UB Engineering Graduate Receives Dean's Award

By Mara McGinnis

Release Date: May 20, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Hiroshi Morihara, Ph.D., a 1971 graduate of the University at Buffalo Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been selected to receive the 1998 Dean's Award for Engineering Achievement by Mark Karwan, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The engineering school's highest honor, the Dean's Award for Engineering Achievement recognizes someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the practice of engineering or has had an exceptional professional career.

Morihara is chair and chief executive officer of Peninsula Laboratories, Inc., a biotechnology company in San Carlos, Calif., and president of Via Press, Inc., a company in Gresham, Ore., that produces educational materials to teach speakers of other languages to conduct business in English.

As a doctoral candidate at UB, Morihara was employed at Union Carbide Corp. Linde Division in Tonawanda, now Praxair, where he worked as a process engineer, program manager and international manager of new products for the electronics division. He also was a lecturer in the UB engineering school and an engineering and physics instructor at Erie Community College.

Among his accomplishments, which have resulted in several U.S. patents, are the design, fabrication and testing of gas-bearing supported turbo-expanders for air separation plants; development of an efficient process to produce high-purity silane from metallurgical grade silicon, and the design and construction of a 1,200 tons/year commercial plant to produce ultra high-purity silicon via the silane process for the semiconductor industry.

He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He was a member of the first UB Engineering Dean's Advisory Council in 1995 and will serve on the council for a second term.

He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, as well as the doctorate from UB.

Morihara is a resident of Gresham, Ore.