Saying Goodbye to a Department Mainstay

December 20, 2012

Professor Bob Sani

It is with sorrow that we announce the retirement of Professor Robert (Bob) Sani. Professor Sani started with the department in 1976, and in his 36 years here he has become a mainstay that will be sorely missed. During his tenure at CU, Sani has investigated both experimentally and through computer simulations the fields of fluid dynamics and electrochemical engineering, among others. One specific focus has been on systems in which fluid/solid interfaces play a dominant role, with a goal of better understanding electrochemical deposition and etching as well as corrosion; another focus has been on microgravity processing and its possibilities for container-less manufacturing of ultrapure materials. Sani's efforts have given shape to three books and more than 100 publications.

While Professor Sani has taught many courses at CU, in recent years he has become integral to the junior and senior labs. In one junior lab experiment, students investigate heat and mass transfer from a hot cup of coffee to the atmosphere. Several students fondly recall one instance in which the lab coordinator walked up to Sani to tell him that the coffee cup lab group was not conducting the experiment correctly. Professor Sani's response? "What did they do? Drink it?" Later, in the same lab, Sani asked, "What's a koozie? I just call it an insulating sleeve."

Senior Jhenya Nahreini had more serious thoughts to share concerning her former professor. "Even though junior lab could be stressful at times, I always enjoyed talking with Professor Sani because he was so approachable. He really challenged me to consider alternative explanations to what I observed in the experiments, beyond the most obvious. It was such a fortune to have Bob Sani as part of the Chemical Engineering Department and although his retirement is a cause for celebration, I will be sad to see him leave."

Bob, we all wish you the best!