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Epitaph for Prof. Dr. F.R. Schwarzl

Friedrich Rudolf Schwarzl
July 16, 1925 – January 31, 2020

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Rudolf Schwarzl died on January 31 at the age of 94.

From 1973 until his retirement in 1993, Prof. Schwarzl held the WW5 (polymers) chair at the Institute of Materials Science at the Friedrich ‐ Alexander University in Erlangen ‐ Nuremberg (FAU).

He studied theoretical physics at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate there in 1948. After two years as an assistant at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Graz, he went to Holland as an employee of the T.N.O. From 1950 to 1973 he worked there in various areas of basic research and application of plastics. Some of his work there and the resulting publications are among the pioneering achievements of Polymer Research. In 1970 the habilitation at RWTH Aachen took place.

The chair for polymers was established as the fifth chair of the institute for materials science of the technical faculty of the FAU. The first years as a chair holder were shaped by the structure of teaching and research. The latter required the creation of an efficient personnel and equipment infrastructure, with the help of which a number of well-respected scientific publications were created. In addition, Prof. Schwarzl was involved as co-editor of the trade journal “Rheologica Acta” and on the board of the German Rheological Society. He was an enthusiastic teacher who also held lectures at the chair after retiring.

In 1990 his book “Polymer Mechanics” was published by Springer Verlag, Heidelberg. In his old age, he worked with unprecedented dedication on the extended version of his book in English, which in cooperation with his successor at the chair, Prof. Dr. H. Münstedt, also published by Springer in 2014 under the title “Deformation and Flow of Polymeric Materials”.

A long, rich life is now over. Prof. Schwarzl has contributed to the development of polymer science within the technical faculty of the FAU and far beyond!