July 17, 1940
Professor W.K. Lewis
Department of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institution of Technology
Dear Professor Lewis:
I am enclosing a copy of a report which I made last month to Dean Tolman, Chairman
of the California Institute of Technology's Committee on Defense Cooperation, on the
facilities of our Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. This report answers
some of the questions asked in your letter of July 13. More specifically, I make the
1. I would be willing to assume responsibility for work on a problem of national
defense, and I am in a position to do this. I myself could arrange to devote a considerable
fraction of my time, perhaps one third, to this work, and other members of the permanent
staff of about twenty men in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering could, I think, arrange
for a similar amount of work, as required by the problem.
2. Nearly all of the twenty staff members, twenty post-doctorate research
fellows and assistants, and forty-seven teaching fellows and assistants and graduate
students have indicated their willingness to contribute to national defense work.
It would be possible to arrange without difficulty for full time work by several post-doctorate
men, and I think also by several technicians and assistants, providing that funds
for this work were available. The facilities for research are described in the report.
These facilities are at present being used largely in connection with our regular
research programs. It would be possible, however, to arrange room for six to twelve
full time workers without interfering with our regular program, and to make more
extensive arrangements by cutting down our regular work, in case that this becomes
3. Suggestions regarding the specific type of work which could profitably
be carried on here are made in the accompanying report.