Herbert H. Uhlig

ECS President | 1955-1956

Herbert H. UhligHerbert H. Uhlig was born in Haledon, NJ on March 3, 1907. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Brown in 1929 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1932. After a year of electrochemical research at Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research with Dr. Duncan A. MacInnes, he became employed by Lever Brothers Company in Cambridge as research chemist and later as Assistant Chief Chemist. The strong attraction of the fundamental sciences led to an appointment in 1936 as research associate in the Corrosion Laboratory at MIT He made contributions to the theory of pitting in stainless steels and the nature of passivity of corrosion resistant alloys.

In 1940 he joined the staff of the Research Laboratory of the General Electric Company at Schenectady. He returned to MIT in 1946 and became a professor of metallurgy in charge of the Corrosion Laboratory. Dr. Uhlig’s principal researches were in corrosion and electrochemistry with particular emphasis on fundamental studies of passivity, metal surface properties, and the chemical and metallurgical behavior of corrosion resistant alloys. He became full professor in 1953 and professor emeritus 1972. Over the years, Professor Uhlig taught, inspired, and graduated more than 100 MS students, over 20 Ph.D. students, and an equal number of post-graduate fellows. He and his students published 175 papers. He authored the widely used textbook “Corrosion and Corrosion Control.” In 1982, MIT honored Dr. Uhlig by naming its Corrosion Laboratory the H. H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory.

Dr. Uhlig was a member of the Advisory committee for the Prevention of Deterioration Center of the National Research Council. In 1951, he received the Willis R. Whitney Award of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers for contributions to the Science of corrosion and the U. R. Evans Award in 1980.

Dr. Uhlig was elected Vice-President of ECS in 1952 and President in 1955. He was active in Society affairs since 1937 and served as Corrosion Division Chair, which he helped organize. He was also involved in the organization of the Theoretical (now Physical and Analytical) Division, Gordon Corrosion Conferences, and the Intersociety Corrosion Committee. He authored or coauthored many papers and was Editor of the very successful “Corrosion Handbook” sponsored by the Corrosion Division of the Society. At one time he was Editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

Dr. Uhlig received numerous Society awards and honors. He received the Olin Palladium Medal Award in 1961; was made an Honorary Member in 1973; received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Corrosion Division in 1985 and the Edward Goodrich Acheson Award in 1988.