Julius Nieuwland

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The Reverend

Fr. Julius Aloysius (Arthur) Nieuwland CSC, Ph.D.
Julius Nieuwland Young.jpg
Young Julius Nieuwland
Personal details
Born(1878-02-14)February 14, 1878
Hansbeke, Belgium
DiedJune 11, 1936(1936-06-11) (aged 58)
Indiana, United States of America
BuriedCedar Grove Cemetery near Notre Dame
Alma mater The University of Notre Dame, The Catholic University of America

Reverend Julius Aloysius (Arthur) Nieuwland, CSC, Ph.D., (14 February 1878 11 June 1936) was a Belgian-born Holy Cross priest and professor of chemistry and botany at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his contributions to acetylene research and its use as the basis for one type of synthetic rubber, which eventually led to the invention of neoprene by DuPont.

Congregation of Holy Cross organization

The Congregation of Holy Cross or Congregatio a Sancta Cruce (C.S.C.) is a Catholic congregation of missionary priests and brothers founded in 1837 by Blessed Basil Moreau, in Le Mans, France.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the highest university degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most English-speaking countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. As an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor or, in non-English-speaking countries, variants such as "Dr. phil." with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.


Fr. Julius Nieuwland in his laboratory Julius Nieuwland.jpg
Fr. Julius Nieuwland in his laboratory

Life and work

Nieuwland's parents emigrated from Hansbeke, Belgium in 1880 to South Bend, Indiana. As a young man, Nieuwland enrolled at the University of Notre Dame, where he studied Latin and Greek and received his undergraduate degree in 1899. He soon after began studies for the priesthood. Ordained in 1903, Nieuwland attended graduate school at The Catholic University of America, where he studied botany and chemistry. During his doctoral studies into the chemistry of acetylene, he discovered the chemical compound lewisite, which would later gain fame as a chemical warfare agent. Nieuwland had to be hospitalized for several days after his exposure to the newly synthesized compound; he did not purify it or otherwise pursue the matter any further.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Indiana State of the United States of America

Indiana is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th largest by area and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U.S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, and Illinois to the west.

Acetylene chemical compound

Acetylene (systematic name: ethyne) is the chemical compound with the formula C2H2. It is a hydrocarbon and the simplest alkyne. This colorless gas is widely used as a fuel and a chemical building block. It is unstable in its pure form and thus is usually handled as a solution. Pure acetylene is odorless, but commercial grades usually have a marked odor due to impurities.

After receiving his Ph.D. in 1904, Nieuwland returned to Notre Dame as professor of botany until 1918, and subsequently as professor of organic chemistry until 1936. In 1909, Nieuwland founded the peer-reviewed journal American Midland Naturalist acting as its editor until 1934. [1] In 1920, he successfully polymerized acetylene into divinylacetylene. Elmer Bolton, the Director of Research at DuPont, used this basic research during the development of neoprene.

<i>American Midland Naturalist</i> journal

The American Midland Naturalist is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering natural history. It was established in 1909 by Julius Nieuwland and is published by the University of Notre Dame. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2013 impact factor of 0.621.

Elmer Keiser Bolton was an American chemist and research director for DuPont, notable for his role in developing neoprene and directing the research that led to the discovery of nylon.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American conglomerate that was founded in July 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware, as a gunpowder mill by French-American chemist and industrialist Éleuthère Irénée du Pont.

Nieuwland died at the age of 58, and was buried at the Community Cemetery near Notre Dame. [2]

Among Nieuwland's more famous students was Knute Rockne, who became a celebrated Notre Dame football coach. Rockne graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in pharmacy in 1914 and became a chemistry instructor at Notre Dame, while also coaching various sports on campus, from 1915 to 1922. [3] [4]

Knute Rockne American college football player and college football coach

Knute Kenneth Rockne was a Norwegian-American football player and coach at the University of Notre Dame.

Honors and awards

American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal

The American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal is the highest award of the American Institute of Chemists and has been awarded since 1926.

