William Noble Lacey (SPE)
AIME Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal* in 1947
Refining petroleum to obtain the maximum amount of useful products is based essentially on the complex reactions of organic chemistry and especially on the behavior under various conditions of the hydrocarbons forming the bulk of crude oil. It is a difficult field, but it is a field in which patient research may pay big dividends. William Noble Lacey, recipient of the 1947 Lucas Medal, has worked for years in this field and has accomplished much. Moreover, because of his unusual ability to correlate and evaluate the data obtained by research into the chemistry of hydrocarbons our petroleum reserves have been extended and our production methods improved.
Dr. Lacey was born in 1890 in San Diego, California. He holds A.B. and Ch.E. degrees from Stanford University, and the Degrees of M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his professional career as research chemist and assistant to the works man¬ ager of the Grant Powder Co. of San Francisco but left to take a re¬ search associateship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1916, Dr. Lacey went to California Institute of Technology as instructor, leaving a year later for service as 1st Lieutenant with the U. S. Army Ordnance. In 1919, he returned to "Caltech" as associate professor. He was appointed full professor in 1941 and dean of the graduate school in 1946. In addition he is consultant for several corporations. During World War II, Dr. Lacey served on the advisory board of the U. S. Army Chemical Corps.