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In memoriam  

PROF. FERENC PAULIK Ph.D.; D.Sc. 1922-2005 It is our sad and hard duty to let you all know that our beloved teacher and colleague, a world acknowledged scientist, the inventor of the simultaneous thermal analytical methods, Prof. Paulik passed away on 12th October 2005, at the age of 84. When we are thinking of him tremendeous recollections came into our mind. He was a cheerful, humorous, energetic and positive person, enjoying social activities and life itself, a real charmeur. Prof. Paulik was a highly educated person, he was very fond of music and fine arts. His laboratory was a centre of the bustling international scientific life of thermal analysis, an island behind the iron curtain in the '60s. After finishing his studies at the Franciscan high school, in Esztergom he entered the chemical engineer faculty at the Jzsef Ndor Technical University, Budapest and graduated in 1944. Shortly after, he became assistant researcher at the Institute of General and Analytical Chemistry of the same university headed by Prof. L. Erdey. His first research field was the study of analytical precipitations. He would have needed a Chevenard-type thermobalance, but since there was no finances available at that time, he started to build a machine himself. This apparent need motivated him to think in alternative solutions, and marked a starting point of a great successful career not only as a scientist but a productive inventor as well. His thermobalance enabled him to measure small changes in mass. Together with his brother, Jenő, they increased the accuracy of the measurement by devising the DTG technique (derivative thermogravimetry). Their ingenuity was in combining TG, DTG and DTA methods in one instrument, named Derivatograph, that later conquerred the whole world. With this invention, Hungary had shortly gained monopolistic position in the thermal world of the '50s. The instrument was manufactured by the Hungarian Optical Works (MOM) distributing more than 4000 instruments that makes more than half of the simultaneous instruments sold all over the world. This original method was further developed to TG-DTG-DTA-EGA (1955); derivative thermodilatometry (DTD 1961); thermo-gas titrimetry (TGT-EGA 1971); quasi-isothermal quasi-isobaric TG (Q-TG 1971) and DTA (Q-DTA 1985, 1995). He held 27 patents registered in 87 countries. His scientific career was matching his inventor career, as he published 218 papers in international journals. His citation index is more than 2400. He was the author of 4 scientific books and contributed to another three. He was the Regional Editor for Central-Eastern European countries at the Journal of Thermal Analysis for a long time and he was a member of the Editorial Board of Thermochimica Acta for many years. He was closely involved in the work of ICTAC straight from the beginning and, to acknowledge his activity, he was awarded an Honorary lifetime-membership of the organisation in 1966. Between 1967-1992 he was the President of the Thermoanalytical Group of the Hungarian Chemical Society. He was acknowledged by several awards: Mettler Award (1972); Kurnakov Medal (1985); Świętosławski Medal (1997); Nray-Szab Medal (1998); Laureatus Academiae (1999). He remained active in science till the last moment of his life. His wife, Elisabeth, was his main support, without whom he would not have been able to achieve such a remarkable career. Life was kind to him, to grant his final wish to die with her holding his hand. Requiescat in pace.

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