Frederick G. Cottrell
Frederick Gardner Cottrell was born in Oakland, California. After finishing high school, he entered the University of California, Berkeley at age 16 and graduated in 3 years. He received an advanced degree from the University of Berlin in 1901 and a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1902, returning to a professorship at the University of California in 1904. While at Berkeley, he embarked on his best-known work which culminated in a 1908 patent for the Cottrell electrostatic precipitator for smelters, one of the first inventions designed to eliminate air pollution, and which is still widely used throughout the world today. Cottrell established the philanthropic Research Corporation in 1912 where his patents funded scientific research. Cottrell later served as director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1939. Mining Foundation of the Southwest inducted him into the American Mining Hall of Fame in 2021.