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Paula Hammond

Chemical engineer and engineering professor Paula Therese Hammond was born in 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. Although she grew up wanting to become a writer, Hammond changed her mind after taking a junior high school chemistry class. She was hooked by the idea of using two materials to create a something completely different. After graduating from high school, Hammond attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she obtained her B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1984. She was then hired by Motorola in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she worked for two years. In 1988, Hammond earned her M.S. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and then returned to MIT to earn her Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering in 1993.

Following a postdoctoral research fellowship in chemistry at Harvard University, where she became interested in surface chemistry, Hammond went on to become a faculty member of MIT. In 2003, she worked as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, focusing on a project that allowed for the creation of polymers that form micelles in water. These isolated packages could be used to assist in drug delivery. Hammond is the Bayer Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering, and serves as its Executive Officer. Additionally, she has participated in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also helped found the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), whose mission is to help design more functional technology for the nation’s soldiers. Hammond’s research interests include the nanoscale design of biomaterials, macromolecular design and synthesis, and directed assembly using surface templates. In 2010, Hammond made a research agreement with Ferrosan A/S, a pharmaceutical company, to develop a bandage that would use Hammond’s technological innovations in Ferrosan’s collagen bandages. Throughout her career, Hammond has served as a mentor to many graduate and undergraduate students and has published nearly 150 scholarly articles pertaining to her research in chemical engineering. She has also encouraged an increase in the presence of minority scientists and engineers at MIT by chairing the Initiative on Faculty, Race and Diversity.

Hammond has won numerous awards for her work as a scientist and as a professor. She was named the Bayer Distinguished Lecturer in 2004 and the Mark Hyman, Jr. Career Development Chair in 2003. In 2010, the Harvard Foundation awarded her the Scientist of the Year Award at the annual Albert Einstein Science Conference. Hammond has also been named one of the “Top 100 Science Stories of 2008,” by Discover Magazine. Hammond is married to Carmon Cunningham, and they have one son, James.

Accession Number

A2012.218

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/9/2012

Last Name

Hammond

Middle Name

T

Schools

Georgia Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Paula

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

HAM04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Science informs....

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

9/3/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Chemical engineer and engineering professor Paula Hammond (1963 - )

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Georgia Technical Research Institute

Motorola, Inc.

Dow Chemical Company

Favorite Color

Intense Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:2231,41:9312,172:15229,307:15617,312:16490,322:16878,327:25112,387:26176,422:27544,451:28000,459:29596,482:31040,505:31420,512:31876,522:33472,560:34460,574:38560,594:41409,644:42025,654:44181,685:44643,693:55376,827:62862,987:65766,1040:74444,1108:76390,1134:78390,1183:84870,1300:85510,1309:86550,1323:87750,1339:92710,1437:93430,1447:94550,1483:102423,1578:112387,1728:112752,1734:117132,1838:135196,2004:135572,2031:136418,2044:144972,2173:152235,2217:154746,2253:155556,2266:155961,2272:157419,2286:159930,2324:164142,2395:164466,2400:170624,2456:171464,2467:176084,2535:176588,2543:178352,2578:180032,2597:181292,2616:181796,2624:189294,2689:189689,2695:190084,2701:193495,2737:193933,2745:194444,2754:196415,2801:197437,2819:197875,2827:198386,2836:200138,2868:203642,2921:204153,2930:204737,2939:212127,3002:213666,3034:214638,3048:215367,3059:228557,3219:238609,3383:239399,3396:244455,3509:249646,3542:250238,3551:250534,3556:252014,3581:252606,3591:254456,3628:254752,3633:256602,3670:256898,3675:260154,3725:260820,3736:271271,3842:271656,3848:272195,3857:280130,3977:285350,4028$0,0:4925,42:5249,47:8246,126:9623,150:10109,157:11405,189:11891,196:12701,207:14402,232:14888,239:15455,245:31750,435:32170,441:33850,467:39814,546:45568,578:46974,600:47270,605:48750,631:49046,636:52376,707:59166,773:59628,781:60288,792:61212,809:64380,868:64908,876:66030,895:66624,905:67218,921:67812,931:71244,1002:71772,1012:72036,1017:72300,1022:81869,1142:82247,1149:84326,1187:90340,1264:91188,1273:102114,1426:105002,1469:105762,1479:110702,1573:111462,1586:113210,1610:117629,1636:118577,1651:127578,1754:128766,1772:131934,1834:140550,1886
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paula Hammond's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond talks about her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about her mother studying nursing at Howard University and Wayne State University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about her father's background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond talks about her father's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her brothers, Gordon Francis Goodwin and Tyehimba Jess

