Werner E. Bachmann was born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 13, 1901. After attending Detroit Junior College, Bachmann came to the University of Michigan where he received a BS degree in Chemical Engineering in 1923, an M.S. in 1924, and a Ph.D. in 1926. In 1925 he joined the faculty an instructor in organic chemistry, and remained at Michigan for his entire teaching career. He was promoted to Professor in 1939 and in 1947 was named the Moses Gomberg University Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Bachmann spent 1928 in Zurich, Switzerland, as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and was a Guggenheim-Memorial Foundation Fellow in London and Munich during 1935-1936. In 1947 he returned to Switzerland for a lecture tour at the invitation of the American-Swiss Foundation for Scientific Exchange.
Among his many significant contributions were the first synthesis of a sex hormone, equilenin, and its stereoisoners, and the development of a new manufacturing process for RDX, a powerful explosive. His extensive research programs included work with carcinogenic compounds, antimalarials, and penicillin.
From the guide to the Werner Emmanuel Bachmann Papers, 1924-1951, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)