5th International Specialist Conference in Düsseldorf

Professor Dr. Hans Wilhelm, born on June 14, 1919 in Heilbronn/Neckar, passed his school-leaving examination at the Realgymnasium in Ludwigshafen/Rhine in 1938. Military service and war interrupted his education. In 1946, he began studying chemistry at the University of Heidelberg and received his doctorate in 1951 under Prof. Dr. H. Zahn at the RWTH Aachen, where he subsequently worked as a scholarship holder of the International Wool Secretariat. In 1952 he joined BASF AG, Ludwigshafen, where he initially developed processes for the technical production of various polymers. In 1956 he became head of a larger working group dealing with the production of plastics and fibers. After being granted power of attorney in 1962, he was given responsibility for leading other working groups and coordinating the fields of synthetic fibers, polyamide plastics, polyurethanes, polyacetal plastics and new developments in the printing sector. In 1969 Wilhelm was given a teaching position at RWTH Aachen University in the field of “Synthetic High Polymers”. In 1975 he was appointed honorary professor. After leaving BASF, he founded the Institute for Polymer Consulting in Bad Rappenau-Heinsheim in 1971. His scientific achievements are reflected in more than 1,000 patents in Germany and abroad. He is a member of several scientific associations, was co-author of Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Technical Chemistry and has appeared as a speaker at congresses in Germany and abroad.

The achievement of the honoured is that during his work on the ionic polymerisation of caprolactam he particularly promoted the development of foam plastics on this basis. In conjunction with his inventive activity, he has thus made decisive contributions to the development of polyamide foam plastics. These foam plastics have excellent mechanical properties.