Available July 25, 2011

About the Author, Dr. Sigmund Csicsery

Sigmund Csicsery was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1929. After four years of study at the Premonstratensian gimnazium in Kassa (Kosice), he enrolled at the Gábor Áron Cadet School in Nagyvárad (Oradea). In January 1945, the school was relocated to northern Germany to avoid the approaching Soviet Army. After continuing schooling in Eger (today Cheb in the Czech Republic), Csicsery and his fellow cadets were captured by American forces, becoming POWs. Six months later they were released and Csicsery returned to Hungary to resume his studies. He graduated from high school in 1947.

In 1951, he received the equivalent of a master of science in chemical engineering at the Technical University of Budapest following four years of study. He worked at a photochemical plant in Vác for a year. Because he had been an American POW in 1945, the communist government classified him as a class enemy, and he was sentenced to forced labor. A year later, the AVO (the secret police) arrested him. After a few months of torture in an AVO prison, he was transferred to work in a coal mine. He was paroled during the summer of 1954.

Csicsery took part in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution against Soviet rule. After the Red Army crushed the revolt, he fled to the United States. He worked for two years at Monsanto's research laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. He studied at the Ipatieff Laboratory of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, under Professor Herman Pines from 1959 to 1961, earning his doctorate in organic chemistry in 1961. From then until 1986, he worked for Chevron Research Company in Richmond, California, where his last title was senior research associate. He was president of the California Catalysis Society and director of the North American Catalysis Society. He has been a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) since December 1956, and is also a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Since 1986, Csicsery has been a consultant in catalysis, in the synthesis, application, and the marketing of molecular sieves as catalysts, in environmental catalysis, in petroleum and petrochemical processing, and related areas. His clients have included the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), SRI International, Catalytica Associates, and The Catalyst Group in the United States; ENICHEM and ENIRICERCHE in Italy; Neste Oy in Finland; UNIDO; and many other companies in the United States, India, China and other Asian countries, Africa, Europe, and South America. As United Nations chief technical advisor, he directed a five-year zeolite application project at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) of India. That project was so successful that it received the United Nations’ prestigious “Centre of Excellence” award.

Csicsery is an expert in heterogeneous catalysis; petroleum chemistry and processing; the synthesis, characterization, and use of molecular sieves; shape selective catalysis; and catalyst testing. His most important accomplishments include the discovery of restricted transition state type shape selectivity (the nonobvious type of three types of shape selective catalyses), the invention of dehydrocyclodimerization (the reaction converting C3-C5 paraffins to BTX aromatics), and the very successful implementation and completion of a five-year UNIDO/UNDP project at the National Chemical Laboratory of India on the development and commercialization of zeolite catalysts. He has over 50 publications and 27 patents, and was frequently invited as plenary speaker at national and international conferences. He taught catalysis at several universities, and has lectured at academic and industrial research institutes in more than 20 countries.

In recognition of the English translation of his 1945 diary, Almost a Soldier, Csicsery was awarded the 2011 Árpád Academy Gold Medal by the Szent László Rend, an international organization founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1951. This award is presented to Hungarians and their descendants living outside of Hungary, in recognition of scholarly, scientific, literary, and artistic achievements promoting the spirit and knowledge of Hungarian culture.

Dr. Sigmund M. Csicsery
P.O. Box 843, Lafayette, California 94549, USA
Phone: 1-925-283-2750
Email: sigmundcsicsery@yahoo.com

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