Ceramic and Glass Materials
James F. Shackelford • Robert H. Doremus Editors
With sadness, I note that in late January 2008 while finishing the editing of this book, Bob Doremus passed away suddenly in Florida. His wife and one of his daughters were with him at the time. Characteristic of his meticulous attention to detail, he had just finished personally preparing the index for this volume. Professor Doremus was an icon of ceramic and glass science, and this volume is a fitting tribute to his career. In addition to editing the book, he provided the opening chapter on alumina, the quintessential structural ceramic material.
After finishing two Ph. D. degrees in physical chemistry (University of Illinois, 1953 and University of Cambridge, 1956), Dr. Doremus worked at the General Electric Research and Development Laboratory for many years during a period of time that can fairly be described as a “golden age” of ceramic and glass science. His colleagues included Robert Coble, Joseph Burke, and Paul Jorgensen. There, he conducted seminal research including classic studies of gas and water diffusion in ceramics and glasses.
In 1971, he moved to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and began a long career as an educator. He continued to work on a broad range of topics in ceramic and glass science and was especially well known for publishing the definitive version of the important alumina-silica phase diagram [Klug, Prochazka, and Doremus, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 70 750 (1987)] as well as doing pioneering work on bioceramics for medical applications. At Rensselaer, Bob was named the New York State Science and Technology Foundation Professor of Glass and Ceramics and served as Department Chair from 1986 to 1995.
Appropriate to his distinguished career as a scientist and educator, Bob received numerous awards in recognition of his accomplishments. Resulting in nearly 300 publications, his research contributions were recognized with the Scholes Award of Alfred University, the Morey Award of the American Ceramic Society, and the Ross Coffin Purdy Award, the American Ceramic Society’s top honor for research. He received numerous teaching awards while at Rensselaer, including the Outstanding Educator Award of the American Ceramic Society. His winning the top research and educator awards of the American Ceramic Society is symbolic of his remarkable career.
Beyond these professional accomplishments of a great scientist and dedicated teacher, Bob Doremus was a devoted family man and leaves behind his wife Germaine and children Carol, Elaine, Mark, and Natalie. As with his family, Bob cared deeply about his students and worked tirelessly to help them. He was also a fine and supportive colleague. He will be greatly missed, and this book is dedicated to him with both affection and respect.
J. F. Shackelford Davis, CA February 2008