David Agustas Vermilyeawas born on October 11, 1923 in Troy, New York. He entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1940. He spent three years in the U.S. Army during 1943-1946, including eighteen months in the European Theater of Operations. He returned to Rensselaer and received a B.S. in Metallurgy in 1947. He worked for one year as a plant metallurgist at the Belle, West Virginia plant of E.I. duPont de Nemours Co. Inc. In 1948 he returned to Rensselaer as an instructor, and during the next three years he earned the degree of M.S. and in 1951 his Ph.D. For his thesis research, he studied the formation of anodic oxide films.
Dr. Vermilyea joined the General Electric Research Laboratory Staff in 1950. In 1957 he was appointed manager of the Chemical Metallurgy Section of the Laboratory, a post he held for three years before returning to full-time technical work in 1960.His research work included studies of the formation of anodic films on metals, electrolytic crystal growth, and corrosion. He consulted broadly within the company on problems involving electrolytic capacitors and corrosion, with special interest in the nuclear energy field.
He published 98 papers and review articles and was awarded nine patents. He helped organize the International Symposium on Crystal Growth held at Cooperstown, New York in 1958 and served as Chairman. He was also Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Corrosion for the National Materials Advisory Board in 1966.
Dr. Vermilyea joined The Electrochemical Society in 1955 and was active in the Corrosion and Physical Electrochemistry Divisions. He served as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-Chairman, and during 1967-1969, as Chairman of the Theoretical (now Physical Electrochemical) Division. He served on many committees: nominating, Young Authors, Ways and Means subcommittee on Restructuring the Society, and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Education. He organized the symposium on "Mechanical Properties of Oxide Corrosion Products" in 1967 and "Structure and Characterization of Surface Reaction Products" in 1968.
Dr. Vermilyea was elected Vice President of the Society in 1971 and served three years before being elected President in 1974. He received many awards: Turner Book Prize (1954), Battery Division Outstanding Achievement Award (1975), Honorary Member of the Society (1977), and Edward Goodrich Acheson Award (1978).
He was a member of NACE, Sigma Xi, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Tau Beta Pi, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists.