Erika Cremer

Erika Cremer received her doctorate under Max Bodenstein in 1927. In her dissertation, she depicted the chlorine oxyhydrogen reaction by means of a picture scheme and deduced the possibility of the explosion by chain branching. The interpretation and presentation were so new that Bodenstein did not participate in co-editing.

In 1944, Cremer developed the fundamentals of a new analytical method, adsorption gas chromatography, which she further refined with her dissertation student Fritz Prior after the war. Cremer’s work on the decomposition of magnesium carbonate proved extremely valuable to the Austrian magnesite industry.

In 1950 she undertook a study trip to the USA, and after her return she pushed the establishment of a radiochemistry department at Innsbruck University through intensive encouragement of her student Ortwin Bobleter. Her appointment in 1940 as a woman to the Department of Physical Chemistry in Innsbruck was exceptional for that time, but in the scientific community she mostly suffered from the fact that she was a woman.

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