Woldemar Weyl, founder of modern glass science

In this 1930s photo, Penn State students test the properties of glass in the Ceramic Science Laboratory of Steidle Building (also known as the Mineral Industries Building). Credit: Penn State University Archives / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Glass research was the bailiwick of Professor Woldemar Weyl -- one of the founders of the modern science of glass. He was among the first Penn State faculty to bring about a close collaboration between the University and private industry to support basic and applied research. In 1960, Weyl was named one of the first two faculty to receive an Evan Pugh Professorship -- of Glass Technology -- for his many contributions as a researcher. (Mathematics professor Haskell Curry was the other.) Weyl's research on the chemistry and physics of glass led to numerous practical applications and better everyday materials.

Woldemar Weyl might be referred to as the "Father" of glass science. A visiting professor from Germany in the early 1930s, pressures from the oncoming apocalypse that came to be known as the Nazi Party forced him to leave with his family in tow. Once in the U.S. he was made a full-time, tenured professor at Penn State. Here he became one of the most revered figures in glass research and was responsible for ushering in a new age of private sector-university led research. Credit: C Roy Parker


Last Updated November 20, 2014