Roger W. H. Sargent

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Prof. Roger Sargent

Roger William Herbert Sargent FIChemE FIMA FREng[1] (born 1926), is a former Courtaulds Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London.[2]


Born on 14 October 1926, Sargent was educated at Bedford School and at Imperial College London. He was Courtaulds Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London between 1966 and 1992, Dean of the City and Guilds College from 1973 to 1976, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1975 to 1988 and Director of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (which he founded) from its launch in August 1989 until he retired in 1992, when he became a Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor in the Centre and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Process systems engineering[edit]

He is known principally as one of the earliest creators of the discipline of Process Systems Engineering, and his influence has been extremely widely spread among that community, by his research and also by his extraordinarily large family tree (Academic genealogy) of research students. In his career at Imperial College he supervised 61 research students, and several of these first-generation students have gone on to establish large research schools of their own. By 2008, this family tree extended to seven generations and 639 students and former students. In August 2016 the family tree numbered over 2,000 and the tree can be explored online at

Since 1994 his influence is commemorated in the annual "Roger Sargent" lectures at Imperial college; which he attends every year. At the 23rd annual lecture in December 2016 he will be awarded the Institution of Chemical Engineers' MM Sharma Medal for Lifetime Achievement: .

Roger Sargent is widely regarded as the "father" of Process Systems Engineering (PSE). Through his academic and research activities Sargent built up an important school of PSE that is now widely spread all over the world. His contributions to the area are known worldwide and considered important pillars to the PSE area adding up to a collection of outstanding achievements over the last fifty years. It is only when we learn of those whose academic origins can be traced back to Sargent, do we realize the full contribution he has already made, not only through his own work, but by instilling his enthusiasm for excellence into those who later have taken up the challenge. The interests of this group are reflections of Sargent’s focus on process modelling, simulation, optimisation and control, a field, which is now called PSE. Sargent's vision, leadership and guidance has led the establishment of PSE as the development of systematic techniques for process modelling, design, and control.

His software "SPEEDUP" (Simulation Programme for the Economic Evaluation and Design of Unsteady-State Processes) was first described in publication in 1964, and this package was widely used in research and industry more than 25 years later.

Professional affiliations[edit]

Sargent distinguished himself as an active member of several national and international corporations, namely the Institution of Chemical Engineers, which he joined in 1960 and where he became a president in 1973, and also the Science Research Council, the Council of Engineering Institutions, the European Federation of Chemical Engineering, the Ministry of Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, the University Grants Committee, the University Funding Council, the British Council and the British-French Mixed Cultural Commission, amongst others, where he acted as a member of several boards and committees.

In October 2014, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) created a medal named after Roger Sargent for "research in computer-aided product and process engineering".


His research and academic contributions have been recognized through a series of prestigious honours, including Founder Fellow[3] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[4] (1976), Honorary Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (1977), Silver Medal of the “Ville de Paris” (1986), Doctor honoris causa of the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine (1987) and of the University of Liège (1995), Richard W. Wilhelm Lectureship of Princeton University (1994), Distinguished Research Lectureship in Chemical Engineering of Carnegie Mellon University (1996) and the Nordic Process Control Award (2003). In September 2016 the Royal Academy of Engineering awarded him the Sir Frank Whittle medal. The Sir Frank Whittle Medal is awarded to an engineer resident in the UK whose outstanding and sustained achievements have had a profound impact on their engineering discipline.


  1. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  2. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  4. ^ "List of Fellows". 

Roger Sargent - Research Gate profile, partial publications list:

Roger Sargent collated publications - full text copies:

Roger Sargent Academic Family Tree - as of Nov.2001 Roger Sargent Academic Family Tree - online version published Aug.2016

Imperial College biography:

Long Term Achievement Award biography (ESCAPE-14):

Long Term Achievement paper, European Symposium on Computer-Aided Process Engineering-14,

Special Issue on Process Systems Engineering, commemorating Roger Sargent's 60th birthday and comprising papers presented at special sessions of the November 1986 AIChE National Meeting at Miami Beach: Computers & Chemical Engineering Vol.12, No.7

Special Issue of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal in August 2016 dedicated to Prof. Sargent:, edited by Ignacio Grossman, Costas Panteliedes and Michael Doherty.

Article: Tribute to Roger Sargent in the special issue of the AIChemE Jounal (Aug.2016):

Annual Roger Sargent Lecture:

Centre for Process Systems Engineering:

Award of the Sir Frank Whittle medal: