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Brown is active in research that focuses on the modeling of transport processes in materials processing systems, especially solidification phenomena and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics. He is co-author of more than 250 papers in refereed journals and proceedings and has lectured widely on his research. He serves as an executive editor of The Journal of Chemical Engineering Science and is on the editorial board of several other journals.
Brown has received numerous awards and honors for his research contributions. These include the Allan P. Colburn Award (1986) and Professional Progress Award (1997) from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Young author award from the American Association of Crystal Growth (1984) and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1983). He has been named to a dozen distinguished lectureships and was named a Distinguished Graduate of the School of Engineering of the University of Texas in 1992. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and the National Academy of Science in 2001.
Brown is active as an advisor to industry and other universities and serves on a number of national advisory boards. He lives in Winchester, Mass., with his wife, Beverly, and their two sons, Ryan and Keith.