Chad was born on January 9, 1957 in St. Boniface, Manitoba. His family moved to North Vancouver in 1960, where Chad attended school. Chad obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 1979. Following graduation, he worked for two years as a process engineer/chemist at MacMillan Bloedel’s Powell River Mill. In 1981 he returned to UBC to pursue post-graduate studies in the Department of Chemical Engineering, completing his M.A.Sc. in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1988. In 1988 he joined Paprican (now FPInnovations) as a Senior Research Engineer located in the UBC Pulp and Paper Centre full-time as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. In March 2002 he was awarded an NSERC/Paprican Chair in Chemical Pulping Technology and in 2006 was appointed Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Chad taught pulp and paper technology and chemical engineering core courses. He also served as the associate coordinator of the Pulp and Paper Master of Engineering Program (1988-1999).
Chad was a leading expert in mixing processes in the pulp and paper industry and other chemical process industries. His research was recognized by academia and industry around the world. He established a world-class research group of students and post-doctoral fellows. He was a team player and had many collaborations with faculty and industry.
His fellow colleagues in the North American Mixing Forum (NAMF) recently wrote, “he represented, not just the strength of our present research community, but a large part of our future”. A colleague from the University of Alberta expressed her thoughts about Chad: “His technical work had a depth which I think few of us really appreciated because he was so unassuming. Next to his normally easygoing nature, his passionate commitment to the pulp and paper industry was startling in its intensity, and his willingness to ponder our work and ask thoughtful questions several months later made him stand out as a really exceptional scholar”.
In addition to his prodigious accomplishments, Chad loved the outdoors and enjoyed hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, and shared his passion with his many friends and students. He was an excellent photographer and appreciated art, music, and literature. Chad would always brighten up the day of his fellow staff by coming into the main office almost daily and proclaiming “I’m just looking for smiles”. He was a devoted family man and in this very difficult and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Professor Chad Bennington passed away suddenly on February 14, 2010 at age 53. His untimely passing is a devastating loss for his family – wife Maureen, and daughters Monica and Catherine, as well as his colleagues, and the academic community to which he has made so many contributions.