Papers of Stanford Solomon Penner, professor of engineering physics and director of the Center for Energy and Combustion Research at the University of California, San Diego. Penner is known for his research in combustion and energy, applied spectroscopy, and thermophysics. The papers document Penner's research and many awards and honors, and include manuscripts, correspondence, published works, photographs, certificates, realia, clippings, and ephemera.


Born in Unna, Germany, on July 5, 1921, Stanford Solomon Penner (often known as "Sol") came to the United States in 1936, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1943. He attended Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he earned a B.S. in chemistry (1942), and the University of Wisconsin, where he earned an M.S. (1943) and a Ph.D. (1946) in physical chemistry. Penner's graduate work was interrupted for a time in 1944-45 when he went to work full time in rocket research at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory as part of the war effort.

From 1947 to 1964, S. S. Penner worked at the California Institute of Technology, first as a senior research assistant in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, then as a professor of jet propulsion. During a leave of absence from 1962 to 1964, Penner served as the director of the Research and Engineering Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C. In 1964 Penner began his association with the University of California, San Diego, where he was founding chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Sciences (AMES). At UCSD, Penner was a professor of engineering physics until his retirement in 1991, as well as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (1968-69), director of the Institute for Pure and Applied Physical Sciences (1968-71) and director of the Center for Energy and Combustion Research (1974-90). His major areas of research were combustion and energy, applied spectroscopy, and thermophysics.

Over the course of his career, S. S. Penner collaborated with such scientists as Farrington Daniels and Theodore Von Karman, received numerous awards and honors, founded and edited such journals as The Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer and Energy - The International Journal, and wrote or edited hundreds of articles and more than twenty books.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The papers of S. S. Penner contain manuscripts, correspondence, published works, photographs, certificates, realia, clippings, and ephemera. The papers cover the years 1938-2000 and occupy 3.1 linear feet. The collection is arranged in three series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 2) WRITINGS, and 3) CORRESPONDENCE. The papers document Penner's research and many awards and honors; they include little correspondence and few early drafts of his writings.


The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Biographical Materials, B) Awards, C) Memorabilia, and D) Miscellaneous.

A) This subseries, arranged in alphabetical order, contains a chronology of Penner's life, clippings and press releases related to his activities and materials relating to his education. It also contains one folder of photographs and one folder of photocopies of photographs. Most of the photos are of Penner with his colleagues.

B) The materials in this subseries, which is arranged chronologically, contains certificates and plaques, as well as correspondence and clippings related to Penner's awards and honors. Also included are materials related to the creation of a UCSD lecture series, named in honor of Penner.

C) The Memorabilia subseries, which is also arranged chronologically, contains presentation copies of books, a scrapbook containing dozens of letters and photographs presented to Penner on his 65th birthday, and other memorabilia.

D) Four folders, arranged alphabetically, make up the Miscellaneous subseries: Conferences and Meeting Materials; Ogden Corporation, on whose Board of Directors Penner served from 1985 to 1998; the Report of the Energy Center Review Committee for 1985; and a folder dedicated to materials on Theodore Von Karman, the noted scientist with whom Penner worked in the 1950s and 1960s (see Series 1 for photographs of Penner with Von Karman).


The WRITINGS of S.S. Penner are arranged in alphabetical order. A set of four bound volumes, presented "To Sol Penner from his colleagues in appreciation," contains Penner's collected publications from 1946 to 1968. Also present are two versions of Penner's Ph.D. thesis, one containing the text of his confidential National Defense Research Council project, and one with that section omitted. Penner sometimes stapled correspondence and other materials to his copies of his articles; where this is the case, the other materials have been kept with the writings. SERIES 3: CORRESPONDENCE

The CORRESPONDENCE series has been arranged in chronological order. Penner sometimes stapled together letters from different correspondents on the same subject; the date on the earliest dated letter among each stapled group of letters is used for purposes of arrangement. Often included with the letters are clippings, copies of articles by authors other than Penner, and other enclosures.


Biographical Materials

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Box Folder Oversize
1 1 Clippings and press releases, 1979 - 1998.
1 2 Marcos, Ferdinand and Imelda - Photograph, invitations, etc., 1976.
1 3 Office of Scientific Research and Development - Certificates, undated.
1 4 Photocopies of photographs of Penner and others, 1956 - 1963.
1 5 Photographs - Includes photos of Penner, Penner with others, and photos taken during Penner's 1976 visit to China, 1960 - 1982.
1 6 S. S. Penner Biographical Data - Typescript & list of publications, 1998.
1 7 Saratoga Springs High School - Diploma, certificates, 1938.
1 8 State of California. State Board of Registration for Civil and Professional Engineers certificate, 1948.
1 9 Tribute to S. S. Penner - Bound scrapbook containing letters, photographs, etc., 1986.
1 10 Union College - Diploma, transcript, etc., 1938 - 1942.
1 11 University of Wisconsin - Diplomas, transcript, certificates, 1942 - 1946.
1 12 War Manpower Commission. Committee on Scientific Research Personnel - Letters, diplomas, 1944.
1 13 Who's Who - Two proof sheets and one tear sheet from Who's Who biographies of Penner, 1998 & undated.