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond recalls her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about growing up in northwest Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about Motown and the music of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond talks about her early school days

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about her most memorable teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond discusses her early aspirations to become a writer

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond describes the cultural changes in Detroit, Michigan and increasing gang activity

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about her decision to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond talks about studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about the professors that mentored and inspired her

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paula Hammond talks about meeting her husband, John Hammond

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond talks describes the discrimination she faced while working at Motorola in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about working at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her doctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond talks about her post-doctoral research at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about her return to Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond describes her current research concerning the directed assembly of nanomaterials

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond discusses the practical application of her research

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paula Hammond talks about liquid crystalline and block polymers

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paula Hammond talks about dendritic block copolymers and tissue engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Paula Hammond talks about the use of biomaterials in the human body

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond discusses nanoparticle drug delivery and other discoveries

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about her honors and awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond gives advice to young minority students of science

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond reflects on her career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paula Hammond tells how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
Paula Hammond describes her current research concerning the directed assembly of nanomaterials
Paula Hammond discusses nanoparticle drug delivery and other discoveries
Transcript
All right. Now, since you've been here, professionally you've been involved with--and I'm going to ask you to explain some of these things.$$Yes. Sure.$$It seems that we have a menu of your--of the areas you concentrate in.$$Oh, sure. And I can help you narrow them too, if some of them are--some may be more important than others, you know.$$$$Okay. Well, what about macromolecular design and synthesis?$$All right. That just refers to the fact that we make new polymers. We actually, in my group, have a couple of different skill sets. One of them is what you just described. We can, understanding the function that we want a polymer system to have, design the polymer to do what we anticipate it needs to do. So, we actually use synthetic chemistry as a tool in that case to make a new material system that will do what, you know, the desired function.$$Okay. Now, I don't know if it's time to talk about this or not, but this is--I guess this what you--this is the core of what you're doing now. I guess, it's you're using-- you're doing nanomaterials--$$That's right.$$--where you're able to layer different compounds together and make new materials.$$That's right. Exactly. And, in fact, that's the other skill set that we use. We put that all in the category of self-assembly or directed assembly. We take a material that has a certain interaction with another material, and in a controlled fashion, assemble a new structure from those two systems, two or more systems. Sometimes even one singular system can undergo soft assembly. In this case it's two systems. We're taking a positively and negatively-charged material and alternating them. And, in doing so, we create nanoscale layers, and we build these materials nano layers at a time, and we can put different material systems into different layers. With that level of control, we can design a material system from the bottom up, and determine what function exists, and how it will function based on what we incorporate into the film.$$Okay. And this is--the final product is a thin film, right?$$The final product is a very thin film, sometimes as thin as a few (tenths?) of nanometers; sometimes as thick as microns. And, we can actually coat a very broad range of things, very large structures as large as--well, there's no limit. It essentially can be--very large structures can be coated or very, fine, tiny structures and features can be coated. So, we can coat everything from a nano particle that's used for drug delivery, to an electrode that is used in electrical chemical energy applications, to a very large surface that is used as an optical reflector for an antireflective surface for a large glass structure, for example.$$Okay. So, this is what you mean by self-organized polymer systems?$$Yes. That's one of the ways in which we generate self-organized polymer systems. The other is to use that synthetic tool to create a molecule that assembles with itself in water, and we make some of those systems as well. They assemble into micellar particles, small nanoparticles when they're in water, based on hydrophobic or water hating and hydrophilic or water-loving segments.$$Okay. Okay. What about alternating electrostatic layer-by-layer assembly?$$Yes.$$That's what you just described.$$That's what I just described.$$Okay.$$Layer-by-layer assembly. The automated pieces that we--the process I was describing originally was done by dipping and allowing time for the material to absorb it to go on time. We developed an automated approach that sprays these systems one after the other, and we can generate the films much faster. One of my students invented this approach. We patented it, and we actually have a company he founded called, Svaya Nanotechnologies in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded in 2009, and it's in its third round of funding right now. And he's the one who's coating things that are as large as this table or long, rolled, reel-to-reel pieces of film, using the layer-by-layer technique.$All right. Now, what have been, I guess, your career research highlights? I know--now, you teach and do research, right?$$I teach and do research. That's right. I would say some of the career highlights include some of our more recent work, including nanoparticle drug delivery work that we've been doing. We've been able to find, very recently in our lab, a way to generate RNA, which is the mechanism we can use to turn off bad genes that can cause disease or promote disease in a way that is very unique. It allows us to deliver a large amount of RNA in a nanoparticle without causing toxic side effects, which are common with other methods of RNA encapsulation. So, that's something I think is a highlight, and we just published the work last year. Some of the earlier highlights include the work that we've done in designing these layer-by-layer films to release different drugs at different times, and it's something that we've been able to demonstrate with simple systems, but we're now trying to make more advanced films so that you can, for the implant example, release antibiotics, get rid of any infection, and release the growth factors to bring in these new healthy cells to the body.$$Okay. Now, we were reading about a partnership--well, a research agreement that you all made with--that MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] made with Farrosan.$$Oh, yes. That's right. This is with the sponge that stops bleeding, essentially. And we, actually, from that work developed a coating that can be released or deployed very rapidly. And that's another very recent highlight in our work, which we hope will, ultimately, be licensed, and used--deployed to the Army.$$Okay. That's exciting stuff. Now, you're written over 150 articles or maybe more by now. I know this is an old project.$$Oh, yes. Yes. It's a little over 200 now, but it's close (laughs).

