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ROBERT L. BANKS
Senior Research Associate (Deceased)
Phillips Petroleum Company
BS ChE 1944, MSM
MS ChE 1953, Oklahoma State University
Professional Degree ChE 1976, UMR
Honorary Doctor of Engineering 1988, UMR
Robert was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UMR in 1988, one of only three chemical engineers to receive this honor. The composition of matter patent he held on crystalline polypropylene and high-density polyethylene is the basis for worldwide production of these materials. In addition to this contribution to the world, Robert also contributed to the University as a 1988 Commencement speaker, as a visiting professor, and through his and his wife Mildred's membership in OGS since 1989. Robert was honored with the Alumni Merit Award in 1980.
Professionally, Robert was awarded the Perkins Medal in 1987 by the Society of Chemical Industry and was a member of the International Symposium of Metathesis. He received the Oklahoma Chemist Award in 1974 and the American Chemical Society Award in Petroleum Chemistry in 1979. In 1981, the American Institute of Chemists honored him with its Chemical Award. His professional affiliations included being a member of the Advisory Board for the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. Robert held or co-held 64 U.S. patents and more than 140 patents in 26 foreign countries. In addition, he authored more than 40 technical publications.
Robert was active in civic organizations in his community. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Calvary Commandry 26 Knights Templar, the Cryptic Masons, the Royal Arch Masons, the Kara Groto, and the Elks Lodge, all in the Bartlesville area. A Robert L. Banks Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established to help chemical engineering students. Robert passed away on January 3,1989 and was inducted into the Academy posthumously in 1996.