PFEFFERLE--William Charles, Jr., Ph.D., 87 beloved husband, father, scientist and inventor died December 28th. Bill's delight in problem solving and invention showed through his every action. As 3rd asst engineer he saved his ship from Nazi U-boat destruction by improvising an engine repair; he made multiple major innovations throughout his career and at age 63 he co-founded Precision Combustion where he continued to invent until his death. He held over 100 issued US patents including 7 in 2009-2010. Inventions included the ultra-low NOx catalytic combustor, Magnaforming for high octane gasoline, the Microlith catalytic reactor for fuel and chemical processing and combustion. He was inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1990 and in 2003 he received the ACS Industrial Innovation Award. A Quaker and pacifist, he sought scientific solutions to societal problems ranging from energy efficiency to pollution to oil and gas production. His passion, creativity and insight into scientific problems inspired a host of engineers and scientists. He will be greatly missed by this wife Eleanor of 61 years and his family, friends and colleagues.
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Published in The New York Times on Jan. 1, 2011