Issue Date: December 8, 2008
Herman C. Hamann, 69, an industrial chemist and chemistry professor, died on May 13 at Coastal Hospice at the Lake, in Salisbury, Md., of metastatic breast cancer.
Born in New York City, Hamann received an undergraduate degree in 1960 from Wagner College, in Staten Island, N.Y., a master's degree in 1962 at St. Joseph's University, in Philadelphia, and a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from Temple University in 1967 under the late Daniel Swern.
During Hamann's career, he worked at Rohm and Haas, Sybron Chemical, Purolite, Puricons, and Arrowhead Industrial Water, which became part of BF Goodrich during his time there. After retiring from industry in 2001, Hamann taught organic chemistry at Philadelphia University for several years before moving to Chincoteague Island, Va.
Hamann also coauthored papers in the areas of olefin preparation and reactivity and held six patents marking his contributions to the areas of suspension polymerization, ion-exchange resin development, and deoxygenation of water.
Hamann joined ACS in 1965. He had been a member of the Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church of Snow Hill, Md., and was active for many years in the Boy Scouts of America.
Hamann is survived by his wife, Elaine; one daughter, Caroline Murphy; three sons, Paul, Christian, and Andrew; and nine grandchildren. A son, Theodore, preceded him in death.
Dana E. Knox, 53, professor of chemical engineering and associate provost for undergraduate programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), died suddenly on Sept. 24 at his home in Edison, N.J.
Born in Mineola, N.Y., Knox earned a B.S. in 1977, an M.S. in 1982, and a Ph.D. in 1987 in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He then accepted a position as a faculty member at NJIT.
Knox was an expert in the thermodynamics of fluids and fluid mixtures and a frequent contributor to technical journals on this subject. At the time of his death, Knox was serving as chairman of the Subcommittee on Solubility & Equilibrium Data for the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
Knox was active in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, organizing and chairing sessions at the national meetings. He received the Franzosini Award from IUPAC and awards from NJIT for both excellence in teaching and advising students. Knox was a member of ACS, joining in 1987.
He is survived by his wife, Petra.
James C. Warf Jr., 91, a professor emeritus of nuclear chemistry at the University of Southern California and a peace activist, died on Nov. 7 at his home in Silver Lake, Calif., from metastatic cancer of the spine.
Born in Nashville, Warf grew up in Tulsa, earning a bachelor's degree at the University of Tulsa in 1939.
While earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Iowa State University in the mid-1940s, he served as a leader of the analytical and inorganic chemistry sections on the Manhattan Project.
Warf, who held four patents on techniques to extract plutonium from nuclear fission waste, became an activist after the method was used to create nuclear weapons. Following the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Warf helped found the Federation of American Scientists, created to warn public and policy leaders of the dangers of nuclear proliferation.
After finishing his education, Warf studied for a year in Switzerland on a Guggenheim fellowship before his arrival at USC in 1948. He remained at the university for 40 years until his retirement.
Warf gave lectures worldwide on nuclear disarmament, testified before Congress, and in 1994, traveled to Kazakhstan with a team investigating the former Soviet nuclear warhead test site and health problems resulting from radioactive fallout. In 2001, Warf earned a USC Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award and the USC Distinguished Emeriti Award.
In 2005, Warf wrote "All Things Nuclear," a book detailing all manifestations of radioactivity. Warf spent a total of nine years in Indonesia and Malaysia, where he taught chemistry and wrote textbooks.
For four decades, Warf read chemistry texts for the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1942.
Warf is survived by his wife, Kyoko Sato; daughter Sandy; sons Curren and Barney; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. His first wife, Lee, died in 1959.
Paul A. Wilks Jr., 85, an instrumentation entrepreneur, died on Oct. 11 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, N.H., after a brief illness.
Born in Springfield, Mass., Wilks graduated from Harvard University in 1944 with a B.S. degree in engineering and joined PerkinElmer in Norwalk, Conn., that same year. He helped to develop and introduce the company's first infrared spectrophotometer and was influential in creating PerkinElmer's analytical instrument division.
After several years, Wilks left PerkinElmer to start his own infrared sample handling equipment company, Connecticut Instrument, which he eventually sold. He then founded four more infrared spectroscopy instrumentation companies, selling two of them—Wilks Scientific and General Analysis. Until his death, Wilks continued to manage his last two start-ups: South Norwalk, Conn.-based Wilks Enterprise and Bradenton, Fla.-based Wilks QC.
Over his long career, Wilks introduced many innovative products, held numerous patents on infrared instrumentation and sample handling techniques, and published many articles and technical papers on infrared technology.
Wilks received the Williams-Wright Award from the Coblentz Society, the 2004 Pittcon Heritage Award from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the Gold Medal Award from New York Section of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy.
Wilks is survived by a son, Mark; a daughter, Sandra Rintoul; and six grandchildren. His wife, Laura, died in 2006, and a son, Donald, in 2004.
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