James E. House | Chemistry and Biochemistry | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

James E. House

James E. House

 James E. House A native of Southern Illinois, James E. House grew up in an area now covered by Rend Lake.  He graduated from a one-room elementary school in that area and after graduating from Benton Consolidated High School, he enrolled at SIU where in due course he earned B.S. and M. A. degrees.    Professor John C. Bailar, Jr. was his Ph.D. adviser at the University of Illinois as he was for others included in this Hall of Fame roster.  Following a circuitous path that led from Western Kentucky University to the A. E. Staley Mfg. Co. in Decatur, IL, he joined the faculty at Illinois State University in the spring of 1966 as Assistant Professor and became Professor in 1974.  In the interim, he held positions of Assistant Dean of Faculties and Associate Dean of the University and was a NSF Science Faculty Fellow in 1969-1970.  At ISU, House taught a wide variety of courses that included general chemistry at all levels, undergraduate and graduate level courses in both inorganic and physical chemistry as well as special topics courses.  Over the years, he served as consultant to Tate & Lyle Company and performed kinetic modeling of the process that led to the successful production of the sweetener Splenda®.  Long active in the Illinois State Academy of Science, he served as the President of the academy in 1974-1975, Editor of the Transactions of the ISAS from 1975-1979, and he was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1984.  Over 150 publications in refereed journals resulted from his research and writing.  House began a serious and more dedicated writing career following retirement from ISU, which resulted in books on chemical kinetics, quantum mechanics, and inorganic chemistry all of which have appeared in multiple editions.  He has also served almost continuously since 1998 as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and more recently as Scholar in Residence at Illinois Wesleyan University.  His writing on sporting topics has led to approximately 400 publications in periodicals and four books.  One of those books and Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry were coauthored with his wife, Kathleen who is also an adjunct professor at IWU.  In 2011, House was elected Student Body Professor of the Year by the student body at Illinois Wesleyan University.  A new direction was started in 2016 when House was appointed Series Editor for a new series of reference volumes, Developments in Physical & Theoretical Chemistry that is being published by Elsevier.  He is also actively revising Inorganic Chemistry in preparation of the third edition and is the Series Editor for the "Chemistry by Invitation" section of The Chemical Educator.