Title and Description Page
Family and Childhood 1
Description of parents. Moves frequently from city to city. Strongly influenced toward chemical engineering by seventh grade teacher. Builds one-tube radio.
Carnegie Institute of Technology 3
Attends due to location and economic circumstances. Finds that chemical engineering department is not very strong. Warner advises to pursue master's in physical chemistry. Chemical engineering facilities quite poor. Monitors freshman chemistry labs and recitations as graduate student.
Brown University 5
Convinced by Warner to get Ph.D. Works with Kraus in impressive lab. Comparison of graduate students' situation under Kraus and Noyes. Dielectric constant measurements. Starts work on precision condenser but leaves after a year to get a job.
Mellon Institute 7
Corning sponsors fellowship. Develops glass coating. Experiments with etherless Grignard reagents. Combines efforts with Hyde at Corning. Dow Corning is formed. Collings is very effective leader.
Graduate Education 14
Takes courses at University of Pittsburgh while working. Accepted as part-time Sc.D. student at Carnegie Tech while still at Mellon. Kinetic study under Fugassi, primarily on nights and weekends. Marriage in the fall of 1940. Develops formula for calculation of equilibria.
Dow Corning 16
Interacts frequently with Hyde and others from Corning. McGregor comes to Midland. Bass (who eventually becomes president) is director of research and head of development. Work in radiation chemistry. Develops "200 fluid" which prevents foaming in the oil in aircraft. Work on laminating resins. Develops silicon caulking for own aluminum windows. Begins work with rubbers by gelling "200 fluid." Investigates silicas which lead to high-strength rubber. Experiments using boric oxide dehydration lead to invention of Silly Putty. Begins use of acid polymerization techniques. Intense study of fundamentals of rubber. Works closely with McGregor, whom he describes as an "ideal boss." Work with silicones. Moves into silicon in 1959. Learns about growing them from Knapic in San Francisco. Goes to Germany to get Siemens license. Begins to make single crystals by zone refining. Lowery convinces to concentrate on polycrystals. Becomes manager of New Products Business to push ahead projects that had not been fully developed. Group develops foam-filled tire and anti-microbial material. Semi-retires in 1972 as per company policy, but continues to consult.
Saginaw Valley State College 33
Travels. Visits daughter in Zaire. Yien contacts to fill interim position as dean of the newly formed School of Science and Engineering. Permanent replacement finally found, but continues on part-time basis. Works to secure agreement from other schools to put Saginaw's engineering degree program in place.
Interest in jade begins on trip to Hearst Castle. Enjoys working with it as a hobby; makes jewelry for wife. Gives talks on it, travels to museums to see collections.
Changes in Chemistry Throughout Career 36
Terrific development in technology. Skepticism about consequences of tendency to work with only very small quantities of chemicals. Believes there is a great deal more to be done with silicon chemistry—the possibilities are endless.