Arnold Stancell

Chemical engineer and corporate oil executive Arnold Stancell was born on November 16, 1936 in Harlem, New York to Maria Lucas, a seamstress and Francis Stancell, a musician. He lived with his single mother and was focused on his education throughout his youth. After passing competitive exams to attend Stuyvesant High School, Stancell went on to City College of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1958. Stancell was awarded a graduate fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and became the first African American to earn his Ph.D. degree from MIT in chemical engineering in 1962.

After graduation, Stancell worked at Mobil Oil Corporation from 1962 to 1970, researching new chemical and plastic products. During this time, he was awarded eleven patents for new plastics processes and plasma (ionized gas) reactions for new products. In 1970, Stancell took a leave of absence from Mobil Oil to teach at MIT. He started a research program on plasma reactions at surfaces and his student, David Lam, went on to found Lam Research, the preeminent company worldwide in plasma etching of circuits into the surface of silicon chips. In 1971, Stancell declined a tenured professorship position at MIT to return to Mobil Oil. He continued to excel at Mobil, becoming vice president of Mobil Plastics in 1976 and led the commercialization of a new plastic film that revolutionized packaging and replaced cellophane. In 1982 he became vice president of Mobil Europe Marketing and Refining based in London. He then progressed through a number of additional executive positions becoming vice president of oil and natural gas Exploration and Production in 1989 responsible for finding and developing oil and natural gas reserves in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Stancell initiated, negotiated and launched the now $70 billion liquefied natural gas production joint venture between Mobil and Qatar which sells natural gas to markets worldwide.

In 1993, he retired from Mobil after a thirty-one year career and a year later accepted George Institute of Tecnology’s invitation to join its faculty as professor of chemical engineering. He became the Turner Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2001, and in 2004 retired as Professor Emeritus. After the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill, Stancell consulted and advised the United States Department of Interior. In 2011, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Science Board.

Stancell has received numerous recognitions including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers National Award for Chemical Engineering Practice, Career Achievement Award of City College of New York, Professional Achievement Award of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and in 1992 was named Black Engineer of the Year. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and in 2009, was elected to its Board. In 2010, he was appointed to the Governing Board of the National Research Council. He has also received numerous outstanding teacher awards. Arnold Stancell is married to artist Constance Newton Stancell.

Arnold Stancell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 14, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/14/2012

Last Name

Stancell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F

Occupation
Schools

Stuyvesant High School

City College of New York

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Arnold

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

STA07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

Everything comes to he that waiteth, if he worketh while he waited.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/16/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Stamford

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef Tenderloin

Short Description

Chemical engineer and corporate executive Arnold Stancell (1936 - ) had a thirty-one year career with Mobil Oil starting in research and rising to vice president of Exploration and Production. He served on the National Science Board and advised the United States government after the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill.