Villanova University Catholic university near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Villanova University is a private research university in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, United States. Named after Saint Thomas of Villanova, the school is the oldest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In botanical nomenclature, author citation refers to citing the person or group of people who validly published a botanical name, i.e. who first published the name while fulfilling the formal requirements as specified by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). In cases where a species is no longer in its original generic placement, both the author(s) of the original genus placement and those of the new combination are given.

See also


  1. McIntosh, Robert P. (1990). "The American Midland Naturalist: the Life History of a Journal" (PDF). The American Midland Naturalist. 123 (1): 1–31. doi:10.2307/2425756. JSTOR   2425756 . Retrieved 2013-11-12.
  2. See the website for the South Bend Area Genealogical Society, particularly the listing of burials at this site along with the cemetery key on this page.
  3. Notre Dame Archives: Early Teachers: R at archives.nd.edu
  4. Nieuwland was portrayed by Albert Bassermann in the film Knute Rockne, All American .
  5. Bogert, Marston Taylor (1935). "Presentation of Professor Julius Arthur Nieuwland, C.S.C., for the Award of the American Institute Medal". Science. 81 (2101): 326–330. doi:10.1126/science.81.2101.326. JSTOR   1660853.
  6. "Past Academy Presidents | Indiana Academy of Science".
  7. Bogert, Marston Taylor (5 April 1935). "Presentation of Professor Julius Arthur Nieuwland, C.s.c., for the Award of the American Institute Medal". Science. 81 (2101): 326–330. doi:10.1126/science.81.2101.326. PMID   17807080.
  8. "NY-ACS Nichols Medalists". newyorkacs.org.
  9. "Past Mendel Medal Recipients". www1.villanova.edu. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  10. Brummitt, R. K.; Powell, C. E. (1992). Authors of Plant Names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN   1-84246-085-4.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

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Lewisite chemical compound

Lewisite (L) is an organoarsenic compound. It was once manufactured in the U.S., Japan, Germany and the Soviet Union for use as a chemical weapon, acting as a vesicant and lung irritant. Although colorless and odorless, impure samples of lewisite are a yellow, brown, violet-black, green, or amber oily liquid with a distinctive odor that has been described as similar to geraniums.

Neoprene synthetic polymer resembling rubber, resistant to oil, heat, and weathering.

Neoprene is a family of synthetic rubbers that are produced by polymerization of chloroprene. Neoprene exhibits good chemical stability and maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range. Neoprene is sold either as solid rubber or in latex form and is used in a wide variety of applications, such as laptop sleeves, orthopaedic braces, electrical insulation, liquid and sheet applied elastomeric membranes or flashings, and automotive fan belts.

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Marcus Ward Lyon Jr. U.S. mammalogist, bacteriologist, and pathologist (1875–1942)

Marcus Ward Lyon Jr. was an American mammalogist, bacteriologist, and pathologist. He was born into a military family, and demonstrated an early interest in zoology by collecting local wildlife around his father's army posts. He graduated from Brown University in 1897, and continued his studies at George Washington University while working part-time at the United States National Museum (USNM). At the same time, he taught at Howard University Medical School and later George Washington University Medical School. He received his Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1913. In 1919, he and his wife, Martha, moved to South Bend, Indiana to join a newly opened clinic. Prior to moving, Lyon had published many papers on mammalogy, both during and after his tenure at the USNM. In these papers, he had formally described six species, three genera, and one family. Once in South Bend, he began to publish medical studies, too, but continued his work in mammalogy, with a particular focus on the local fauna of Indiana. He published more than 160 papers during his career.

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Gérard Berchet was a French-American chemist who played a pivotal role in the invention of both nylon and neoprene. Berchet worked under the direction of Wallace Carothers at DuPont Experimental Station and first synthesized nylon 6,6 on February 28, 1935 from equal parts hexamethylenediamine and adipic acid. Berchet was the first to synthesize neoprene. However, Arthur Collins is credited with its discovery on April 17, 1930 after he accidentally reacted hydrochloric acid with vinylacetylene. Berchet's leaving of his sample unexamined on a laboratory bench until after Collin's discovery prevented him from being credited with its discovery.