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Farragut, TN 37922
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Charles Stuart Daw

Charles Stuart Daw Obituary
Charles Stuart Daw

Farragut - Stuart Daw, age 69, passed away on July 2, 2019 after a 12+ year battle with cancer.

He is preceded in death by his father, Charles Edward Daw and survived by his wife Dianna Lynn Daw, mother Mildred Louise Daw, brother Murray Daw, step-daughters Robyn Norris and Amy Noe Howard, and nieces and nephews. He held a PhD from the University of Tennessee in Chemical Engineering and was a pioneer in his fields of interest - holding a number of patents with ORNL, and having authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers and mentored dozens of PhD students around the world.

He was a founding member of Farragut Presbyterian Church, a Corporate Fellow with UT-Battelle (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), and a Professor with the Bredesen Center at the University of Tennessee. His passions for exploration and generous spirit led to a life of teaching, examination, explanation in both his professional and his private life with notable contributions to chemical and mechanical engineering science, cave exploration and more.

In his professional career as a chemical engineer, Stuart was exceptionally impactful in the science, and remarkably generous in mentoring and helping many others. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Florida in 1973, then began his career at E.I. DuPont de Nemours in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, where he worked on improving chemical reactors used in producing titanium dioxide, a commonly used product whitener.

In 1979, he joined the staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked for 37 years before retiring in 2016 as a Corporate Fellow (the top technical position). While at ORNL, he maintained a long relationship with the University of Tennessee, first receiving his PhD in 1985 and then spending decades in adjunct or joint faculty positions, guiding research, teaching, and mentoring students. His achievements and leadership led to his election to Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2013.

Stuart's natural curiosity and intuition drove him to constantly learn about new directions in science and to apply them to problems benefitting society. He was an internationally recognized pioneer in the application of chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics to complex problems such as diagnosis and control of complex chemical reactor and combustion systems, in the latter, principally automotive engines and utility boilers. His work with Ford Motor Company led to the first application of chaos control to reduce unsteady operation and pollutant emissions in automotive engines, and he was the driving force behind a commercial flame-monitoring system to allow fossil power plants to burn more efficiently and cleanly.

Stuart believed in the value of building teams from different backgrounds to approach problems with an interdisciplinary perspective. He formed and led two highly regarded research consortia for the Department of Energy. The first, an industry-government-university effort to understand and reduce pollutant emissions from cars and trucks, formed over 20 years ago and is still going strong. The second is a coalition of national laboratories to improve the thermochemical production of biofuels via improved computer models. In these efforts, he took care to value the contributions and needs of the partners.

Stuart was a gentle mentor, always offering encouragement and guidance, believing that even improbable pursuits can yield useful surprises. He guided the research of dozens of students and junior staff members, being generous and approachable as an advisor. He was also magnanimous in including others to help further their careers and personal development. Stuart was first a friend, then a scientist. His example has served as inspiration for many of his proteges to emulate as they continue his legacy.

Stuart's hobbies included hiking, cycling, attending story-telling events, and archaeology; he was also an expert flint-knapper. He particularly enjoyed caving, which he engaged in for over 50 years with strong interests in conservation, exploration, and scientific study. Active in the local East Tennessee Grotto of the National Speleological Society, he also co-led the Cave Research Foundation expedition at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park; he was elected as a fellow in both the NSS and CRF in recognition of his contributions to the caving community. In these pursuits, he translated his love for learning, even in the smallest of discoveries, and love for team building to his fellow cavers.

Family and Friends are invited to a Celebration of Stuart's Life Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 2 p.m. Farragut Presbyterian Church 209 Jamestown Blvd.

Knoxville, TN 37934.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel on July 14, 2019
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