Employment

Georgia Institute of Technology

Mobil Oil Company

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:10925,70:11726,80:17103,154:19150,194:20129,210:20485,215:25240,253:26274,266:29510,293:37244,357:37727,366:40832,420:44650,451:44986,456:47165,480:47750,492:48270,501:49245,523:53990,572:54506,579:54850,584:59830,622:66478,659:71038,696:71433,702:79050,799:79382,804:82339,828:82741,835:83344,845:84215,863:91444,945:105981,1156:113286,1222:113844,1233:116430,1253:116856,1260:132480,1429:132870,1436:133130,1441:133780,1456:134300,1467:134560,1472:135080,1481:137170,1487:139200,1501:146842,1536:147318,1544:147794,1552:148066,1557:148542,1566:149154,1576:161040,1737:161352,1742:162054,1752:169576,1849:170002,1857:175650,1906:176100,1914:180348,1982:185644,2029:186225,2038:186723,2045:192288,2105:192726,2111:198658,2185:198922,2190:199582,2201:205803,2272:206426,2280:207761,2299:212790,2367:237466,2614:238082,2623:238874,2633:248690,2710:249740,2729:250090,2735:251000,2751:251280,2756:251980,2770:254893,2803:256597,2831:257165,2841:263886,2875:264550,2885:265380,2895:266044,2905:269358,2916:269942,2925:270672,2937:271256,2947:282525,3038:283000,3044:283475,3050:295105,3164:295780,3174:296230,3181:300195,3230:300790,3238:318082,3439:318520,3446:319177,3457:319542,3463:324214,3558:329530,3587:330570,3601:332090,3636:333980,3648$0,0:3528,29:5364,48:6384,60:6792,65:12504,129:19072,191:19688,199:20480,209:21536,228:22064,235:23736,252:29343,319:30526,338:33630,386:34553,402:34837,407:35263,414:37020,422:44200,447:45550,469:55550,579:56795,590:59676,604:62613,627:65897,646:66182,652:67750,660:70889,708:71765,721:80306,803:80873,811:84218,845:84806,852:86276,866:107791,1152:113142,1198:114740,1219:137390,1446:139415,1494:141365,1530:141665,1535:147058,1551:147576,1560:148094,1569:154170,1666:155250,1694:155790,1704:156270,1714:156870,1726:159090,1784:159750,1800:160290,1810:167256,1844:167688,1851:168336,1861:180834,2040:182286,2071:183474,2094:183870,2102:188174,2125:193399,2170:194095,2179:194443,2184:197488,2247:203380,2316:204238,2368:225063,2601:225546,2610:226167,2621:227892,2648:229548,2689:230445,2705:230997,2718:232998,2760:236532,2774:236988,2781:241280,2834:244120,2860:245352,2872:253103,2956:253904,2966:255150,2984:264603,3089:264959,3094:265315,3099:278932,3211:279352,3217:281756,3240:282848,3259:284954,3295:285656,3307:289322,3390:289634,3395:301846,3591:302454,3600:305836,3625:306348,3634:306796,3643:307436,3654:307756,3660:311850,3709:312378,3721:313566,3747:313896,3753:314226,3762:318054,3843:318318,3848:320694,3907:327280,3972:328153,3989:328735,4004:362261,4403:362585,4412:373238,4533:373968,4544:374406,4551:375063,4562:376158,4580:383912,4660:385153,4704:389360,4740:394854,4828:397642,4874:399938,4915:405835,4953:409370,5006:409774,5011:422260,5152:423228,5164:423844,5173:429510,5259:429885,5265:430410,5274:436140,5315:440182,5393:448782,5542:449126,5547:450588,5566:451104,5573:452136,5587:460099,5673:463256,5703:463652,5711:463982,5717:469260,5778:481184,5914:484521,5986:488568,6069:500985,6152:503075,6173:515260,6232:534214,6302:536152,6323:536866,6331:537376,6338:541865,6374:542720,6386:543385,6394:543955,6401:545760,6425:551340,6485:559966,6597:560374,6602:572186,6724:576122,6795:576860,6814:593850,6919:594288,6925:598466,6991:599456,7011:599984,7020:605600,7090
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Arnold Stancell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about meeting his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell describes his earliest childhood memory and his childhood home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Arnold Stancell talks about his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his junior high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his involvement in the church and youth organizations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his junior high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his high school experience and his decision to go to City College of New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his experience at City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about social baggage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about living in Harlem during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his interest in polymers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his first professional job at Exxon and his decision to pursue a doctoral degree

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his perceptions of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his mentorship at MIT

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell describes his dissertation on improving crude oil recovery

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about the poetic qualities of thermodynamics

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work with plasma

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell talks about his professional relationship with NOBCChE and how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil Chemical, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil Chemical, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell considers the environmental impact of his work

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about David Lam

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his international work with Mobil

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about Mobil's drilling activities and drill technology

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about the Quatar Deal

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his retirement from Mobil

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about the BP Oil Spill

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his perceptions of U.S. education

