Ralph J. Brodd

ECS awards pays for the baby

Ralph J. Brodd joined ECS in 1954 as a young researcher pursuing a PhD at the University of Texas. During this time period, Brodd and his wife, Dorothy, were expecting their second child. As full time students, the couple worried about finding the money to pay the hospital bills. The morning Dorothy was set to come home from the hospital after delivering the couple’s second child, Brodd was still unsure of where they would find the money to cover the costs. Before heading to the hospital, Brodd walked to his mailbox and discovered a letter from ECS. Inside, he found he won the 1954 Corrosion Division Essay Contest, complete with a prize check that would be the answer Brodd and Dorothy were looking for.

“That essay award paid the hospital bill,” Brodd said. “That saved us.”

This moment spurred what would become Brodd’s lifetime dedication to the Society. Since those initial interactions, Brodd went on to be elected ECS vice president in 1978, later claiming the title of president in 1981. He was named an Honorary Member of the Society in 1987 and served as an editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

“ECS has been a home away from home. I’ve enjoyed all the things I’ve done with the Society, particularly the friendships,” Brodd said. “ECS has been a place where I’ve developed relationships that have lasted over 50 years. That makes life worth living.”