Helmut Franz, a resident of Laguna Woods, Calif., died Feb. 7, 2007, of cancer. He was 76.

Franz earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Würzburg, Germany in 1962. He conducted research on the surface chemistry of glass at Max-Planck Institute until 1967, when he moved to the United States and continued his research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1969, Franz joined PPG Industries Inc., where he was instrumental in developing a number of commercially successful technologies.

Franz held 57 patents and was the author or coauthor of numerous scientific papers on the science of glass surfaces. Franz was elected to PPG’s prestigious collegium in 1988, and retired from the company in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Toni, three children and six grandchildren.

An emeritus member of ACerS, Franz was affiliated with the Glass & Optical Materials Division.