In Memoriam

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Anne Hiltner ’63

Anne Hiltner ’63, September 10, 2010, in Cleveland, Ohio. An internationally recognized scientist and engineer, Anne earned a BA from Reed and a PhD from Oregon State University in chemistry and went on to be Case Western Reserve's first female professor of engineering. Case Western's president stated that Anne was a remarkable academic leader, a researcher of extraordinary ingenuity and accomplishment, whose career served as an inspiration. Anne joined the university in 1967 and worked as a research associate before joining the laboratory of Eric Baer, then chairman of the macromolecular science department. They had “a powerful scientific collaboration” and recognized a personal compatibility that led to their marriage in 1999. “The dream of every faculty member is to try harder, harder,” Baer said. “She always climbed mountains.” In 1974, as assistant professor of macromolecular engineering, Anne became the university's first female member of the engineering faculty. Seven years later she founded the Center for Applied Polymer Research, an organization that encouraged collaboration across disciplines and laid the groundwork for the program she considered her greatest achievement, the award of a 10-year, $40 million National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems. Anne published nearly 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals and received multiple honors from professional scientific organizations. Bauer noted: “Her greatest joy was her involvement with the graduate students. She loved the creative, productive side of her work.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2011

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