Distinguished Alumni Awards

James H. Mueller

James H. Mueller
To James H. Mueller for his creative use of engineering knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and impact on the environment throug pioneering design.

Chairman Emeritus, Regenerative Environmental Equipment Company, Inc., Morris Plains, New Jersey

BS, Mechanical Engineering, 1953

James Mueller is a prototypic engineering entrepreneur. After working in the industry for nearly 20 years with Research-Cotrell and General Electric, he set out to build his own company. In 1971, he founded Regenerative Environmental Equipment Company, Inc. (REECO), and served as president until 1990, when it was acquired by Air & Water Technologies Corporation. Under his leadership and with no outside capita, REECO has become the world’s largest supplier of energy efficient thermal oxidizers. Environmental regulatory agencies consider RECCO’s technology to the “the best available control technology” for air toxics. He designed, patented, and developed the RE-THERM, a pioneering regenerative incineration system that efficiently destroys volatile organic compounds form process exhausts and has exceptional fuel economy. His patents relate to pollution control equipment, energy conservation, and hydromechanical devices. His innovations have improved the quality of life of people around the world who live and work in proximity of sources in industrial pollution. Today RECCO is an international company with joint ventures in Australia, Denmark, Germany, and Italy. Mueller has published technical articles and authored a book chapter on heat recovery. A member of the Alumni Board of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UIUC, he was honored with the department’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1989.

Current as of 1992.