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CV Hermann Staudinger

 Hermann Staudinger (left) with one of his students

Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953

Hermann Staudinger, born in Worms, Germany, in 1881, studied chemistry in Halle, Darmstadt, and Munich, and earned his doctorate from the University of Halle in 1903. After receiving his professorial lecturing qualification at the University of Strasbourg in 1907 he served as an associate professor for organic chemistry at the Technical University of Karlsruhe for a few years before accepting a chair in chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (1912–1926). In 1926 he received a professorship at the University of Freiburg, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was director of the chemical laboratory until 1951 and head of the State Research Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry until 1956 – the first research center in Europe exclusively devoted to the study of macromolecules in nature and technology as well as to the new research field of polymer science. Staudinger himself had founded the institute in 1940.

Hermann Staudinger is the father of macromolecular chemistry. As early as 1920, he discovered that natural fibers, rubber, and plastics are composed of high-molecular compounds (macromolecules, polymers). His research into the polymer structures of fibers, plastics, and elastomers was revolutionary and entirely changed the concept of developing polymeric materials by moving towards a targeted material design, away from the purely empirical optimization of the past. His research on synthetic and biological macromolecules has sparked countless modern innovations in materials research and the life sciences and has paved the way for the rapid growth in the industrial production of plastics.

Staudinger was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953 for his pioneering work on macromolecules. On April 19th 1999 the American Chemical Society paid tribute to his laboratory in Freiburg as the birthplace of polymer sciences and named it an "International Historic Landmark of Chemistry".

The historical photograph was taken from the University of Freiburg's tribute to the outstanding achievements of Hermann Staudinger.

pdficon.gif Tribute to Hermann Staudinger as a pdf file (1.9 MB, in German)



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