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I am sad to report the passing of Robert Michaelis, one of the Baltimore-Washington Section's most prominent members and an honorary member of the national SAS. I knew and worked with Bob for many years at NBS/NIST before he retired but didn't learn of his death until I saw the obituary in the Standards Alumni Association Newsletter a week ago. I have reprinted the obituary below and have included some photos of Bob taken in the 1960s from the SAS photographic archives. Click on the images for a larger photo. - M.E.
Robert E. Michaelis, 78, physicist, former chief of Metal Standards, Office of Standard Reference Materials, and Honorary Member of SAS died on April 28 at his home in Rockville. A native of Denver, CO, Bob received an engineering degree in metallurgy from the Colorado School of Mines in 1947 and received all credits for a doctorate in metallurgy from the University of Pittsburgh, 1948-1952. During World War II, he was an engineering officer serving in England. In 1947, he went to work at the U.S. Steel Research and Development Laboratory as a technologist in charge of spectrochemical analysis.
In 1952, Bob joined the NBS as a physicist in the Organic Coatings Section of the Chemistry Division. A short time later, he moved to the Spectrochemistry Section of that Division, where he was in charge of primary standards of composition for emission spectrochemical analysis. In 1963 he became Chief of Metal Standards in the Office of Standard Reference Materials. In this position, he was responsible for the planning, preparation, testing and characterization of all metal Standard Reference Materials certified either as to their chemical composition or physical properties. He remained in this position until his retirement from NBS in 1982.
During his tenure at NBS, he received the Steel Ingot Award of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E-2 on Emission Spectroscopy, the Department of Commerce Silver Medal in 1963 for outstanding achievement for planning, developing and preparing NBS standard samples used in the calibration of spectroscopic methods of analysis of critical metals and alloys, and the ASTM Award of Merit in 1970. Bob was a Fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences. His memberships included: ASTM, Committee E-2 (Vice Chairman, 1956-1960), Chairman 1960-1964); the American Society for Metals; the Society for Applied Spectroscopy; the Gem, Lapidary and Mineral Society of Montgomery County; and the honorary society, Alpha Chi Sigma.
Bob will be missed by his many friends at NBS/NIST.
(from information published in the Standards Alumni Association of NIST, June 2000)
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