Reickert, Frank (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Frank Reickert briefly mentions his early life in Poughkeepsie and his college education before delving into his first position with DuPont as a design engineer at Seaford, mentioning several early projects. He then discusses the various positions he held in the maintenance department. Among other projects, Reickert describes a special assignment in which he developed a plan to shift from a system of single-skill mechanics to general mechanics and the way in which he convinced the union rep of the plan's efficacy. He also mentions the safety audit procedures in place at Seaford and has commentary on the levels of management he observed, which he thought was excessive yet appropriate for the time period of booming business.
He then speaks of the 8 years he spent in Jack Sigmund's Wilmington office, primarily as a facilitator and coordinator for various projects and committees. About this period, Reickert goes into detail about the wind-up committee he oversaw, which consisted of maintenance personnel from all the plants that had wind-ups and had members from other departments as well. The committee was formed to exchange information in order to improve the maintenance, operability, and performance of high-speed wind-ups. He also mentions a project on surface coatings he facilitated with the engineering department, which sought to reduce wear and improve product quality. He also details the paperwork involved in producing construction forecasts and his push to computerize them.
Near the end of his interview, Reickert discusses his work in the General Services Department, highlighting a project to redesign and renovate the executive offices of Conoco after that company's purchase by DuPont. He also briefly discusses his post-retirement consulting work, remarking on the amazement of companies at how much money they could save by enforcing safety regulations in the workplace. Throughout the interview, Reickert names other individuals who worked with him.
Livingston, Richard Donnan, 1921-2010 (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Dick Livingston begins his interview by discussing his early childhood, education, and his father's career with the DuPont Co. as an explosives expert. He then details his college education at Dartmouth and his military service in an Aircraft Repair Unit (ARU) in the South Pacific during World War II, mentioning his return trip in which he was allowed to set up a cot in the wheelhouse of a Liberty ship. He then describes his work at the DuPont Buffalo Rayon plant, going into detail about the aging machinery in the facility and his work replacing lead-covered materials with more modern corrosion-resistant materials.
Livingston remarks on his shift from supervisor to engineering associate at the Seaford Nylon plant, a newly created position which he describes as a sideways career move. He discusses a major project he worked on in this position during the 1970s to monitor and predict chemical changes in the nylon production process, in part by employing pioneering computer simulation software to calculate flows, temperature changes, degrees of polymerization, and other variables. The project resulted in a significant reference manual, and Livingston mentions being honored for his work when DuPont Co. named a room for him at its Singapore facilities. He finally spends some time speaking of his post-retirement role as a consultant for the company.