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 1
Arnold Stancell talks about his international work with Mobil
Transcript
Okay, alright. Now, now in 1980, you were in the management of Mobil Corporate Planning in New York?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$Ye that's--$$How did that come about, first of all?$$Well, I must have done a good job on the vice president of plastics, so I think the president of Mobil heard a presentation from me on our plastics business. And so this particular job, when you come now to New York--I came from the Rochester area, Macedon, New York, down to New York City headquarters. Now you're in a position where you're handling planning for all of Mobil, and you report to the senior vice president for planning of Mobil. And he's on the board. So now the board directors, the presidents of Mobil's major divisions and the chairman and the president of Mobil all get a chance to see you up close. You make presentations, you make points regarding strategies of the different businesses and so on. And I guess I could have used a little mentoring more at that time, so that now I've been with Mobil for awhile, I mean, I just, I'm coming right out--first I was in research, then I ran a business--I'm coming into world headquarters. I mean I don't know the rules of the game, and I'm in a very visible position, being this manager of corporate planning, making presentations to the board and so on. So, you start picking up on what's the way things are done. I always called it the way I saw it, though. And so I must have done pretty well with that, but that was a very exciting time, because Mobil made a bid for Marathon Oil, and I started getting more into the financial aspects of Mobil, of course through the business of my prior job, running the film business, plastic film business. So with corporate planning, you get heavily into financial matters, but a president asked me to head up a task force within a small group, and he wanted to keep it quiet. To select the target, Mobil was ready to make an acquisition that we would be an oil company, and of the various oil companies, what's our recommendation? And so, that was really exciting. We worked, obviously, secretly and so on, and we chose Marathon Oil. We thought they were heavily undervalued compared to their real underlying value. I came up with estimates of their underlying value, and we had experts from the financial houses worrying about how you structured a deal, and it was a heady time. we mounted our offer. It was on the low side, and Marathon rejected it. Now, Marathon's another oil company, so they knew that if Mobil takes them over, you know, we didn't need their whole super structure. So, they held us up and they filed an antitrust suit. We increased our offer. We kept increasing our offer. But they were successful, as you might expect, really, that they filed an antitrust. That takes time, and people had started at sixty dollars a share and it got up quickly to 70 dollars a share, 80 dollars a share. We finished putting our offer out there at 120 dollars a share, and people didn't take our offer, they took the 120 dollar a share offer from U.S. Steel. U.S. Steel joined in, and U.S. Steel bought Marathon. And of course, there was not going to be antitrust issues that Marathon had some refineries, they had some service stations, and if Mobil and Marathon got together, it would restrain trade. There were no issues, because U.S. Steel is a steel company. So they quickly closed their deal and we were locked out. So, people thought we would never close on our deal, it would take too long. But here's a guy who was 120 dollars a share right now. So that was very disappointing that we missed out on the Marathon acquisition.$Okay, alright. Now, when we broke, you were in London as a vice president for Mobil Europe, right?$$Yes.$$And the '80's [1980s] were a time, I was thinking about this during the break, that British Petroleum started, you know, making inroads into the U.S. market in the '80's [1980s]. I don't know if they were doing that when you were there, but it was--$$Yes, they were, they had a presence in the U.S. market through Standard Oil Ohio. and their exploration and production, they were active in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas of the U.S. They were not aggressive, but they had a presence. The early '80's [1980s] in London, Europe was going through where like Margaret Thatcher was putting in her conservative policies in Britain, and there was a big fight with the coal unions. And it was a time of transition in Europe to more of a market economy, even more of a market economy, so--$$Okay. I know that was the beginning of it. That was, Standard Oil of Ohio was basically taken over by BP.$$Yes, that's right.$$By the end of the '80's [1980s], they had not only Standard Oil of Ohio, I think, but Standard Oil, period, right?$$They had Standard Oil of Indiana, Amoco. They ended up merging with--around late '80's [1980s], like '89' [1989] or something like that, yeah.$$So, what were you doing? So you're in London, and what were some of the highlights of what you're--$$It gets a little--my district--the advantage of having a technical background, and you're also running a business, I think you can maybe see some issues. And in terms of when you build a refinery, it's not just saying I'm going to run some crude oil through here and get some products. You've got to be concerned about the location of those products, because the transportation costs of those products to the different markets can be considerable. So, people recognize that, but then also the configuration. What hardware do you put in a refinery? If you just put in simple hardware--so, you got a refinery, it takes crude oil and gives you some products, but it's the type of products you get. You want to maximize gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil and diesel. Those are the products that have the value to them. The heavy part, after you get through refining, has low value. So, you really want to take the heavy part that has low value and put investment in to convert that up to these higher value products. So you want crude oil to come into the box, and out just comes gasoline, heating oil, jet fuel, and diesel. And if you don't have that, your refinery is going to be uncompetitive. You won't have the margins to survive against refineries that have all that hardware. So, we cut through all the issues of in terms of what refineries you should keep, which ones we should invest in, by having this simple picture, and we use that very powerfully. We ended up as negative, but we ended up shutting four refineries. But we invested heavily in the remaining ones to make them only produce G and D, and overall we were more profitable. So that was very exciting. I had a strategy that made sense. The, just the different countries, I'm trying to think of any particular issues-France--we had a lot of union issues because we were trying to make our operations more efficient. But the laws of the country gave a lot of strength to the unions, and you couldn't close, you couldn't shut down... As I mentioned, some refineries you want to keep, some you don't. And so it was difficult, very difficult. In France we tried to shut down a refinery which was a negative, but it made economic sense. We were going to continue with the workers in other operations, but we couldn't move them. See, the mobility of workers in Europe wasn't, isn't like the mobility here in the U.S. If you have an operation and you say, look you can be more efficient, you can have your job, but you'll have your job over here. I know it disrupts your family, but, et cetera. But people, a lot of people will do that. But in Europe, they won't. And so we had union people bust into our offices in France and Paris armed with bats and threatening the general manager. So I got a call from the general manager, the president of Mobil France, and he says, "Arnie" (laughter), because they call me Arnie, "We got a problem here. The workers are rioting here, threatening and so on." So, I said, "You've got to call the police." (laughter). Cooler heads ended up prevailing, but you know, they took to the streets on that one. We ended up convincing enough workers to take the deal and things calmed down, but it was a trying time.$$What was the deal?$$The deal was that we had another refinery location and a refinery we thought was competitive that had the kind of hardware that I was telling you about. And we were going to expand that. We could move a bunch of those jobs up north. So they were down in this lovely area near the Mediterranean, charming restaurants, charming hillside, and we were going to move them up to Ravensheugh, north, and they didn't want any part of that. So, and then for those who didn't want to move at all, they agreed in negotiation with the union on a payout. But a bunch did take it, and moved up to Ravensheugh. There were those kinds of things in Europe.$$Alright. So you were there for--$$I think it's almost three and a half years, or four years, three years.$$Okay, so you arrived in '82' [1982], right?$$'82' [1982] and left in '85' [1985].$$'85' [1985], right.$$Yes three years, yes.$$So you became vice president of Mobil Global Marketing and Refining Planning in New York.$$Yes so that's Mobil's deal of, now you've finished an operating job, and now you go back to world headquarters and now back into planning, but now for broader knowledge and strategy for a major division. I had the corporate planning job, but this is a way now of getting more familiar with the marketing and refining. I had not been in marketing and refining. So, with that job--I mean, I was in marketing and refining, operating--now I'm getting marketing and refining, a broad overview.$$Okay, alright. So what are some of the highlights of that?$$That was, I'm trying to think of the, at that time, now we were, in terms of the particular operation, you know, it really was a continuation of this thought that I started in Europe where now I could apply it to Mobil's global marketing and refining, where you look to your refineries that are going to be your keepers, because you're going to invest heavily in them with this upgrading to make more valuable products, and less investment going into closure of the office for overall better efficiency. And we applied that worldwide. of course we operated-- marketing and refining, you know, we had Japan, we had, you name it. We were marketing and refining throughout the--well, Singapore, Australia. I didn't start it, but we started in Saudi Arabia with marketing and refining, mainly refining. So it was a continuation of the strategy that we started in Europe, but now applying it more broadly [unclear].

