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Otto Vogl

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 15, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 28

Otto Vogl, 85, a renowned polymer chemist and professor emeritus of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, died on April 27.

Born in Traiskirchen, Austria, Vogl earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and philosophy at the University of Vienna in 1950, remaining there briefly as an instructor. He accepted postdoctoral positions at the University of Michigan and Princeton University.

Vogl then joined the polychemicals department at DuPont, where he remained for 14 years. Moving to academia, he became a professor in the polymer science department at UMass Amherst in 1970. He created the university’s Center for UMass-Industry Research on Polymers, one of the first academia-industry cooperative programs in the U.S.

In 1982, he accepted the inaugural Herman F. Mark Professorship at Polytechnic Institute of New York (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University). After retiring in 1996, he returned to UMass Amherst as a professor emeritus.

Publishing more than 450 scientific papers, Vogl was credited with numerous patents and served as editor-in-chief of the journal Progress in Polymer Science.

Committed to advancing the internationalization of the polymer science field, he helped create the Pacific Polymer Federation and served as its first president.

He was a member of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan; the Austrian Chemical Society; and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was also an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1954.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jane; son, Eric; daughter, Yvonne Marsh; and eight grandchildren.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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