Max Bodenstein in Hanover, Germany. Joe, however, did not choose an academic career path, opting for industry instead.
From his casual remarks I gathered that during World War II, Joe served for a time in the Merchant Marine in the Atlantic convoys. Being by nature taciturn and self-effacing, Joe never elaborated on his service, though it seemed to be quite dangerous.
Concomitant to his Ph.D. work at Johns Hopkins he was a junior project member at the National Defense Research Council from 1941 to 1943. He did not elaborate on the nature of his work there, either.
His first scientific work was quite naturally influenced by the interests of his mentor, Paul Emmett, the mechanisms of the most important catalytic processes: ammonia synthesis and Fischer-Tropsch synfuels synthesis. This work was carried out in Pittsburgh at the Mellon Institute, one of the forerunners of Carnegie Mellon University. It was distinguished by the then-novel application of hydrogen and carbon isotopes, both stable and radioactive, for the study of heterogeneous catalysis.
Moving to Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan, Joe was involved in the improvement of several chemical manufacturing operations, with the results of these efforts being mainly proprietary in nature. His publications from this period relate to the important oxidation of ethylene to ethylene oxide on a silver catalyst and surface segregation. During this period Joe published a short paper on the latter subject, which was referred to by his NAE colleague M. Boudart as “a study that may well be the most elegant catalytic investigation of the sixties if elegance implies economy of means to convey an important message.”
The last and main part of his scientific career was at the Scientific Research Laboratories of the Ford Motor Company from 1960 to 1984. There his accomplishments were nothing short of prodigious. The studies can be grouped into the following broad fields:
Automotive emissions—studies of the surface reaction of nitric oxide by isotope labeling, selective reduction of