Charles E. Kircher III (1908-1972) was a chemical engineer who worked on the Manhattan Project for DuPont.
He began working part time for DuPont while completing his Master’s degree at the California Institute of Technology. Following graduation, he became a full time DuPont employee at the El Monte, California plant.
In 1936, he was initially transferred to DuPont’s Niagara Falls, New York plant. Soon after, DuPont assigned to design and build a pilot experimental solvent extraction plant in a cooperative research project with Iowa State College, where he received his doctorate in Chemical Engineering in 1940.
During the war, he was a Section Chief in the Engineering Development Section, Technical Division at the University of Chicago; and subsequently was in involved in the production of plutonium in the Explosives Department TNX at the B Reactor in Hanford, Washington.
After the war, he transitioned to teaching for five years, serving as the Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rose Polytechnic Institute.
Following this, he became the Chief Chemist and later, the Director of Research, for Detrex Chemical Industries until his retirement in 1970.
Charles was married to Nancy Carveth and they had 6 children.
1908 Born in El Paso, Texas
1931 Received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and began working part-time for DuPont
1933 Received a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and began working full-time for DuPont in El Monte, CA
1936 Transferred to DuPont’s Niagara Falls, New York plant and soon after he was assigned to a collaborative research project between DuPont and Iowa State College, designing and building an experimental solvent extraction plant
1940 Received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State College
1941 Became a supervisor at DuPont’s Niagara Falls plant
19431944 Loaned out by DuPont to the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, he served as a Section Chief in the Engineering Development
19441945 Moved to Area 300, 100 Technical, in DuPont’s Explosives Department at the Hanford, Washington site
19451946 Moved to DuPont’s Electro-chemicals department in Wilmington, Delaware
1947 Hired as the Professor of Chemical Engineering, Rose Polytechnic Institute (Rose Hulman Institute of Technology)
1952 Chief Chemist for Detrex Chemical Industries, later becoming the Assistant Director of Research until he retired in 1970; he also taught thermodynamics at the University of Detroit from 1952-54