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Read About Some of the 50-, 60-, and 70-Year ACS Members Residing in the Puget Sound Section

Here is biographical information shared with us by some of the 50-, 60-, and 70-year members of the ACS residing in the Puget Sound Section. These members and some other anniversary awardees were celebrated at the Awards Banquet on September 30th. Congratulations to all of them and others who are celebrating major membership anniversaries!

Mr Lee Monteith, 70-Year ACS Member

Mr Lee graduate from the University of Washington with a BS in Chemistry in 1951. After serving in the Army Chemical Corps. during the Korean War, he returned to UW for a MS in analytical chemistry.

From 1956-1962, he worked at the Lawrence Livermore National laboratory conducting research in the detection, collection, and analysis of samples of radioactive nucleotides from nuclear explosions at various test sites. In 1962 he joined the Boeing Bioastronautics Group to sample and detect hazardous chemicals in the space cabin air of astronauts. Lee used his skills from his experience at Lawrence Livermore and at Boeing when he joined the Dept of Preventive Medicine, now known as the Dept of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in 1965. He has continued to conduct research on the detection, sampling and analysis of hazardous vapors, aerosols, particulates, gases and liquids that could be generated as pollution from factories, vehicles, waste accumulations, combustion processes and numerous sources. In 1982, Mr Monteith retired from the Army Reserve Chemical Corps after 31 years of service.

Lee was involved with several ACS committees for a brief period and became more involved in the projects of national committees such as the Real Time Detections Systems Committee of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the Sampling and Analysis Committee of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

Dr Ronald Coley, 60-Year ACS Member

Dr Coley received his B.S. (1963) in Chemistry with Honors in Science from St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University) and his Ph.D. (1969) in Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry (radiochemistry emphasis), from Iowa State University. He held a one-year position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory–East.

Dr Coley began his career with the Commonwealth Edison company in 1970. Between 1970 and 1985 he served in multiple roles with increasing responsibility at the Dresden Nuclear power station. In 1985 he founded a consulting company and worked as the principal consultant for five years before joining the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory -East (1990). He started as a staff scientist and later became the director of the environmental management operations. In 1999 Dr Coley transferred to the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to work as a U.S. Department of Energy Clearance Level Q Nuclear Assurance Officer and later became the Acting Deputy Division Leader in the Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Management Division. He retired in 2004.

In addition to a successful professional career, Dr Coley has been an active community volunteer member in multiple societies and organizations.  He was an active member in the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society and the American Nuclear Society. He received an NSF Undergraduate Research Participation Grant and was an invited speaker with NIST for Radiation Research. Finally, Dr Coley is a community leader serving on the board of several homeowner associations, and as a Little League coach and umpire for 30 years.

Dr Alvin Kwiram, 50-Year ACS Member

Dr Kwiram received a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Physics in 1958 from Walla Walla College and a PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (1963). He was honored with the Alfred A. Noyes Instructorship at Caltech in 1962 and held a postdoctoral position in the Physics Department at Stanford University in 1963-64.

He started his career as a junior faculty member at Harvard (1964-1970) and then as associate professor at the University of Washington (1970). In 1977 he was appointed chairperson of the Chemistry Department, and in 1987 he was appointed as Vice Provost at large, focused on strategic planning for the UW. In 1990 he was invited to form a newly established Office of Research and served as the first Vice Provost for Research for the next 12 years. He stepped down as Vice Provost for Research in 2002 to assume the position of Executive Director of the newly funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center.

In 2007 he retired and took on the five-year long task of launching an initiative to develop a broad interdisciplinary program in advanced materials and renewable energy that eventually led to the creation and funding of the Clean Energy Institute (CEI) at the UW

In addition to his illustrious academic career Dr Kwiram has served the ACS well in various roles, including Secretary-Treasurer of the Division of Physical Chemistry for 10 years. In 2002 he was on the ballot for President of the American Chemical Society. He is a Fellow of the ACS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the recipient of a number of awards. He was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2014.

Dr George Totten, 50-Year ACS Member

Dr Totten received his BS (1974) and MS (1978) degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and his PhD from New York University in 1989.

He worked for Union Carbide Corporation for 32 years, holding various positions with increasing responsibility.  Dr Totten has made significant scientific contributions in the field of heat treatment and surface engineering, especially in the area of quenching.  He remained active after his retirement in various academic roles including positions as a Visiting Research Professor at Portland State University, an Adjunct Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of Texas A&M University and as a Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo at Sao Carlos.  He founded G. E. Totten & Associates LLC, a research and consulting firm specializing in thermal processing and industrial lubrication problems. Dr Totten is the author or co-author (editor) of over 750 publications including patents, technical papers, chapters and books.

Dr Totten has been an active community volunteer and leader including as President of International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering (IFHTSE). He is a Fellow of ASM International, SAE International, IFHTSE and ASTM International, and he is a Founding Fellow of AMME (World Academy of Materials Manufacturing Engineering). Dr Totten has received various awards throughout his career, including the IFHTSE Medal which he received in Glasgow Scotland (2011).