Abel Bliss

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Abel Bliss, Jr. was born on August 8, 1853. His father, Abel Bliss, Sr., was a native of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and was born on February 9, 1810. His mother was Lucinda Blake, a native of the Bay State and born in Springfield, Illinois, October 14, 1816. He was the sixth of the seven children born into his family, and attended high school at Englewood, and afterward was a student of engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He was married, on February 21, 1877, to Nettie Lynk. [1] He gave up engineering partway through his degree, due to circumstances that required him to take charge of the family farm, where he grew wealthy through his agricultural business and real estate investments. In June 1874, the University granted him a partial certificate in civil engineering. His business ventures included agriculture and real estate, and by 1929, he was a partner in the land development and oil production company of Bliss & Wetherbee. Mr. Bliss died in the mid-1930s.

Abel Bliss Professorship[edit]

Helen Eva Bliss, the daughter of Abel Bliss Jr., graduated from the University of Illinois in 1911 with a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. [2] After her retirement from working life, she established The Bliss Professor of Engineering in memory of her father. Part of the Bliss bequest was earmarked to support the Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center Endowment, and the remainder towards other projects for “advancing the scholastic activities of the School of Engineering.” [3] The bequest was so generous that it currently sustains several professorships annually at the School of Engineering, University of Illinois.

The Abel Bliss Professorship has been awarded to individuals such as Jiawei Han[4] (computer science), Rashid Bashir[5] (semiconductors, MEMS, and Biosensors), William P. King [6] (Materials Science), Stephen A. Boppart, [7] (Bioengineering and Internal Medicine), Kent D. Choquette, [8] (vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers), Philippe H. Geubelle [9] (Aerospace Engineering), David Ruzic [10] (Plasma Engineering), Albert J. Valocchi [11] (water resources engineering, groundwater hydrology and contaminant transport), Elyse Rosenbaum [12] (Bliss Faculty Scholar Award), and Rob A. Rutenbar [13] (computer science and computer engineering) all of whom are currently researching further technologies at the University of Illinois.


  1. ^ Will County Illinois Archives Biographies : Bliss, Abel Jr 1853
  2. ^ News & Events Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Engineering at Illinois
  4. ^ "Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Database Systems". Archived from the original on 2014-06-12. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  5. ^ Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
  6. ^ Nanoengineering Laboratory Archived March 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory". Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  8. ^ Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
  9. ^ Geubelle Named Head of AE at Illinois Archived January 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Valocchi Named a Bliss Professor Archived March 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  13. ^ "College of Engineering Names Rob A. Rutenbar Next CS Department Head". Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2014.