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HARRY GEORGE DRICKAMER

1918–2002

Elected in 1979

“For contributions in the development of high pressure techniques, and in the elucidation of new properties of solids, and of diffusion in liquids.”


BY THOMAS J. HANRATTY


HARRY G. DRICKAMER played a unique role among chemical engineering educators by championing the role of modern chemistry and physics in engineering research. For example, long before quantum chemistry and physics gained their current acceptance in the graduate chemical engineering curricula, Drickamer insisted that his students master those disciplines at a level of proficiency equal to that of their peers in the basic sciences. In so doing, he helped produce an outstanding cadre of scholars who have gone on to universities and research laboratories to demonstrate the modern chemical engineering approach to the understanding and design of new materials. (From the presentation of the John Scott Award at the 1985 meeting of the Division of Chemical Physics of the American Chemical Society.)

During his long tenure at the University of Illinois (1946–2002), Harry Drickamer dominated the field of high-pressure research, and its present status in chemistry, physics, geology, and materials science is due largely to his efforts and those of his students. Their adaptation of virtually every kind of spectroscopy to high-pressure studies led to many discoveries and to the invention of pressure-tuning spectroscopy.

Harry Drickamer was born Harold George Wiedenthal to Louise and Harold Wiedenthal in Cleveland, Ohio. His father



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