Barbara Knutson has been named the inaugural Kevin and Susan Hobbs Professor of Chemical Engineering. The professorship is effective immediately. Knutson has taught chemical engineering at the University of Kentucky since 1995. She is director of undergraduate studies for chemical engineering, as well as faculty associate of UK’s Center for Membrane Sciences and the Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center. Knutson received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 and researches sustainable processing and separation technologies.
Kevin Hobbs earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UK, completing his program in 1988. Today, he is midstream director of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company, where he leads about 8,000 employees and contractors operating in nearly 30 countries around the world. Hobbs has worked at Exxon for over 30 years. He was inducted into the UK College of Engineering’s Hall of Distinction in 2018 and is a current member of the University of Kentucky Chemical Engineering External Advisory Board. Susan Hobbs graduated from UK with a PharmD degree in 1990. She practiced as a Clinical Pharmacist at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas for seven years before retiring to help raise their three children.