Hall of Distinguished Alumni
William Henry McAdams
in Cynthiana, Ky., on March 15, 1892. Educator. Scientist. University of Kentucky,
B.S. in Industrial Chemistry, 1913; M.S., 1914; Sc. D. , 1945. Died, May 2,
he was born on his grandfather's horse farm near Cynthiana, he moved with his
family as an infant to Lexington and has always been identified with the city.
ten years following graduation from the University in 1913 with a Bachelor of
Science in Industrial Chemistry degree and in 1914 with a Master of Science
degree, he worked with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and other firms
as a chemical engineer. He developed, with two others, a gas that was to be
used as a defensive measure during World War I. He also developed the flutter
valve used on gas masks.
was professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
from 1919 until his retirement in 1959. He also served as a lecturer in chemistry
at Harvard University, 1925-53.
pursued doctoral studies at M.I.T., but accepted only one degree there, the
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, in 1917.
of more than 40 books and technical articles in the field of chemistry and chemical
engineering, he became nationally recognized as an authority on heat transfer,
distillation and the flow of viscous liquids. His book, "Heat Transmission,"
was widely used as a textbook.,
was a member of the National Research Council; the National Advisory Committee
on Aeronautics; American Chemical Society; American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
As a student at the University, he was named to Phi Beta Kappa, and was a member
of Kappa Sigma and S.U.A.A.
was given a number of awards and commendations for his contributions, both from
government and industry. The University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science
degree in 1945. He was elected in 1949 to the American Institute of Chemical
Engineers and received the Presidential Certificate of Merit and the William
H. Walker Award. His work with the Manhattan Project and original contributions
to the development of the atomic submarine and the development of the jet airplane
were especially noted. He also was commended by the French Government.
his retirement from M.I.T., he served as a consultant to the DuPont Company
and a number of other institutions.
William Henry McAdams was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni
in February 1965.