Transcript: AIChE Interview with Henry T. Brown, 2015
Edited transcript of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) interview with Henry T. Brown, conducted on August 27, 2015
Henry Thomas Brown SMChE '56 (Chemical Engineering, Course X) is one of the original advocates for minority engineers in AIChE, beginning in 1968. He co-created AIChE’s first outreach initiatives for underrepresented engineers, and held the position of AIChE’s Minority Affairs Coordinator from 1983 through 2001. Brown was also one of the founders of the New Jersey State Urban Science Education Coalition, and is a Diamond Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
I graduated with my BS in chemical engineering in 1955, and like most of us in the 1950s, I was the first black graduate. I led the class. And, it was an interesting experience. I think there were guilty feelings about not ranking me first in the class, so they worked to get me a fellowship to MIT instead. And in 1956 I graduated with a chemical engineering Masters from MIT. I was 2 probably one of the first Masters students of color in chemical engineering there also — if not the first.
Henry T. Brown, AIChE interview, 2015