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MAX S. PETERS

1920–2011

Elected in 1969

“For contributions to the study of kinetics and
mechanisms of chemical reactions.”

BY CAROL ROWE
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY

MAX S. PETERS, who will be remembered for his strong leadership and remarkable achievements over 16 years as dean of engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as for his fun-loving personality, athleticism, and service to the engineering profession, died on June 20, 2011, at the age of 90.

Born in Delaware, Ohio, on August 23, 1920, Max grew up in State College, Pennsylvania, the son of a noted professor of education at Pennsylvania State University—Charles C. Peters—and his wife Dixie. It is said that Max loved to run footraces as a child for the sheer joy of competing and doing well, a trait he exhibited throughout his life. After graduating from State College High School, where he ran track and made an early name for himself by scoring five touchdowns at the football field dedication game, Max went on to study chemical engineering at Penn State. He was active in a variety of organizations, including serving as captain of the ski team, before graduating with his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1942.

After graduation he worked for two years as the supervisor of a nitric acid production unit for the Hercules Powder Company and then joined the Army in the middle of World War II. This reportedly occurred over the protests of his college dean, who claimed Max was needed more by the chemical



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