Benjamin F. Fairless Award for Distinguished Achievement in Iron and Metallurgy* in
A native of Switzerland, Robert Durrer studied the metallurgy of iron and steel at the Technische Hochschule, Aachen, where he earned the degrees of Diplom-Ingenieur in 1914 and Doktor-Ingenieur in 1915. His studies of the Swedish iron and steel industry after World War I led Durrer to his pioneering work with oxygen in the production of iron and steel.
In 1929 he was appointed director of the Technical University of Berlin-Charlottenburg, where he worked closely with industry to direct research and guide application of research findings. After years of working with both industry and education, in 1962 Durrer was appointed chairman of the board of directors of the de Roll Iron Works, the largest Swiss iron and steel company.
Durrer' s effort and accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards. In 1962, The Metallurgical Society presented him the Award of the Acid Converter and Basic Oxygen Steel Committee. The British Iron and Steel Institute conferred its highest honor on him in 1957 by presenting the Bessemer Gold Medal; and two years later he was awarded the Rinman Medal by the Swedish iron and steel industry.