Honored as a polymer chemistry pioneer, he patented a special coating for interactions cable, making global telephone business possible. Maintaining and also creating contemporary telephone solution was much easier to do and millions might be connected. He revolutionized the interactions industry (while likewise making family nagging much easier throughout long distances). Exactly how did he perform it?

Born 1911, Washington, D.C. As a child, Hawkins had actually a fascination v engineering, mechanical tinkering, and also how things worked. The even constructed a radio indigenous scratch simply so he can listen to neighborhood baseball games. Graduating from high school, Hawkins to visit Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he deserve a degree in chemistry engineering. Hawkins would then knife a master’s in chemistry native the renowned Howard college (1934), a doctorate native McGill university (1939), and also a postdoctoral fellowship in ~ Columbia University.

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In 1942, Hawkins made background when he accepted a place at the prestigious at&t Bell Laboratories, coming to be the an initial African American to perform so. Over the food of his 34-year career, he focused his specialty ~ above polymers and also plastics.

In 1956, along with his partner at Bell Labs, Hawkins patented a unique polymer that might be provided in cable insulation the made global telephone service possible. The coating might withstand changes in temperatures and also other environmental factors while reduce the price of building and also maintaining modern telephone systems throughout long distances. Prior to the the revolutionary discovery, lead coating was originally supplied to sheathe interactions cable; this to be toxic, heavy, and expensive. Others had tried to come increase with alternate plastic coatings, however they were as well brittle and also couldn’t withstand environmental factors.

Hawkins’ design contained a chemical additive composed of carbon and also antioxidants the prevented the polymer from breaking down in serious weather conditions, while being cheaper to produce.His exploration of the chemistry stabilization forced to create the polymer for the sheathe benefited millions and also expanded call service throughout the world.

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During the 60s, Hawkins was called head of plastics Chemistry R&D and Assistant manager of the Chemical research Laboratory. The later ended up being Supervisor of applied Research, and also then in 1972, room head. Hawkins earn 18 U.S. Patents and 129 international patents. His contributions likewise included to approaches & methods for recycling and also reusing plastics. In 1975, Hawkins became the first Black technician to it is in inducted into the nationwide Academy the Engineering. He was also awarded the nationwide Medal of modern technology by George H.W. Bush in a White home ceremony prior to his death in 1992.

Photo Source: Don Bartletti, © 1992 Los Angeles TimesSource: WikipediaSource: MITSource: create NowSource: CPNAS.orgSource: RPI.edu

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