The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) notes with deep sadness the loss of one of its legacy leaders, Dr. Bernard S. “Bernie” Lee, who passed away on November 7, 2010.
Dr. Lee, former president and CEO of the Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), was well-known and highly respected within the natural gas community. With his passion for excellence and his commitment to energy, Dr. Lee’s presence had an enduring impact on the natural gas industry and helped secure a successful future for the organization.
He joined IGT in 1965 and was responsible for the development of various synthetic fuels programs involving coal, oil shale and liquid hydrocarbons. A recognized authority on energy, in particular fossil fuel conversion technologies, Dr. Lee became president of IGT in 1978.
In 1978, he was also awarded Chemical Engineering magazine’s Outstanding Personal Achievement Award in Chemical Engineering. In 1981, he was named the 33rd Institute Lecturer of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In 1984, he was the recipient of the American Gas Association (AGA) Gas Industry Research Award, and in 1998 he was honored with AGA’s Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Lee was a strong leader in the international liquefied natural gas (LNG) community and played an active role in organizing the International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas series. He was a member of the steering committees from LNG 6 through LNG 13, and chairman of the steering committees of LNG 7, 9, 11 and 13.
In addition, he provided frequent testimony to Congress on energy issues.
He retired in 1999 after serving as IGT’s president and CEO for 21 years. After retirement, he continued to be involved professionally and had a strong vision about our energy future, serving as an energy advisor in Malaysia and China.
During the past 4 years, Dr. Lee had been actively promoting the development of massive electricity storage (MES) to the renewable energy industries (solar and wind) and the scientific research community. Together with David Gushee, a retired senior specialist in environmental policy from the Congressional Research Service, he published several papers on this subject and coined the phrase “MES” which is now a common term in energy circles.
Dr. Lee served on IGT’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee and on several other industry boards, including the National Fuel Gas Company, NUI Corporation and Peerless Manufacturing Company. He received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1956 and 1960, respectively.