and working professionals at KSU and across the world, and this has put KSU on the map in numerous ways.

Gary Pierzynski, University Distinguished Professor, Agronomy

A personal thanks to Larry and the support he has shown to me over the years.  Larry provided me with my first major grant and launched a line of research that occupies me to this day.  Along the way, many publications, additional grants, invited presentations, fabulous teaching materials, and international travel were realized as a result.  In addition, the careers of many others were started as well . . .

Lisa Harrington, Professor, Geography

Thank you so much for all you’ve done for environmental awareness and efforts at KSU!

Daryl Buchholz, Associate Director, Coop Extension Director

My association with you extends both professionally and personally. You have shaped my thinking and approaches to life.

Bruce Snead, Director, Kansas Industrial Extension Service

A special thank you for your efforts in sustainability and in all your public service – it’s an honor to have the Public Service Award in your and Laurel’s name.

Terri Harold Hopkins, former chemical engineering student

Congratulations Dr. Erickson. Seems like yesterday when I was a young chemical engineering student. Thanks for giving me such a wonderful foundation and desire for learning.

Erickson early yrs






standing o_lunch