Howard P. Isermann

Class of 1942
Sunscreen Developer, Trustee
1921-

After earning his degree in chemical engineering, Howard Isermann joined Van Dyk & Co. It was there that he developed the ultraviolet absorber that became the most effective and leading sunscreen in the world. This development, in addition to preventing sunburn, has contributed to significant progress in skin cancer prevention.

Active in fragrance research organizations, he founded Novarome Inc. in 1980, manufacturer of fragrance compounds used in a wide variety of consumer products, from soaps to perfumes.

He joined Rensselaer’s board of trustees in 1986 and was named an honorary trustee in 1998. His commitment to chemical engineering at Rensselaer has been exceptional, as chairman of the Chemical Engineering Advisory Council and generous benefactor of fellowships and professorships. In 1989 the Institute renamed the department the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical Engineering. He has been active on the School of Engineering Advisory Board, a leader in alumni and fund-raising activities, and received the RAA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1994.