Howard Littman Obituary
SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK
With tremendous sadness, we announce the passing of Professor Howard Littman, PhD, age 92, who died peacefully at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY on March 27th 2020, after a brief illness.
Born April 22nd, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY, the 3rd son of Gertrude and Morris Littman, he grew up in a world of recent Americans feeling the world was full of great opportunities. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and went on to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. His mother would not let him enroll in the military under-age as his two older brothers were already serving, so after 1 semester at age 18 he enlisted in the US Navy. While at Great Lake’s Naval Trainee Station, for boot camp, the War ended. He returned to Cornell University graduating with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1951. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering at Yale University in 1956.
Howard’s first faculty appointment was at Syracuse University, in upstate NY, beginning in 1956. From 1957 to 59 he spent time at Brookhaven and Argonne National Laboratories. In 1965, he moved to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, where he obtained Full Professorship. He retired from RPI in 2001, yet as an Emeritus Professor he remained active in research continuing to publish until just before his death. He was a visiting professor at Imperial College in London 1972 and Fullbright and IREX lecturer at University of Belgrade, 1972-3. In 1988, he travelled to Kwanghu, Korea as visiting professor. Lifelong enthusiastic scientist, teacher and mentor he maintained close relationships with former students, colleagues and coworkers. He lectured extensively in the US and abroad, won awards for journal review and teaching. He had numerous international collaborations, and his long-term cooperative relationship with students, faculty and friends at the University of Belgrade was very close to his heart. He was particularly proud of his research in spouted beds, leading one of the preeminent research groups in the world, publishing over 70 peer-reviewed articles, as well as symposium series. He also made significant contributions to the understanding of bubble wakes. He patented numerous applications of his work.
He was a member of the American Chemical Society, a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a consultant to over 15 industrial organizations and governmental agencies. He loved making the world a better place and as a humanist served the RPI and Syracuse communities as well as his neighbors in the Adirondacks. He was an avid reader, and loved books. His personal library contains numerous treatises and biographies on human nature, religion and great people to further an understanding of, and learning from the past. He will always be remembered for his zest for life, his love of nature and interest in all matters of politics and history. One of his greatest joys was to express these feelings in letters to the local newspapers.He married Arline Littman (nee Caruso) on July 3rd 1955, in NYC. He is survived by his beloved wife, his daughter Susan and son Paul, his grandchildren Mara, Andreas, Marcus and Madelyn, as well as numerous cousins, nephews, nieces and other relatives. He is pre-deceased by his brothers Arthur, Irwin and Edward, as well as his daughter Vicki.
Private services will be held at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery on Monday March 30th. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic only close family members are permitted to attend. A celebration of his outstanding life will follow.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to: Cornell University or RPI, or your favorite nature or humanitarian charity.
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