Alkis Constantinides (1941-2018)
Dr. Alkis Constantinides passed away peacefully on November 10 surrounded by loved ones, following a long battle with myelofibrosis. He was born in Limassol, Cyprus, in 1941. During the early years of his life he lived in Nicosia, Paphos, and Larnaca, Cyprus. He graduated in 1959 as Valedictorian from the American Academy of Larnaca. Immediately after graduation, he came to the United States to study Chemical Engineering at Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio. He spent five years at Ohio State where he obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 1964. He excelled in all subjects at the University and he received several awards.
Upon graduating from the Ohio State University, he started his career as an engineer with Esso (now Exxon) Research and Engineering Company in Florham Park, New Jersey. Two years later, Alkis decided that he wanted to obtain a Ph.D. degree in order to teach at the University level. He enrolled at Columbia University in New York in the fall of 1966, where he studied under the tutelage of Prof. Elmer Gaden, the Father of Biochemical Engineering.
Following the completion of his PhD, Dr. Constantinides accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Over the next 45 years, while teaching chemical engineering to several thousand students, Alkis advanced quickly from Assistant to Associate to Full Professor. He did research in his field, and also published many scientific papers as well as three textbooks in Numerical Methods that have been adopted at many universities worldwide. During his career at Rutgers University he held all teaching and administrative positions in the Department: he was Chair of the Department for six years, Director of Alumni Relations for twelve years, Director of the Graduate Program for nine years, and Director of the Undergraduate Program for one year. In recognition of his teaching abilities, Prof. Alkis Constantinides (known as “Dr. C.” to his students) received the “Best Teacher of the Year Award” eight times from the graduating seniors; he was also honored with the Rutgers University Warren I. Susman Teaching Excellence Award, a prestigious university-wide award for which several thousand professors were eligible to compete.
Before his retirement in 2015, he established the Dr. Alkis Constantinides Endowed Scholarship Fund for the purpose of providing financial assistance to deserving students in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Several high performing students have already benefited from his scholarship.
Throughout his life, Alkis Constantinides was an excellent tennis player and skier, and won trophies in both sports. At Ohio State University, he was the founder and President of the Ohio State Ski Club. Alkis was also an avid photographer who filled his home with pictures of his family and the many places he visited. He is survived by his wife, as well as his son and his son’s family, and his son’s mother.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Dr. Alkis Constantinides Scholarship Fund at the following link: https://cbe.rutgers.edu - choose “Giving” from the menu and then select “Dr. Alkis Constantinides Scholarship Fund.”