John R. Schaefgen
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
In this interview John Schaefgen begins with his family history and early life in Gross Point, Illinois. He then discusses the development of his interest in science, and describes his education, including his professors and fellow students at Northwestern University and Ohio State University. In the central portion of the interview, Schaefgen considers his association with Paul Flory at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and recalls his move to the Pioneering Research Laboratory at DuPont. He then describes his interests and accomplishments in polymer chemistry. The interview concludes with a discussion of his colleagues, professional society activities, and views on the characteristics of innovative research.
|1944||Ohio State University||PhD||Physical Organic Chemistry|
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
ELJAY Associates, Inc.
Table of Contents
Parents and brothers. Education at grade and high school. Childhood illness.
Northwestern University, 1936-40. Organic and physical chemistry professors.
Ohio State University, 1940-43. Teaching assistant duties. Graduate student accommodation. Professorial advisors. Fellow graduate students.
Discusses influence of P. J. Flory, his research supervision and his experience at DuPont. Research on polyesters and publications with Flory. Coworkers. Research on branched polymers and on polyelectrolyte effects. Break-up of the Goodyear research group.
Organizational structure and style in Pioneering Research Laboratory. Discusses molecular structural requirements for strong fibers. Research reporting within the company. Flory as consultant to DuPont. Discusses function of outside consultants.
Consulting. Professional activities, ACS and Gordon conferences. Discusses publication policy in private industry. Innovative research. Family; wife, her scientific education. Children and grandchildren. Contact with retired colleagues. Alterations in chemistry during career. Influential polymer chemists.
About the Interviewer
Raymond C. Ferguson obtained his degrees in chemistry from Iowa State University (BS, MS) and Harvard University (PhD). He worked in research divisions of the Organic Chemicals, Elastomer Chemicals, and Central Research Departments of DuPont, principally in molecular spectroscopy, organic structure analysis, and polymer characterization. Currently he is affiliated with CONDUX, Inc., a consulting association of former DuPont professionals.