Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Personnel Profile

Patrick L. Mills, D.Sc., P.E., Professor & Frank H. Dotterweich Chair

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Dotterweich Chair, Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering

Patrick Mills recently joined the faculty at TAMUK in January 2006 as the Frank H. Dotterweich Chair and Professor in the Department of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering. Before this appointment, he was a Senior Research Associate in the DuPont Company's Central Research and Development Department in Wilmington, Delaware where he was a member of the Chemical Science and Engineering Laboratory. During his 15+ years at DuPont, he used his research and development expertise in reaction kinetics, multiphase reaction engineering, transport phenomena, and experimental systems engineering to impact many technology areas in various DuPont businesses, such as Dacron, Nylon, Lycra, White Pigments, Fluoroproducts, and Nonwovens. In 1994, Dr. Mills developed the first successful research collaboration with the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India. These efforts served as a prototype that is now continuing through the former DuPont Invista group in the UK. He was also awarded an Engineering Excellence Award from DuPont in 1996 for development of the MARS system, which was an automated catalyst testing productivity device.

Before joining the DuPont Company, Dr. Mills worked for 10 years at the Monsanto Corporate Research Center at the World Headquarters in St. Louis and also at the GE Corporate R&D Center in Schenectady, New York. His research here utilized reaction engineering for the discovery and development of new molecules and processes in various businesses and technologies, such as agricultural and rubber chemicals, detergent hydrophobes, aromatic polycarbonates, functionalized olefinic polymers, and supercritical fluid chromatographic separations. He also served as a Research Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis from 1988 to 1990. In this capacity, he served as member of the business and technology team that commercialized the TAP�(Temporal Analysis of Products) reactor system, which is an experimental system used by various university groups and companies worldwide for the study of heterogeneous catalyzed reactions. He also held appointments as Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering at the University of Delaware and Washington University in St. Louis where he taught graduate courses in reaction engineering and applied mathematics. Dr. Mills is the author or co-author of over 110 publications in Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering and applied mathematics, has presented more than 125 papers at professional society meetings, and is named co-inventor on 2 patents.

Research Areas and Interests

Reaction engineering for multiphase catalytic systems, polymerization reaction engineering, pilot plant design and reactor scale-up methods, micro-scale reactors and miniaturized process plant systems, high-throughput and parallel reactor systems, process safety management, on-line process analytical and on-line sensor systems, imaging science in multiphase flow systems, tracer methods in reaction engineering, heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, applied mathematics for reaction-transport systems.

Teaching Interests

- Reaction engineering for multiphase catalyzed systems
- Special topics in reaction engineering- Polymerization, bio-systems, and environmental systems
- Continuing education short courses in reaction engineering – introduction to reaction engineering, multiphase reactors, laboratory-scale reactors.
- Applied mathematics for scientists and engineers
- Product engineering – science and technology

Professional Experience

- Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX (2006 - Present)
   - Chair, Frank H. Dotterweich Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering
   - Professor, Department of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering
- Senior Research Associate, DuPont Company's Central Research and Development Department in Wilmington, Delaware (1991– 2006)
- Senior Research Associate, Monsanto Corporate Research Center, St. Louis
- Senior Research Associate,GE Corporate R&D Center, Schenectady, New York
- Research Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis (1988– 1990)
- Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering, University of Delaware, Delaware
- Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis

Examples of Research Projects and Process Technology Areas

- Fan Jet and Visualization Technologies for Novel Nonwoven Processes
- Novel Melt-Spun Elastomers for Lycra� Spandex Fibers
- Alternates Routes to Tetrahydrofuran Monomer
- Heterogeneous Catalysis Combinatorial Research – Novel Tools and Applications
- Butane Oxidation VPO Catalyst Development for the Asturias Riser
- para-xylene Oxdidation Catalyst Improvement and Multi-Stage Pilot Plant Process
- Cyclohexane Oxidation Process Debottlenecking
- Polymer Functionalization by Catalytic Hydroformylation
- Tertiary-Butylamine and 4-Aminodiphenylamine Catalysis
- Novel Detergent Hydrophobes by an Oxo-Aldol Process
- 2-Step Route to Ethylene Glycol by Hydroformylation of Formaldehyde

Selected Publications

- P. L. Mills and J. F. Nicole, "Multiple Automated Reactor System (MARS) - 1. A Novel Reactor System for Detailed Testing of Gas-Phase Heterogeneous Oxidation Catalysts," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 44(16), 6435-6452 (2005).