Ralph Gardner-Chavis

Chemist and chemistry professor Ralph Gardner-Chavis was born on December 3, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio to Vivian Hicks Gardner, a teacher and housewife, and Clarence Chavis Gardner, a musician and government worker. Gardner-Chavis was educated in the Cleveland Public School system. He attended Bolton Elementary School and Audubon Junior High School. Gardner-Chavis graduated from John Adams High School in 1939 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1943. He completed his graduate studies at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, earning both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry in 1952 and 1959, respectively.

In order to avoid fighting in World War II, Gardner-Chavis took a job as a research assistant on the Manhattan Project between 1943 and 1947. The project resulted in the United States developing the atomic bomb to end the war in 1945. Immediately after leaving this position, Gardner-Chavis was unable to find a job as a chemist, so he worked as a waiter from 1947 to 1949. He was eventually hired as a research chemist and project leader at the Standard Oil Company in Ohio where he remained for almost twenty years. Gardner-Chavis then took a teaching position in Cleveland State University’s chemistry department where he held a full-time faculty position from 1968 to 1985. As a professor, Gardner-Chavis had an interest in early childhood learning and development, and he started a program with his adult students that advocated reading to babies. He fought for the inclusion of black studies and multi-racial courses in the curriculum at CSU. Gardner-Chavis later combined his part-time teaching with work in the research lab of the Molecular Technology Corporation, where he was also on the board of directors and served as vice president of research. Gardner-Chavis went on to hold emeritus status in the CSU chemistry department while continuing his research on catalysis and molecular technology.

