Robert G. Rinker

1929 – 2023

Robert (Bob)G. Rinker, PhD, peacefully passed away at home in Santa Barbara on February 12, 2023.  He is survived by his wife Lorraine Dayle Rinker and his three children:  Nancy Moore, Edward Rinker, and Andrew Rinker.  He is also survived by his five grandchildren:  Zachary Moore, Jessica Moore, Nicholas Moore, Ethan Rinker, and Avery Rinker.  Bob was a devoted husband, father, professor, and was known for his humility and integrity.

Bob was born in Vincennes, Indiana.  He graduated from Rose Holman Institute of Technology in 1951.  He enrolled in the master’s program at California Institute of Technology.  During his master’s program, he was recruited to serve in the Army Corp of Engineers as an officer in the Korean War where he served for about a year.  After his service he completed his PhD in 1959 in Chemical Engineering and went on to become an assistant professor at Caltech.  During this time he met and married his wife Lorraine.  In 1965, Bob founded the chemical engineering department at UCSB where he was a professor until he retired in 1992.  He continued on as an Professor Emeritus and Associate Dean of College of Engineering until 2005.  Bob impacted many student’s lives and was awarded the professor of the year in the Chemical Engineering Department countless times for his dedication in teaching both undergraduate and graduate students.  He was a champion of the MESA program that encouraged diverse students to pursue a degree in science and engineering.  Bob is memorialized in the Chemical Engineering Department with a Robert G. Rinker Chair in ChemE and with the Robert G. Rinker ChemE Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory.

He will be greatly missed by his family, the community of UCSB, and his many students.

Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial for Bob at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church: 4575 Auhay Dr. in Santa Barbara at 1pm on March 11th with a reception following at Creekside Restaurant and Bar:  4444 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the MESA program at UCSB.

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Office of Education Partnerships 

University of California, Santa Barbara

1501 South Hall

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3011


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