Dorothy M. Hoffman, SWE Fellow and Life Member, joined the Society in 1956 and was strong supporter of both the Philadelphia and New Jersey Sections. Though she lived and worked in New Jersey, she opted to be part of the Philadelphia Section. From the 1950s through the mid-1970s, a span of nearly 20 years, she served in some section office, including two terms as President. From 1980 to 1989 she served on the Society’s Board of Trustees. Dorothy was elected a SWE Fellow in 1984. In 1989, she was named to the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame for her many contributions to the Section. Dottie was instrumental in having RCA become an early Corporate Member of the Society and providing funding for the RCA scholarships awarded by SWE for electrical engineering students. Upon her death, a bequest to the Society provided for the development of new career guidance programs and the funding for the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship awards.
Dottie had a long-standing interest in education and career guidance. She was an active participant in career guidance activities sponsored by the Engineering and Technical Societies Council (ETSCO) and was a speaker at Engineers’ Week programs for students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors. She also served terms as ESTCO President and as Treasurer.
Originally from New York City, Dottie attended City University of New York. She later received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in 1947 and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University in 1948.
She spent a year at General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, NY before she and her husband moved to Philadelphia when she joined the International Resistance Co. Her primary focus at work was the development of evaporated-metal-film resistors. In 1962, Dottie joined the RCA David Sarnoff Research Laboratory in Princeton, NJ, remained there until her retirement in 1992, and then worked as a consultant until 1996. At Sarnoff Labs, she was in charge of the Thin Film Technology Service Group which developed evaporative coatings used on products such as solar cells, Nichrome resistors, kinescope parts, optical filters, and infrared imaging devices. She was the recipient of the prestigious RCA Laboratories Outstanding Achievement Award in 1968 and the Video Disc Achievement Award in 1973. Dorothy M. Hoffman also holds three patents, has over 17 publications related to vacuum technology, and is an editor of the HANDBOOK OF VACUUM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY that was published in 1998 by Elsevier, Inc.
Dottie was a founding member of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). She was elected the first woman President of AVS in 1974. She also served on the Program Committee, was Society Clerk, and Chairman and member of the AVS Board of Trustees. In 1982, she was elected AVS Honorary Member, the same year she was also elected Central New Jersey “Engineer of the Year” by the Central New Jersey Engineering Council. Upon her death, a bequest was made to AVS to fund The Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarships that were established in 2002 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS.
Dorothy M. Hoffman was born on September 12, 1915 and died on November 20, 1989.
Biosketch for SWE Hoffman Program and Dorothy and Earl Hoffman Scholarships
SWE Fellow Citation
Foley, Eileen. “Engineering Pays Off at Work and Home.” THE EVENING BULLETIN. 26 September 1961.
AVS Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Award, http://www.avs.org/news.popup.aspx?article=231
SWE Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship, http://www.aie.org/Scholarships/detail.cfm?D=16798
D.M. Hoffman, B. Singh, and J.H. Thomas III (eds), Handbook of Vacuum Science and Technology, Academic press, 1998. http://www.science-direct.com/science/book/9780123520654
Philadelphia Section Newsletters