Eldon Knuth, professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has been appointed a knight in the French National Legion of Honor and awarded the corresponding medal by the French government. He was honored in 2019, nearly 75 years after his wartime service.

The legion is the highest French order of merit, established in 1802 by Napolean Bonaparte to recognize and commend civilians and soldiers.

Prior to his 35-year tenure at UCLA, Knuth helped liberate the city of Metz, France, while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He reported to the 95th Infantry Division, which was preparing for deployment to General George Patton’s third army in France. He and about 30 other soldiers were trapped for five days behind enemy lines in the dead of winter with meager supplies.

Knuth joined UCLA Engineering in 1956 and became a full professor in 1965. At UCLA, he wrote the book “Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics” and authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers.

Read the full story here on the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering website.