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Memorial Tributes, Volume 12
HEINZ HEINEMANN 1913–2005
Elected in 1976
“For conception and development of new petroleum processes andcontributions to the advancement of catalysis.”
BY JOHN H. SINFELT
HEINZ HEINEMANN, a scientist with a long and distinguished career in industry and academia, died of pneumonia at the age of 92 on November 23, 2005. During the last decade of his life, he was distinguished staff scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), University of California, Berkeley, working in the Washington, D.C., office of LBNL. Dr. Heinemann was known for his work on catalytic petroleum refining and petrochemical processes. He also worked on coal gasification and coal liquefaction. Not content to stop working in 1978 after a 40-year career in industry, he spent many more years conducting research and lecturing in a university setting.
Born on August 21, 1913, just before the start of World War I, in Berlin, Germany, Heinz was the son of Felix and Edith Heinemann. He spent his youth in Germany, where he attended the University of Berlin and Technische Hochschule, Berlin, in the early 1930s. The Heinemann family asserts that the Nazi regime refused to accept his Ph.D. thesis because he was Jewish, and that, therefore, Heinemann left Germany for Basel, Switzerland, where he received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Basel in 1937. He then immigrated to the United States in 1938 and became a U.S. citizen in 1944. Several years later, in 1948, he married Elaine Silverman. The marriage was graced by a daughter, Sue, and a son, Peter. After 46 years