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Oral-History:Albert "Les" Babb

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About Albert Babb

Albert “Les” Babb’s oral history is a fascinating life story of an engineer who crossed many disciplines of science and technology throughout his career. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1925, Babb’s father pushed him towards a career as a medical doctor, but Babb was drawn to chemical engineering. After graduating from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, he worked for Rayonier, Inc., but he was eventually drawn into an academic position with the University of Washington. Through his academic career, Babb was able to work in chemical engineering, but also in nuclear engineering (he was a cornerstone in the University’s fledgling nuclear engineering department). Eventually, he was drawn into biochemical engineering for medical advancements, a veritable full-circle back to his father’s original designs for him.

Although he has many engineering innovations to his credit,Albert “Les” Babb’s biochemical work on kidney dialysis machine advancement, sickle cell anemia, and pulmonary medicine research, have proved to be his greatest legacies. His gravitation towards the medical benefits of engineering innovations is facilitated by his sincere interest in the human side of technological advances and his goal to improve patient’s lives.