Head of Research and Managing Director of Röhm & Haas

* 1905, Berlin

† 1996, Essen


Ernst Trommsdorff came from a family of natural scientists and grew up in Danzig before graduating from high school in Hanover. This was followed by studies in chemistry at the Technical University of Hanover and at the University of Freiburg, where Trommsdorff received his doctorate in 1932 with the topic "On polyacrylic acid, a model of protein" under the later Nobel Prize winner Hermann Staudinger. In 1933, Ernst Trommsdorff joined Röhm & Haas as a chemist for the scientific and technical processing of plastics. After the death of company co-founder Dr. Otto Röhm in 1939, he took over as head of chemical research. In 1954 he was appointed deputy managing director and two years later full managing director.

Based on the fundamentally new findings of Hermann Staudinger's working group on the structure of macromolecular compounds, Ernst Trommsdorff has made a decisive contribution to a reorientation of scientific thinking and operational procedures at Röhm & Haas. He created new manufacturing processes for suspension, emulsion and block polymerization, which are still common today. One of the important new discoveries about the polymerization process is the discovery of the "Trommsdorff effect" named after him. He retired in 1970 after 37 years at Röhm & Haas.

Ernst Trommsdorff is named as inventor and co-inventor in around 250 domestic and foreign patents and has been active in numerous committees of chemical trade associations and societies. For his achievements in research and industrial practice, he received the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class.