Remembering Jorg Meyer

Thursday, May 06, 2021
Tatiana Arizaga
UCI Physical Sciences Communications

Dear Colleagues,

I am saddened to announce the passing of Jorg Meyer, UCI’s glassblower, and much-loved member of the UCI Physical Sciences family. Through his work fabricating glassware and stainless-steel solvent purification systems for research laboratories, Jorg made enormous contributions to the safety of chemical laboratories at UCI and around the world. He was an expert in the design and construction of highly complex, one-of-a-kind technical apparatuses. Aside from being an iconic glassblower, Jorg was also an artisan, entrepreneur, businessman, adventurer, explorer and diver.

He joined the School of Physical Sciences in 1965 as one of the first employees at UCI. Professor Sherry Rowland hired Jorg, realizing then that so much of cutting-edge research depended on the availability of unique instrumentation and equipment, much of which requires glassblowing. In addition to his work in glassblowing, Jorg became the global leader for the design and construction of equipment used to dry solvents used in research.

During his 56 year career at UCI, Jorg contributed substantially to our rise as a globally preeminent research university and he supported the professional accomplishments of many faculty members over the decades. In 2014 he won the prestigious UCI Lauds and Laurels Staff Achievement Award.

Born in Berlin, Germany, Meyer learned the ropes of glass blowing at his father’s shop – a shop that witnessed three generations skillfully perfecting the trade. He traveled to Australia, and blew glass for the Australian National University. He was also a champion freediver in Australia and made headlines for riding a whale shark in 1964 (see below).

When Meyer wasn’t at UCI’s glass shop, he would spend his time freediving, spearfishing or boating. He was also an avid falconer. 

Jorg passed away on May 2nd pursuing his love of the ocean, in his boat anchored off Catalina Island. He is survived by his wife Allison Meyer, who he met at UCI while she was an undergraduate student, and his daughter Ariane Meyer. He was a friend and protector for many and he will be greatly missed.

Here are a few videos and articles that feature Jorg. I encourage you to take a look and help us appreciate his life and legacy.

Warm wishes on behalf of the school,

James Bullock
Dean, School of Physical Sciences 

Glass for Science

Science by Fire Video

Jorg rides a whale shark in 1964

Jorg Meyer (Wikipedia)