|Professor Andreas Langner | photograph by A. Sue Weisler/RIT 2004
On April 5, the RIT flag was lowered in mourning for Dr. Andreas Langner. A chemistry professor in the College of Science, Langner passed away at the age of 50 on March 31.
Born in Wuppertal, Germany, Langner received a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He began teaching at RIT in 1989 and attained the rank of full professor in 2000.
Langer was a well-decorated member of the faculty recognized for his dedication to teaching. In 1991, he was presented with the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence & Campus Leadership Award, and in 2004, he received the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching.
In addition to teaching, Langner oversaw a research lab and served as a mentor to 32 undergraduate and 31 graduate chemistry students. He was unique in his approach to chemistry. He viewed education as an adventure, saying on his website that he was “…interested in bringing undergraduates, and graduate students alike, on a [learning] safari,” Those who knew him noted how much he enjoyed helping students learn and develop skills and how he liked to push his students to excel beyond their limitations.
Progression of long-standing health complications prevented him from teaching some of his planned classes earlier this quarter, but he taught a wide range of chemistry courses over his long career, including General & Analytical Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry. He was known for his personable nature and the enthusiasm he had for teaching. “He knew everyone’s name,” reflected Desiree Davison, a first year Biotechnology major and a student of Langner’s. “Whenever you would go up to hand in your test, he would always say thank you. He was a really nice man.”
Langner had a profound influence on the students he taught and the people he met in the two decades he worked as an educator at RIT. His patience and desire to challenge his students gave him a positive reputation throughout the college. His death came as a shock to his students, family and co-workers alike. He served as an inspiration for many with his outstanding perseverance and the genuine love he had for his work.
A memorial service will be held at RIT at a date and time unannounced at the time of publication.