Irwin M. Lachman, Ph.D


Co-Inventor of the Practical Catalytic Convertor

Irwin M. Lachman
Born Aug 2 1930

Anisotropic Cordierite Monolith
Patent Number(s) 3,885,977Inducted 2002

Working at Corning, Irwin Lachman co-invented the ceramic substrate found in virtually all catalytic converters. Catalytic converters provide cleaner automotive emissions, greatly reducing harmful pollutants.

Invention Impact

Lachman and his colleagues were critical in developing an efficient and feasible catalytic converter. Lachman realized ceramics could be ideally suited to meet the demands placed on a catalytic converter. The advanced ceramic composition he worked on provided superior resistance to sudden and extreme temperature fluctuations. Today, Lachmanís fundamental ceramics technology extends to substrates for trucks, buses, and motorcycles, further decreasing pollution released into the environment.

Inventor Bio

Lachman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and then moved with his family to New Jersey, attending the public schools. He received a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University in 1952, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from Ohio State University in 1953 and 1955. After serving with the U.S. Air Force, he worked at Thermo Materials, Inc. and the Sandia National Laboratory before joining Corningís ceramic research department in 1960. A Corning Research Fellow, Lachman retired in 1994 and pursues his artistic interests by creating monoprints that he exhibits at galleries and in shows.