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Norman Hackerman

Norman Hackerman

CHF Collections, Photograph by Douglas A. Lockard

  • Born: March 2, 1912, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Died: June 16, 2007, Temple, Texas

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0083C
Interview Date: February 8, 1995
Location: University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Interviewer: James J. Bohning
No. of pages: 31
Sponsor: Electrochemical Society
Electrochemical Society

  Abstract of Interview

In this, his third of three interviews with James J. Bohning of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Norman Hackerman begins by reviewing the origins of his association with The Electrochemical Society (ECS), which was related to his interest in the oxygen electrode as a student. He recalls his first paper, presented at an ECS conference and published in the Transactions of the American Electrochemical Society, and the first colleagues he met at this ECS meeting. He next describes the character of The ECS at that time, comparing it with the American Chemical Society (ACS), as well as the origins of the society's journal and his involvement in publication and editorial activities. Hackerman touches briefly upon his committee work before examining the growth, structure, membership, and functions of The ECS during his appointments. Finally he describes achievements and obstacles during his tenure as Vice President and then President, and his view of the Society's influence on electrochemistry and related fields.


1932 A.B., Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University
1935 Ph.D., Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University

  Professional Experience

Loyola College

1935 - 1939 Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Colloid Corporation

1936 - 1940 Research Chemist

United States Coast Guard

1939 - 1941 Assistant Chemist

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

1941 - 1943 Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Kellex Corporation

1944 - 1945 Research Chemist

University of Texas at Austin

1945 - 1946 Assistant Professor of Chemistry

University of Texas at Austin

1946 - 1950 Associate Professor of Chemistry

University of Texas at Austin

1948 - 1961 Director, Corrosion Research Laboratory

University of Texas at Austin

1950 - 1970 Professor of Chemistry

University of Texas at Austin

1952 - 1961 Chairman, Chemistry Department

University of Texas at Austin

1960 - 1961 Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs

University of Texas at Austin

1961 - 1963 Vice President and Provost

University of Texas at Austin

1963 - 1967 Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

University of Texas at Austin

1967 - 1970 President

University of Texas at Austin

1985 Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Rice University

1970 - 1985 President and Professor of Chemistry

Rice University

1985 President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

The Robert A. Welch Foundation

1982 Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board


1956 Whitney Award, National Association of Corrosion Engineers
1964 Joseph L. Mattiello Award
1965 Palladium Medal, The Electrochemical Society
1965 Southwest Regional Award, American Chemical Society
1972 LL.D., St. Edwards University
1975 D.Sc., Austin College
1975 Honor Scroll, Texas Institute of Chemists
1978 D.Sc., Texas Christian University
1978 LL.D., Abilene Christian University
1978 Gold Medal, American Institute of Chemists
1981 Mirabeau B. Lamar Award, Association of Texas Colleges and Universities
1982 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Johns Hopkins University
1984 Edward Goodrich Acheson Award, The Electrochemical Society
1984 Alumni Gold Medal for Distinguished Service, Rice University
1987 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award
1987 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1993 Vannevar Bush Award, National Science Board
1993 Doctor of Public Service, University of North Texas
1993 National Medal of Science
1999 Texas Distinguished Scientist Award, Texas Academy of Science

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Early Years in The Electrochemical Society 1

Research at Johns Hopkins University. Association with The Electrochemical Society. First paper. Colleagues in The ECS.

Publications and The Journal of the Electrochemical Society 7

Appointment as Chairman of Publication Committee. Appointment as TechnicalEditor, then Editor of journal. Evolution of journal. Editorial system of journal.

Other Early ECS Activities 11

Palladium Medal. Chairman of the Corrosion Division of The ECS. Role in initiating Electrochemical Technology journal. Growth in membership of The ECS. Nature of membership and Society in general.

Vice President and President of The Electrochemical Society 18

Influence, accomplishments, and problems as President of The ECS. Relationship of The ECS to other societies. The ECS's contributions to electrochemistry.

Notes 28

Index 29

  About the Interviewer

James J. Bohning

James J. Bohning is professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he was a faculty member from 1959 to 1990. He served there as chemistry department chair from 1970 to 1986 and environmental science department chair from 1987 to 1990. Bohning was chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1986; he received the division’s Outstanding Paper Award in 1989 and has presented more than forty papers at national meetings of the society. Bohning was on the advisory committee of the society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program from its inception in 1992 through 2001 and is currently a consultant to the committee. He developed the oral history program of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and he was the foundation’s director of oral history from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Bohning was a science writer for the News Service group of the American Chemical Society. He is currently a visiting research scientist and CESAR Fellow at Lehigh University. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.

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