Discover Ames

Wilhelm’s Way: Author Talk & Book Signing

In February 1942, leaders of the Manhattan Project had a problem: to prove a controlled nuclear chain reaction was possible, they needed pure uranium—tons of it and in less than ten months. With only a few grams in existence, there was little hope anyone could achieve such a feat. Harley Wilhelm, a chemistry professor at Iowa State College, rose to the challenge.

A sharecropper’s son and former college basketball coach, Wilhelm was an unlikely character to impact the course of world history. Nevertheless, he and his small, ragtag team of scientists and technicians surpassed everyone’s wildest expectations.

Wilhelm’s Way: The Inspiring Story of the Iowa Chemist Who Saved the Manhattan Project reveals the life and times of this unsung hero who helped America win the race to build the atomic bomb and end World War II.

Teresa Wilhelm Waldof is the world’s leading expert on the Ames Project section of the Manhattan Project. An independent scholar, her in-depth research provides for trade publication the first-ever account of the life of chemist Harley Wilhelm and the critical Manhattan Project work he led on the Iowa State campus.

Teresa speaks on Wilhelm’s life and scientific contributions, the Ames Project, and the founding of Ames Laboratory. Recent speaking engagements include the U.S Department of Energy, Iowa State University Lecture Series, and the American Chemical Society Annual Convention – Midwest Region.

Outside of research and writing, Teresa is a business professional with thirty years’ experience in management, specializing in process improvements and turn-arounds. Her methods VACIP© and DRIP© can be applied to improving results in business as well as achieving goals in life.

Teresa holds a BA in speech communications and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Rochester, Minnesota, with her family.

Books will be available for sale beginning at 6:30 pm, and Teresa will sign books after the talk.

Presented in partnership by Ames History Museum and Ames Public Library.


Aug 09 - 18 2022


7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Ames Public Library
515 Douglas Ave., Ames, Iowa

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