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McDivitt Double Effect Evaporator
Kim Tompkins McDivitt ’88 and Phil McDivitt ’87 recently funded the McDivitt Double Effect Evaporator in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University.

From their own experience as students at Texas A&M University, Kim Tompkins McDivitt '88 and Ascend Performance Materials CEO Phil McDivitt '87 recognize the value of hands-on experimentation and real-world applications. Through the couple’s generosity to fund the McDivitt Double Effect Evaporator, students in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering can gain crucial skills in state-of-the-art chemical process technology.

The equipment will be installed in the Common Labs in the Zachry Engineering Education Complex, which transform the education of over 4,000 engineering students each semester. The 30,000 square feet of communal-style labs encourage collaboration across fields of study and provide access to a range of equipment and materials, mimicking real-world scenarios and allowing students to discover real-world solutions.

“Experiments conducted with the McDivitt Double Effect Evaporator will teach our students vital real-world skills,” said Dr. Victor Ugaz, interim department head of the chemical engineering department.

The McDivitt Double Effect Evaporator functions through the economic re-use of energy, as vapor generated from the first effect provides the energy used to conduct the second effect. It concentrates a solution consisting of a nonvolatile solute and a volatile solvent. The double effect evaporator is the second piece of equipment in a three-phase experimentation process, following the distillation column and preceding the heat exchanger, which will be purchased and installed in the future.

“The McDivitts’ gift ensures that our students continue to receive critical hands-on training in state-of-the-art chemical process technology, placing them at the forefront of innovations that make a difference by improving the quality of life for everyone,” Ugaz said.

This piece of equipment is not the only gift from the McDivitts, whose consistent support has propelled the chemical engineering department since they graduated from the university over 30 years ago. Their recent significant gifts to the department include a faculty fellowship, a scholarship and an endowment to support the Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Lab. Through each of these funds, their focus has been to enhance the opportunities and experiences of chemical engineering students.

“The unit operations lab brings the concepts taught by our outstanding faculty to life,” Phil McDivitt said. “I have talked to many chemical engineering students who greatly value the lessons learned through hands-on experimentation. We are excited to support the double effect evaporator project as an extension of the chemical engineering curriculum.”

The McDivitts look back at their experience as students at Texas A&M and value more than just the education and degrees they received. Their giving represents their dedication to the university and is a springboard that allows other Aggies to have similar experiences to what led the McDivitts to professional success.

“Texas A&M has given so much to us beyond just a great education,” McDivitt said. “The value system within all aspects of the university provides a great foundation for success after graduation.”

How To Give

Endowments supporting students in the college have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the College of Engineering and its departments or would like more information on how you can give, please contact one of our development officers.