Crano Memorial Lecture

The Crano Memorial Lecture Series

The lecture series honors John C. Crano, a former Chair of the Akron Section and an active ACS member.   John was employed by PPG Industries from 1961 to 1998, contributed much to resins for ophthalmic lenses, and was instrumental in the effort to develop a commercially viable plastic photochromic lens which was marketed as Transitions®.  John received a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1957 from Notre Dame, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University in 1959 and 1962, respectively.  John published in many journals, edited books on photochromism, organized conferences, and held eighteen U.S Patents.  John is remembered as an excellent scientist, a skilled and organized leader, and a mentor.  After John’s passing, the Crano Memorial Lecture Series was established to celebrate and honor John’s accomplishments and contributions to science and the ACS.   The Crano Memorial Lecture Series is made possible thanks to an endowment from PPG Industries and Transitions Optical, Inc., as well as generous contributions from many individuals.

Photo from Organic Photochromic and Thermochromic Compounds, Vol 2.

Tributes to John Crano can be found in the following publications:

Organic Photochromic and Thermochromic Compounds, Vol. 2.  Topics in Applied Chemistry, John C. Crano and Robert J. Guglielmetti, Eds.  1999.  Kluwer Academic/Plenum Pubishers, NY.  ISBN 0-306-45883.

Barry Van Gemert (2000).  The Commercialization of Plastic Photochromic Lenses:  A Tribute to John Crano.  Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals Science and Technology.  Section A.  Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, 344:1, 57-62, DOI:  10.1080/10587250008023814.

Henry “Hank” Stevens

Henry Stevens was instrumental in establishing the Crano Memorial Lecture, which he envisioned as a fitting memorial to his colleague and friend, John.  Henry managed selection of awardees until his passing in 2014, at the age of 95. 

Henry and his family emigrated from Austria to the US in 1939.  Henry received a B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Western Reserve University.  Henry began a 43 year career with PPG as a research chemist, and managed exploratory research and University relationships before his retirement in 1986.  Henry held 40 US Patents, and was an adjunct professor at the University of Akron, teaching from 1954 to 2014.  Henry had many interests besides Chemistry, including family, music, birding, golf, and contract bridge.

Henry C. Stevens (1919-2014)

Distinguished Lecturers

Nominations for Lecturers are requested and reviewed by members of the Executive Officers of the Akron Section.  Lecturers are requested to give a research oriented lecture at The University of Akron in the afternoon, and a more general interest talk at an evening meeting. 

Prashant V. Kamat

Received 2023

Prashant V. Kamat is a Rev. John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Radiation Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a Concurrent Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He earned his doctoral degree (1979) in Physical Chemistry from the Bombay University, and postdoctoral research at Boston University (1979-1981) and University of Texas at Austin (1981-1983). He joined Notre Dame in 1983. Professor Kamat has for nearly four decades worked to build bridges between physical chemistry and material science to develop advanced nanomaterials that promise cleaner and more efficient light energy conversion.