Prof. Otto Vogl, a Leader in Polymer Science
Otto Vogl, a world renowned Austrian Polymer scientist, died on April 27, 2013.
Born on November 6, 1927 in Traiskirchen, Austria, he studied chemistry and received his PhD at the University of Vienna in 1950, before becoming an instructor at the Chemical Institute of the University of Vienna.
In 1953, he came to the U.S. as a postdoctoral associate, first at the University of Michigan and then at Princeton University. He joined the Polychemicals Department of Du Pont in 1956, and then moved to the polymers program at the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts as full Professor in 1970. In 1982 he was appointed to the newly created Herman F. Mark Professorship at the Polytechnic University in New York. He retired in 1996 and returned as Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts.
Otto Vogl made an enormous impact on the activities of polymer science of his generation. Most importantly, he strived successfully to make polymer science a global science and organization.
In his career, he worked and published in several innovative fields, from organic polymer chemistry to polymer physics to polymer technology.
Vogl was not only an extraordinary scientist and teacher; he also was involved in the globalization of Polymer Science. Starting from the early 1970s, he fostered U.S. cooperation with the Japanese polymer community, and served as the first president of the Pacific Polymer Federation.
He was crucial to the development of the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he played a key role in the founding of the Center of UMass-Industry Research on Polymers (CUMIRP), one of the first academic-industry cooperative programs in the U.S. and the only one of its era still running strong.
He received honorary doctoral degrees from Osaka University and the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.
In addition he was an honorary member of a number of highly recognized professional societies, including the Society of Polymer Science of Japan and the Austrian Chemical Society.
He is survived by his wife Jane Cunningham Vogl (formerly of Sag Harbor, LI) of 60 years, two children, Eric G. Vogl and Yvonne V. Marsh and 8 grandchildren.