Engineering alum, former faculty member rings Wall Street opening bell
Jack McWhirter, a former chemical engineering faculty member and Penn State alumnus, rang the ceremonial opening bell on Wall Street on July 5.
A YouTube video of the bell ringing can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmKlLSOzHWA.
McWhirter’s trip to the New York Stock Exchange celebrated Campus Crest Communities’ purchase of a 48 percent stake in his student housing company, Copper Beech Townhome Communities.
McWhirter is the founder, president and CEO of Copper Beech, the fifth largest student housing operator in the country, with properties in more than a dozen states. He is president of Mixing and Mass Transfer Technologies LLC and the founder, former president and CEO of Nittany/BullDog BioDiesel LLC.
The chemical engineer began his career with E.I. DuPont de Nemours as a research engineer in 1962 and then manager of research and development for LIGHTNIN Inc. Between 1966 and 1986, McWhirter worked for the Union Carbide Corp. where he ultimately became vice president and general manager of the Environmental System Division and the Union Carbide Agricultural Chemical Co.
From 1986 to 2000, he was a professor of chemical engineering at Penn State. McWhirter holds more than 40 U.S. patents in wastewater treatment and chemical process systems technology and has been widely recognized for his pioneering efforts in the invention, development and commercialization of the UNOX High Purity Oxygen Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment System in the 1960s and 1970s.
He has received a number of awards, including the Penn State Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award, and in 2008, was honored as one of the 100 preeminent Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era during the centennial celebration of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
This past April, McWhirter was one of only two people to receive the University’s 2013 Graduate School Alumni Society Award Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes graduate alumni who have achieved exceptional success throughout the course of their profession and have demonstrated their loyalty to Penn State and the Alumni Association.