- P. L. Mills and J. F. Nicole, "Multiple Automated Reactor System (MARS) - 2. Effect of Microreactor Configurations on Homogeneous and Wall-Catalyzed Reactions for 1,3-Butadiene Oxidation," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 44(16), 6453-6465 (2005).

- R. V. Chaudhari and P. L. Mills, “Multiphase Catalysis and Reaction Engineering for Emerging Pharmaceutical Processes, Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering Science, 59(22/23), pp.5337 - 5344 (2004).

- P. L. Mills and J. F. Nicole, “A Novel Reactor for High-Throughput Screening of Gas-Solid Catalyzed Reactions,” Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering Science 59(22/23), pp.5337 - 5344 (2004).

- M. P. Dudukovic, F. Larachi, and P. L. Mills, "Multiphase Reactors - Current Knowledge & Future Trends,” Catalysis Reviews - Science and Engineering, 44(1), pp 123-246 (2002).

- D. J. Quiram, K. F. Jensen, M. A. Schmidt, J. F. Ryley, P. L. Mills, M. D. Wetzel, J. A. Ashmead, R. D. Bryson, T. M. Delaney, D. J. Kraus, and J. S. McCracken, “Development of a Turnkey Multiple Microreactor Test Station,” Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Microreaction Technology (I. Rinard, ed.), pp. 55-61, AIChE Press, New York, NY (2000).

- P. L. Mills, J. R. Turner, P. A. Ramachandran and M. P. Dudukovic, “The Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis in Slurry Bubble Column Reactors: Analysis of Reactor Performance Using the Axial Dispersion Model,” Chapter 5 in Three-Phase Sparged Reactors (K. D. P. Nigam and A. Schumpe, eds.), pp. 339 - 386, Gordon and Breach, Amsterdam, 1996.

Selected Presentations

- P. L. Mills, "Current Status and Future Directions on Laboratory-Scale Multiphase Reactors," Plenary Lecture, 5th International Symposium on Catalysis in Multiphase Reactors & 4th International Symposium on Multifunctional Reactors, Portorož-Portorose, Slovenia, June 15, 2005.

- R. V. Chaudhari and P. L. Mills, "Multiphase Catalysis and Reaction Engineering for Emerging Pharmaceutical Processes, The 18th International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE 18), Session 15: Multiphase Reactors, incl. Pharmaceutical Reactions A., Chicago, IL, June 8, 2004.

- P. L. Mills and J. F. Nicole, "A Novel Reactor for HTS of Gas-Solid Catalyzed Reactions," The 18th International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE 18), Session 15: Multiphase Reactors, incl. Pharmaceutical Reactions A., Chicago, IL, June 8, 2004.

- P. L. Mills, L. E. Manzer, and S. D. Roy, “Green Chemistry Process Alternatives for THF Manufacture,” Paper 551f, AIChE 2003 Annual Meeting, Session 551 on Green Chemistry and Reaction Engineering – III, San Francisco, CA, November 18, 2003.

- D. J. Quiram, P. L. Mills, J. F. Ryley, M. D. Wetzel, J. W. Ashmead, R. D. Bryson, D. J. Kraus, R. E. Mitchell, M. A. Schmidt, and K. F. Jensen, “Construction and Performance Evaluation of a Parallel Microreactor System,” Paper 148e, AIChE 2003 Annual Meeting, Session 148 on Pilot Plants: The Uniqueness of Small Scale, San Francisco, CA, November 17, 2003.

- P. L. Mills, “Single and Multi-staged Pilot Plants for the Oxidation of para-Xylene to Terephthalic Acid,” Paper 149a, AIChE 2003 Annual Meeting, Session 149 on Traditional and Novel Pilot Plant Reactors, San Francisco, CA, November 18, 2003.

- P. L. Mills, "Current Status and Future Directions in Lab-Scale Multiphase Reactors," Paper 113, E. V. Murphree Award Symposium in honor of Leo E. Manzer, 225th ACS Meeting, New Orleans, March 25, 2003.

Professional Affiliations

- Member, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
- First Vice-Chair - AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division 20
- Member, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
- Member, Sigma Xi

Contact Information

The Wayne H. King Department of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering
EC 303D
MSC 193 Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Kingsville, Texas 78363-8202
voice: (361) 593-4827
fax: (361) 593-2106
email: Patrick.Mills@tamuk.edu
Personal Website:

This page was last updated on: January 28, 2014