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My Most Memorable Summer Job
Columbia College 1953
School of Engineering and Applied Science 1954

I worked every Summer during my college and engineering school years but the best was the last. I was hired by American Cyanamid (now gone) to do some devolopment work in thermoplastics and specifically styrene and related polymers, which were being made at the time by bulk polymerization. American Cyanamid wanted to develop a water suspension method that could result in easily extruded polymer beads. The problem was that the detergent they were using for the suspension formed a cloudy product when extruded. The product desired would need to be optically clear. I had a number of variables to work with and all Summer to do it.

Well, I got to work and found that the detergent concentration was critical. The problem was to get the minimum amount needed to form the desired pellets and still get an optically clear product. I managed to find a winner before the end of the summer and was able to write up a good report suitable for a patent application. But it apparantly wasn't enough to save American Cyanamid and I (wisely, I think) didn't return after graduation.

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