1946 - 1948 MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE AT NU

During this first year, Phyllis and I drove home for all of the holidays. Later we quit going for Thanksgiving because we always got snowed in either in Neoga or above Champaign. One year with the old Plymouth, we went back after Thanksgiving when it was so slick all the way from just above Mattoon that cars were sliding off into the ditch just because of the crown on the road. Although it was so slick, we made it without accident in about 10 hours rather than the 5 it normally took. Another time, I took the train back to make my classes returning in a week or so to pick up Phyllis.

In mid 1947, we joined with a couple and another man student to rent a nice, old brick bungalow in north evanston. It was a house in good shape and had belonged to a Northwestern economics professor. We split the rent and food three ways and lived very cheaply. The couple consisted of a very ernest chap who was a chemical engineering student at Northwestern and his pregnant wife. She did the cooking without much enthusiasm, experience or skill. Her primary dish was potatoes every which way but good plus, occasionally, tough roast beef.But we lived very comfortably and very cheaply.

At that time, Northwestern University was building an eleven story apartment building across from the Orrington Hotel for staff and faculty housing. We applied for space and finally got it in early 1948 for a one room apartment with an efficiency kitchen. We had no furniture and furniture was in very short supply after the war. We went to a place on the near north side of Chicago and ordered a couch that converted to a double sofa bed, chairs for eating from a card table and a little bit of other furniture. The store was outstanding as illustrated by the fact that the owner preferred to have my check on an Evanston bank rather than cash because he feared of being robbed. We had a very long wait getting the sofa-bed delivered and in the meantime we slept on the floor. Finally it came and although it was not too comfortable it was a better bed than the floor.

In 1948, I worked on my MS degree thesis under Professor Obert. He suggested that I study the application of the generalized compressibility chart to mixtures of real gases. A lot of good data on real gas mixtures was available in the Chemical Engineering Journal authored by two Professors from Cal Tech. During the Summer of 1948, Phyllis went to Neoga to visit her parents for a month or so, I lived in the apartment and worked day and night on the thesis. When Phyllis left, I bought 10 pounds of hamburger and ate nothing but hamburgers for about a week when I got to feeling bad from too much meat and not enough of anything else. During the preparation of the thesis, I suggested a new compressibility chart which involved plotting compressibility factor Z versus pseudoreduced volume. It turned out that the constant temperature lines on such a chart were better behaved than on usual Z versus reduced pressure plot and this plot was later used extensively by several other researchers.

In the Fall of 1948, I completed the thesis and earned an MS degree in ME. Professor Jennings with the assistance of Dean Eshbach obtained an appointment for me as Instructor of Mechanincal Engineering and I stayed on at Northwestern to teach and work on my PhD degree.

As a part of the celebration of the Northwestern University 50th anniversary celebration, Professor Obert and I published my MS thesis as a Northwestern University Research Report. It was very well received and many copies were requested by engineering professors and engineers in industry. Later, Professor Obert included the primary results of my thesis in Chapter 13 of his 1960 Concepts of Thermodynamics text book.

Dean Eshbach's office in the Tech Institute had a Freiden mechanical calculator and a ball type IBM electric typewriter. At night, I used this equipment to finish the calculation on gas mixtures and to type the Northwestern Research Report. The electric typewriter did a beautiful typing job and the resulting report looked very nice. As an instructor, I continued to teach ME Labs and added kinematics (analysis of mechanisms), thermodynamics and later heat transfer. Soon I became adisor for all of the industrial engineering students. ! continued taking courses including some mechanics courses under Dr.Hetenyi, gas turbines under Professor Jennings and Chemical Engineering Thermo under Professor George Brown. George was a very big man and as he became more doubtful about a given topic such as entropy, his already loud voice would become even louder. Thus we could always tell when he himself was somewhat weak on a point.


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