Issue Date: September 24, 2012
Vance E. Senecal
Vance E. Senecal, 90, a retired DuPont chemical engineer, died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at his home in Greenville, Del., on May 25.
Born in Phillipston, Pa., Senecal earned a B.S. in 1947, M.S. in 1948, and Ph.D. in 1951, all in chemical engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) under the tutelage of Robert Rothfus.
Senecal then joined DuPont, where he would remain for his entire 35-year career. Initially, he worked within the company’s Engineering Research & Development Division, conducting fluid flow and heat transfer research. Later, he made the significant contribution of inventing bulked continuous-filament yarns of nylon and Dacron, which are used in the manufacture of carpet.
Subsequently, Senecal became laboratory director of the Engineering Technology Laboratory and director of engineering research at DuPont. Before retiring in 1986, Senecal was named executive director of educational aid, overseeing collaboration with and distribution of financial aid to universities in the U.S. and Europe.
In 1989, Senecal received the Merit Award from Carnegie Mellon University in recognition of his research work. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1950.
Senecal’s wife of 67 years, Marian, died with him. He is survived by four sons, Vance, David, Keith, and Scott; and two granddaughters.
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