Throughout his career as a chemist, Gardner-Chavis published numerous research articles. He became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity in 1942 and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 2001.

Gardner-Chavis passed away on March 27, 2018 at age 95.

Accession Number

A2004.030

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/19/2004

Last Name

Gardner-Chavis

Marital Status

Married

Schools

John Adams High School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Western Reserve University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ralph

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

CHA05

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Francisco, California

Favorite Quote

Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/3/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Death Date

3/27/2018

Short Description

Chemistry professor and chemist Ralph Gardner-Chavis (1922 - 2018 ) was a research assistant for the Manhattan Project before working as a chemist for the Standard Oil Company and teaching chemistry at Cleveland State University.

Employment

Manhattan Project (U.S.).

Standard Oil Company

Cleveland State University

Molecular Technology Group

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Gardner-Chavis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his father's upbringing and interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Garder-Chavis talks about his early childhood in Buffalo, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis discusses his family's move to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his Cleveland neighborhood and the schools he attended

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about how his family managed during the Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his mother's working for the Welfare Department

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis shares a story about his junior high math class

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis explains how he became a chemist instead of joining the military

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis explains how he ended up working as a chemist on the Manhattan Project

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis shares the history and the science behind the Manhattan Project

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis continues to discuss the technology behind the atomic bomb

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about other key players in the race to build an atomic bomb

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis describes the atmosphere in Chicago, Illinois during the creation of the atomic bomb

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about the United States' decision to drop the atomic bomb

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis reflects on the fate of the Manhattan Project and the post-war mood

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his difficulty finding a job as a chemist after World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his graduate education and starting his family

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about wanting to work on catalysts at Standard Oil

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about completing his Ph.D. requirements and playing ping pong

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis recalls working under his supervisor at Standard Oil

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis discusses his research on the interactions of gas molecules with the surface of a solid

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about race-related issues between himself and the head of his laboratory at Standard Oil

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about how his publication was chosen for a conference in Moscow, Russia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis details traveling to Moscow for his conference presentation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis explains the rise and fall of his American Dream Soap Company

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his students at Cleveland State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis explains his "Reading to Babies" initiative, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis explains his "Reading to Babies" initiative, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his work on diversity curriculum initiative at Cleveland State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis explains his battle for tenure at Cleveland State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his conflict with the Department of Chemistry's Personnel Action Committee in the chemistry department at Cleveland State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis responds to a question comparing his fight to be promoted to the story of Galileo

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his relatives and friends

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about his propensity for the written word and his interest in music

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis reflects on his career as a scientist and his accomplishments in the field of catalyst chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis recites one of his poems

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis responds to a question about the future of weapons of mass destruction

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis describes his photographs

