Hermann Staudinger, won Nobel Prize in Chemistry for polymer science work, 1953. His research helped spur the development of polymer science in industry.
The pioneering research of Hermann Staudinger, first at the Eigenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, then at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, led to the development of polymer science as a modern multidisciplinary field. In 1926 Staudinger became director of the chemistry department at Freiburg. He established the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry within that department in January 1940. This institute was the first in Europe devoted exclusively to polymer science. On November 27, 1944, near the end of the Second World War, Staudinger’s laboratory was destroyed by Allied bombing. In the years after the war, he concentrated on rebuilding the chemistry department and his institute. Staudinger retired from the chemistry department in 1951 and was succeeded by Arthur Lüttringhaus. The Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry was transferred from the university to the state of Baden-Württemberg, on a temporary basis, with Staudinger remaining as director. He resigned in 1956. Elfriede Husemann succeeded Staudinger as director, and the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry became an independent university institute. In 1962, Husemann was appointed to the newly established chair of macromolecular chemistry and the institute was moved into a new building, now called “Hermann Staudinger Haus,” located in Stefan-Meier-Strasse.
The American Chemical Society and Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker designated the foundation of polymer science as an International Historic Chemical Landmark in a ceremony at Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, on April 19, 1999.
Visit National Historic Chemical Landmarks to read more about Hermann Staudinger.
Excerpted with permission, National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program