The internationally renowned scientist and expert on precious metals and electroplating, head of the fem, the Research Institute for Precious Metals and Metals Chemistry in Schwäbisch Gmünd from 1970 to 1995, died at the age of 81 years on February 11, 2014.
Christoph J. Raub was born on June 6, 1932 in Schwäbisch Gmünd/Germany and studied chemistry, physics, art history and archeology at the University of Münster/Germany from 1952 to 1961. He completed his PhD on the topic " The Thermal Diffusion and Thermodynamics of Silver-Zinc Alloys”. Following his studies he moved to the United States to conduct research at the University of California, San Diego. After his return to Germany in 1962 he took over the metal laboratory of the company W.C. Heraeus in Hanau/Germany. His task field included research on the thermodynamics and electrochemistry of precious metals and their alloys as well as the implementation of scientific results into industrial practice.
In 1970 Prof. Dr. Christoph J. Raub took over the management of the fem in Schwäbisch Gmünd that has been headed by his father, Prof. Dr. Ernst Raub, since 1934. In the following years he developed the activities of the Institute beyond the traditional focus of metallurgy and electroplating out into other areas of surface technology. New areas such as the surface treatment of aluminium, the material physics and physical coating technologies and the activities of analysis in the field of environmental have been expanded and established.
Thanks to his distinctive and excellent research that has been awarded with numerous national and international prizes Christoph J. Raub earned his reputation as a leading expert in the field of precious metals and electroplating. Among other things he has researched and published on gold-titanium alloys, investment casting of gold jewellery, properties of galvanic gold and gold alloy layers as well as electrodeposition of platinum and platinum alloys. He served as chief editor of the "Journal of Less Common Metals " and published more than 400 publications as author and co-author. The studied archaeologist and art historian took a great interest for archaeometry as well as the conservation and restoration of precious metal objects. After his retirement in June 1995 he devoted himself intensively to his passion, gave lectures and published essays on this topic.
His special and lasting merit is the opening of the Institute towards greater international cooperation with partners from research, education and industry. It is due to him that the European Committee for surface technology Schwäbisch Gmünd–now the European Academy of Surface Technology (EAST)–was launched at the end of the 1980s. The pan-european idea behind this institution was particularly close to his heart and from the beginning universities and institutions in the former Eastern bloc also counted to the members.
Christoph J. Raub was greatly appreciated at home and abroad for his expertise, but it was also his modesty and his friendly, warm personality that made him so popular.