Dr Litt

Dr. Mitchell Litt, professor emeritus in Penn Engineering’s department of bioengineering, passed away on March 2; he was 81.

Dr. Litt was a founding member of the department of bioengineering, which was officially created in 1973. He was first appointed to Penn’s faculty in 1961 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering and chaired the department of bioengineering from 1981-1990.

Praised for his teaching, Dr. Litt received a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1963. “His work in education brought a national focus to our program and has been duplicated countless times across the country in many different engineering curricula,” said Dr. David F. Meaney, Solomon R. Pollack Professor and Bioengineering Chair. “In this aspect, his legacy left an imprint on thousands of young minds across the country, and continues to this day.” 

Dr. Litt published dozens of papers on his research into biotransport, cellular bioengineering and biorheology. He helped develop biomedical instruments for measuring the viscosity and elasticity of tracheal mucus and other secretions, which improved the understanding and diagnosis of respiratory and other diseases.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Litt was a graduate of Columbia University. He received a BS and MS in chemical engineering in 1954 and 1956, respectively and a DEngSc in 1961. 

Dr. Litt is survived by his wife, Zelda; children, Ellen Simons and Steven Litt; grandchildren, Louis, Abby, Jocelyn, Jennifer and Melissa; and sister, Dr. Noami Quenk.

Contributions may be made to the Penn Engineering Undergrad Scholarship General Fund, https://giving.apps.upenn.edu/giving/jsp/fast.do?program=ENG&fund=402795