Julius Arthur Nieuwland
1936 Mendel Medal Recipient
Rev. Julius Arthur Nieuwland, C.S.C., Professor of Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame,
Indiana, was born in Hansbeke, Belgium, February 14, 1878.
Coming to this country in his youth, he was educated at the University of Notre Dame and at the Catholic
University of America. He received the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 1904, from Catholic University, and
the degree, Doctor of Science, in 1911, from the University of Notre Dame. He entered the Congregation of the Holy
Cross in 1892, and was ordained a priest at Baltimore, December 19, 1903. Father Nieuwland has been an active member
of the faculty of the University of Notre Dame since 1904. He served as Dean of the College of Science from 1920 to 1923,
and is at the present time, Professor of Organic Chemistry.
Father Nieuwland's scientific work has been concerned chiefly with acetylene and its derivatives. He has contributed
materially to the development of this branch of chemical science. In 1904, his publication of "Some Reactions of
Acetylene" attracted considerable attention in the scientific and industrial world. He discovered the compound which was developed
by the Government during the war into the gas known as Lewisite. In 1906 he discovered the component parts of synthetic rubber and
fourteen years later he was able to alter the composition of the gas he had first produced so as to form an oil, "divinyl acetylene,"
the material from which the rubber is synthesized. From this point, he continued his work with chemists of the duPont Company, and has
produced a satisfactory synthetic rubber.
Father Nieuwland is a member of both the British and the American Chemical Societies, of the Deutsche Chemische Gesselschaft, and of the
American Society for the Advancement of Science. He was Secretary of the Organic Division of the American Chemical Society in 1924-1925,
Chairman of the same in 1925-1926. He served as Vice-President of the Indiana Academy of Science in 1929, and as President of the Academy in 1934.
In 1932, Father Nieuwland received the Morehead Medal for research in acetylene; in 1934, he was awarded the American Institute Medal, and in 1935,
he received the Nichols Medal, the highest honor in the gift of the American Chemcial Society.
Mendel Medal Presentation Program, May 12, 1936. Villanova college. Villanova, Pennsylvania.
Nieuwland, Julius Arthur, clergyman, educator; born Hansbeke,
Belgium, February 14, 1878; son of John Baptist and
Philomina (Van Hoeck) Nieuwland; A.B. Notre Dame University,
1899, Sc.D., 1901; Ph.d., Catholic University, 1904.
Ordained priest Roman Catholic church, 1903; member faculty
University of Notre Dame, 1904--; dean college of Science,
1920-1923, professor of organic chemistry, 1923--; curator
Botany Herbarium and E.L. Greene Herbarium; botany librarian.
Founder Nieuwland Herbarium, American Midland Naturalist.
Morehead medalist, 1932; American Institute Medalist, 1935;
William H. Nichols medalist, 1935. Fellow Ind. Academy of Science
(vice president 1929; president 50th jubilee year, 1934).
Author: Some Reactions of Acetylene, 1904. Editor of a
deluxe edition of Le Conte's unpublished plates, 1917.
Contributor on botany, acetylene, boron chemistry and
intermediates for synthetic rubber. Died June 11, 1936.
Who Was Who in America. volume I, 1897-1942.
Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1943, p.899.