Norman Hackerman

Born: March 2, 1912 | Baltimore, MD, US
Died: June 16, 2007 | Temple, TX, US
Photograph of Norman Hackerman

CHF Collections, Photograph by Douglas A. Lockard

Norman Hackerman begins his second interview by describing his work after coming to the University of Texas at Austin Department of Chemistry and starting the Corrosion Research Laboratory [currently the J. J. Pickle Research Center]. He discusses the physical chemistry textbook for premed students he wrote with Frederick Matsen and Jack Myers. He also recalls the events which led to his becoming chairman of the department after only seven years, his reorganization of the department, and characteristics of the department's faculty at that time.

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0083B
No. of pages: 32
Minutes: 135

Interview Sessions

James J. Bohning
21 February 1992
Welch Foundation, Houston, Texas

Abstract of Interview

In this, his second of three interviews with James J. Bohning of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Norman Hackerman begins by describing his work after coming to the University of Texas at Austin Department of Chemistry and starting the Corrosion Research Laboratory (currently the J. J. Pickle Research Center). He discusses the physical chemistry textbook for premed students he wrote with Frederick Matsen and Jack Myers. He also recalls the events which led to his becoming chairman of the department after only seven years, his reorganization of the department, and characteristics of the department's faculty at that time. Hackerman also describes his consulting work for the Lone Star Gas Company, the progress of his research at the Corrosion Research Lab, and resulting publications. He focuses on the factors leading to his appointment as Dean of Research at the University, the work he undertook in that position, and his eventual promotion to Dean of Office of Government Sponsored Research. He also discusses his research for the API and mentions his students and subsequent publications. Hackerman concludes the interview with a summary of his rapid progression from Vice President to Vice Chancellor to President of the University.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1932 Johns Hopkins University AB Chemistry
1935 Johns Hopkins University PhD Chemistry

Professional Experience

Loyola College

1935 to 1939
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Colloid Corporation

1936 to 1940
Research Chemist

US Coast Guard

1939 to 1941
Assistant Chemist

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

1941 to 1943
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Kellex Corporation

1944 to 1945
Research Chemist

University of Texas at Austin

1945 to 1946
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
1946 to 1950
Associate Professor of Chemistry
1948 to 1961
Director, Corrosion Research Laboratory
1950 to 1970
Professor of Chemistry
1952 to 1961
Chairman, Chemistry Department
1960 to 1961
Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs
1961 to 1963
Vice President and Provost
1963 to 1967
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
1967 to 1970
President
1985
Chair Emeritus of Chemistry

Rice University

1970 to 1985
President
1970 to 1985
Professor of Chemistry
1985
President Emeritus
1985
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

The Robert A. Welch Foundation

1982
Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board

Honors

Year(s) Award
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

LLD, St. Edwards University

1975

DSc, Austin College

1975

Honor Scroll, Texas Institute of Chemists

1978

DSc, Texas Christian University

1978

LLD, 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

Work in Chemistry Department, University of Texas at Austin
1

Start of Corrosion Research Laboratory. Textbook on physical chemistry for pre-med students.

Papers and Research
8

Research for Lone Star Gas Company. Paper on corrosion inhibition. Patent process for de-inking printed waste paper. Papers on passivity. Electrochemical potential dynamics research.

Dean of Research
14

Work for Defense Research Laboratory. Appointment as Dean of Office of Government Sponsored Research. Work for API.

University Presidency
25

Appointed Vice President, then Vice Chancellor, then President of UT.

Notes
28
Index
29

About the Interviewer

James J. Bohning

James J. Bohning was professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he had been 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 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 CHF’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. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.  Bohning passed away in September 2011.