Aerodyne and the family of Charles E. Kolb (1967) to endow Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry Lecture Series in his memory

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Aerodyne Research and the family of the late Dr. Charles E. Kolb ‘67 (1945-2020) have pledged to establish a new atmospheric and environmental chemistry lecture series at MIT in his memory. The lectures will be organized “with the aim of encouraging participation from other academic departments in keeping with Charles’ collegial personality and his multidisciplinary approach to science”.

Charles (Chuck) Kolb became the President and CEO of Aerodyne in 1985. Over the next 35 years, he led it to become a prominent research institution specializing in atmospheric chemistry, air quality, and climate. Aerodyne is a private company based in Billerica, Massachusetts that functions as a research institution, working in conjunction with public agencies, private industry, and academia.

“Chuck joined Aerodyne as its fourth or fifth employee and eventually transformed it into his company.   He had a vision of a semi-academic private research institute and he made it real.  He created Aerodyne in his own image by carefully selecting entrepreneurial scientists and engineers that were equally passionate about the thrill of discovery and making a difference in the world,” said David Nelson, current President of Aerodyne. The lecture series will bring together scientists and students from MIT, Harvard, other academic institutions, Aerodyne, and other companies to hear from leading experts in atmospheric and environmental chemistry.

The Charles E. Kolb Lecture series will initially be overseen by Susan Solomon, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), who also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Chemistry. Professor Solomon, who worked closely with Chuck Kolb, added: “Chuck Kolb was remarkable as a person, as a scientist, and as an industry pioneer, admired far and wide for the excellence of his insights and the consistently superior quality of his research. The lecture series will honor his amazing legacy in research and industry leadership.”

We expect the first Charles E. Kolb lecture to take place in 2021 or 2022.

Further information can be found here.

The Charles E. Kolb Lecture Fund (#3150905) is launched with an initial endowment fund of $100,000 and further contributions in memory of Dr. Kolb would be most welcome. Please contact Angela Ellis, EAPS Senior Development Officer at or 617-253-5796 for more information.

Story Image: the late Dr. Charles E. Kolb ‘67 (Credit: Courtesy of the Kolb family)