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ralph Gardner-Chavis describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Ralph Gardner-Chavis continues to discuss the technology behind the atomic bomb
Ralph Gardner-Chavis talks about wanting to work on catalysts at Standard Oil
Transcript
Now this wasn't public information was it when you started working on the project [Manhattan Project]?$$No, no, no.$$Okay.$$No the, the lab was in a little white one story, big white one story building that didn't look like anything. I mean there were no guards outside at all because you didn't want to call attention to the lab because it would be a prime target for sabotage. And they trusted the people not to, not to tell anyone as to what they were doing.$$Okay. So this continued then the research--.$$Right.$$--to produce this atomic bomb--.$$Yeah.$$--for about a year and a half after you got there?$$Yeah, right and--.$$And so when is the technology perfected?$$Well the work I was doing was, I did two things there. One, I worked on some of the development of the process to extract the plutonium. See the plutonium now is, is on, is in these uranium rods but the amounts of plutonium were tiny, micro, microgram amounts, so, so tiny you can't you know really precipitate it or anything like that. So they had to devise methods for concentrating this plutonium and the method that I was working on was called co-precipitation. Turned out they found that bismuth phosphate had the same crystal structure as the plutonium phosphate. So when they precipitated bismuth phosphate the plutonium phosphate would occlude on the top of the bismuth phosphate or come down with the bismuth phosphate and in that way they could concentrate the plutonium. Then they would oxidize the plutonium to another oxidation state and this time when they precipitated the phosphate it didn't come down. It, it was a soluble phosphate in that time. So alternating back and forth why they were able to concentrate it eventually to the point where they could use metallurgical techniques to make, to make the bomb.$$Okay.$$And the bomb is about the size of, about the size of a kind of big grapefruit just maybe about that big around. And the way you, the way they did it they had in those days developed what they call dynamite in shaped charges. In other words they could fix the dynamite so it would blow in a certain direction like that. So you would, a machine ate pieces of plutonium that they, that when they put them together they would make a sphere. But you're not supposed to try them together to see if they fit cause if you did it would be, then the atom bomb would explode. So you have to be seeing these pieces of plutonium but don't as I say try to see if they fit each other. And then they would be in this container inside some kind of apparatus so they were apart and then to explode the bomb they would have the dynamite blow the pieces together and of course as soon as they came together why then they would you know begin this fission. So I mean so you have you know three, three neutrons and then you have nine and you have eighty one then you have two, forty three and so forth, but all this happens just like that and the bomb goes off.$$All right. So one of these bombs or the capability of using this bomb--.$$Oh yeah, yeah.$$--for 1945 and--(simultaneously).$$Yeah, and it's interesting in that there are several things about this. One is the fact that when I first went on the project many people that I talked to hoped that it was really impossible to make a bomb because we felt that mankind is much too flaky to be entrusted with such awesome power. But on the other hand if it was possible to make one, we had to be first before Germany. So we did work you know very diligently at this to try to make the bomb.$Well let's stay there at the Standard Oil experience for a little while longer. I hear and I've read too some of the reading and preparation for this discussion that you've done a lot with catalysis.$$Yes.$$And you told me some years ago that a catalyst is a thing that starts a process.$$Yeah that makes a reaction take place.$$That causes a reaction to take place.$$Take place right.$$Okay. So were you at that point in your career focusing on catalysis or something else?$$Now yeah, I went on, I went to, I began at Standard Oil in '49 [1949] and I did my work for several different, I did several different things there in the beginning. But the one thing that I did work a good deal on was a separation process called liquid thermal diffusion. Well we, did the, the group that I was with they did, we did all the work that they wanted done. In fact they actually sold the process and the patent to somebody, to another company so therefore they were really completely through with that. So they gave me a, a chance to choose something else I would like to work on that of course would be of interest to Sohio [Standard Oil of Ohio], had to be something they were interested in too. Well I had, knew there was such a thing as a catalyst and that, that the catalyst would cause a, a chemical reaction to take place but it wouldn't be consumed in the, in the reaction. So it meant that a small amount of catalyst could then initiate a tremendous amount of reactions and, which almost seemed to me like, it almost seemed as if you were getting something for nothing practically to have this thing that would keep on you know operating and operating and not be used up. And the people didn't know much about it at that time but just that, what I've said is that the catalyst initiated the chemical reactions, it wasn't used. So I thought that would be an intriguing area to work on so I made a proposal to Sohio and then I, my first proposal was that I would simply do some reading in the field to see what if there was something I could come up with that would be of interest and so they allowed me to spend several weeks reading papers and books and articles, publications and books. And what struck me about what I was reading was the fact that the work that others seemed to do, appeared to me to be what I call anecdotal. In other words what this person did didn't seem to bear much relationship to what the next person did. And I have described their work as being like little vignettes that were very carefully done, very scientifically measured and very, very well reported but there still was no unifying concept or thread between them. And thinking about this made me realize these people really didn't know what they were doing at all and made me feel that I didn't want to do what they were doing. I wanted to do something different. And a person came to the research lab named Ray Meyers and he gave a lecture on his idea. And his idea was that a matching of the vibrational frequencies, you know all the molecules and things are vibrating all the time like they're shaking all the time. All our atoms are shaking and the vibrational frequencies or the matching of the vibrational frequency of the two reactants would facilitate the reaction, would cause a reaction to go. Why in my reading nobody else had ever said anything like that and this seemed to me to be an idea that nobody else was using and also one that made a lot of sense because I kind of thought about it like Pacman was, was present in those days. And so Pacman ran around like that so if they were doing it in, in, in phase of each other they could interact but if they were doing it out of phase, they couldn't, made a lot of sense to me. So I thought well I wanted to design my work then to either use or test this Meyers idea.$$Okay. And so you're working in the labs--.$$Yeah.$$--at Standard Oil?$$At Standard Oil.$$Were you able to, to also focus your, your research, your graduate research for the Ph.D. on that same material?$$Eventually I was able to, yeah. Yeah.$$Okay, all right.$$Yeah.