Awards and Honors

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1 14 FB-317-06 General awards and honors - Includes correspondence, 1942 - 1998 & undated.
2 1 Plaques and medals, 1955 - 1977.
2 2 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) - Board of Directors, 1964 - 1966.
2 3 FB-317-07 AIAA - G. Edward Pendray Award. Includes correspondence, clippings, photograph, etc., 1976.
2 4 FB-317-07 National Academy of Engineering, 1977.
2 5 FB-317-07 Numa Manson Medal - Includes correspondence, photos, 1979.
2 6 FB-317-07 Instituto Internazionale delle Comunicazioni - International Columbus Prize. Includes acceptance remarks, correspondence, clippings, 1981.
2 7 International Energy Agency - National Advisory Board. Correspondence, clippings, 1981.
2 8 Rheinisch-Westfalischen Technischen Hochschule Aachen - Honorary doctorate. Includes correspondence, clippings, etc., 1981.
2 9 FB-317-07 AIAA - Energy Systems Award. Includes correspondence, clippings, 1983.
3 1 AIAA San Diego Section - Outstanding Contribution to the AIAA at the National Level. Includes correspondence, program, 1983.
3 2 FB-317-07 AIAA - Thermophysics Award. Includes press release, clippings, etc., 1983.
3 3 Doctors for Disaster Preparedness - Edward Teller Award for the Defense of Freedom. Includes correspondence, 1997.
3 4 S.S. Penner Distinguished Lectures in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Sciences, 1999 - 2000.


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3 5 FB-317-08 California Institute of Technology album, 1956 - 1957.
3 6 Institute for Defense Analyses, Research and Engineering Support Division - Cartoons, greeting card, etc., 1964.
3 7 Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer - Presentation copy of first issue, published in 1961, with six pages of signatures, 1986.
3 8 Modern Developments in Energy, Combustion and Spectroscopy, in Honor of S. S. Penner - Presentation copy. Includes biography & list of publications by Penner, 1993.


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Box Folder Oversize
4 1 Conference and meeting materials - Includes correspondence, photographs, etc., 1960 - 2000.
4 2 Ogden Corporation - Annual report, correspondence, photographs, etc., 1985 - 1998.
4 3 Report of the Energy Center Review Committee - Photocopy of typescript, 1985.
4 4 Von Karman, Theodore - Printed materials, clippings, etc., 1956 - 1994.
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4 5 AGARD Propulsion and Energetics Panel: 1952-1977, 1978.
4 6 Are We About to Run Out of Usable, Low-Cost Energy Supplies? - Includes correspondence and sample issue of Prime Time Newsletter., 1998.
Collected Papers of S. S. Penner [Bound volumes].
4 7 1946 - 1954.
5 1-2 1955 - 1963.
6 1 1964 - 1968.
6 2 Combustion and Propulsion Research - In Chemical and Engineering News, January 14, 1963.
6 3 Comment on "Temperature Measurement and Relaxation Processes in Shock Tubes" by A.G. Gaydon, 1966.
6 4 Comment on "Testimony on the California Nuclear Initiative by Harold C. Urey and Hannes Alfven" - Typescript, 1998.
6 5 Comments on "Research Support for the Power Industry" by M. Granger Morgan and Susan F. Tierney - Includes typescript, correspondence, and copy of Morgan and Tierney's article, 1998.
6 6 Effect of Silica Gel Upon the Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide - Bound carbon copy typescript of master's thesis, 1943.
6 7 Equilibrium Radiation Properties of Gases - Published in the Handbook of Heat Transfer, 1973.
6 8 First Decade (1964-74) of the AMES Department at UCSD - Typescript, 1995.
6 9 Kinetics of Gelation; Resistance of Zirconia Gels During Setting - Includes handwritten notes and graphs, 1942.
6 10 Long-Term Energy Supplies for the World. Typescript, ca. 1998.
6 11 National Defense Research Council Project (Confidential); Calculations on the Formation and Decomposition..., 1946.
See: box 7, folder 6 for a copy including the confidential first section.
6 12 Partial Solutions to Problems in THERMODYNAMICS by S. S. Penner, with S. S. McElmury - Includes photostat, handwritten notes, etc., ca. 1968.
7 1 Radiation Phenomena in Rockets - Photostat negative of declassified document, ca. 1940s.
7 2 Relationship Between Energy Conservation, GNP and Energy Consumption, with J. M. Bernard - Published in the 119th Anniversary Number of The Indian and Eastern Engineer, 1977.
7 3-4 Report of the DOE Advanced Fuel-Cell Commercialization Working Group - Bound typescripts with corrections, 1994.
7 5 Review of Conservative Environmentalism - Reassessing the Means, Redefining the Ends, by Dunn and Kinney - Photocopy from Energy, vol. 22, no. 6., 1997.
7 6 Studies on the Burning of Double Base Powders; Calculations on the Formation and Decomposition of Nitric... - Typescript of Ph.D. thesis, including the confidential first section, 1946.
See also: box 6, folder 11
7 7 Theoretical Aspects of Nitrogen Fixation by the Wisconsin Process - Typescript carbon copy with blueprint graphs, undated.
7 8 United States Energy Supplies for the 21st Century - Offprint from Energy vol. 23, no. 2. Includes correspondence, 1998.


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7 9 1962 - 1979 & undated.
Includes photographs, clippings, etc. Notable correspondents include the American Physical Society, Evelle J. Younger, Senator Henry M. Jackson, Senator S.I. Hayakawa, the National Academy of Sciences, and Roger Hedgecock.
7 10 1980 - 1998.
Includes copies of articles by authors other than Penner, and other enclosures. Notable correspondents include the National Research Council, Robert Maxwell, the American Chemical Society, and William H. Avery.
7 11 1999 - 2000.

Finding aid generated: 2013-08-20