Frederick M. Becket

ECS President | 1925-1926

Frederick M. BecketFrederick Mark Becket was born in Montreal, Canada on January 11, 1875. He attended McGill and Columbia Universities, receiving his degree of B.Sc. from McGill in 1895, and his M.A. from Columbia in 1899. In 1929, Columbia bestowed upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. In 1934, McGill bestowed him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

During the early years of his professional career, Dr. Becket was associated with the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company at East Pittsburgh; the Acker Process Company at Jersey City and Niagara Falls; and the Ampere Electrochemical also at Niagara Falls. He was one of the organizers of the Niagara Research Laboratories which was absorbed by Electro Metallurgical Company. In 1906 he became associated with Electro Metallurgical Company a later the Union Carbide Company. He was Vice-President of the two companies and became President of Union Carbide and Carbon Research Laboratories.

In 1924, Dr. Becket was awarded the Perkin Medal of the affiliated chemical and electrochemical societies of America for his “most valuable achievements in applied chemistry”. During World War I, he assisted the government by increasing the production of zirconium up to the desired volume in the short time of four months. He discovered and developed the process for reducing ores by silicon; the production of ferro-vanadium on a commercial scale; the production of molybdenum by direct smelting; and increased the manufacture of calcium carbide to a much larger scale.

He served as President of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers in 1933. More than one hundred patents were granted to Dr. Becket covering a wide range of electric furnace and chemical products, notably ferro-alloys, calcium carbide, and special chromium steels. His processes for the production of low carbon ferro-alloys had world-wide application.

Dr. Becket was very active in The Electrochemical Society serving on many committees and as President in 1925-26. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Society in 1934. Dr Becket was awarded the Edward Goodrich Acheson Medal and Prize of the Society in 1937.