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In memoriam: Aili Kogerman, 03.02.1933–31.12.2023

With deep sadness, we announce that on December 31, 2023, Aili Kogerman, the first and long-time executive editor of the Oil Shale (1990­–2008), passed away.

Aili Kogerman graduated from the Tallinn Polytechnic Institute (now Tallinn University of Technology) with a degree in chemical technology of fuels in 1956. In 1966, she defended her candidate degree in chemical sciences (equivalent to a PhD today) on the topic “Fiber-Forming Copolymers of Acrylonitrile and Methylacrolein”.

After graduating, from 1956 to 1960, Aili Kogerman worked as a chemical engineer in the oil shale industry in Kohtla-Järve. In 1960, she began her career as a researcher at the Estonian Academy of Sciences, continuing as a senior researcher until 1998.

Alongside her scientific work, in 1990 Aili Kogerman started working as the executive editor of the Oil Shale. Through her active involvement, the Oil Shale became a truly international English-language journal on oil shale, especially during the early years of Estonia’s independence. The initial eight years posed financial challenges, with the journal relying on donations from Estonian oil shale companies. Since January 1999, the Oil Shale has been published by the Estonian Academy Publishers.

Kogerman was motivated by a strong belief in the uniqueness of the Estonian oil shale industry, the global significance of Estonian oil shale science, and the opportunity to publish and disseminate it worldwide through her journal. Largely thanks to Kogerman’s initiative, the Oil Shale was indexed in ISI Journal Publications in 1994, including the esteemed Current Contents.

Aili Kogerman retired from her position as the editor-in-chief in 2008.

Aili Kogerman was also notable for popularising household and consumer chemistry. She authored several books in this field. As the daughter-in-law of Paul Kogerman, the founder of Estonian oil shale chemistry, Aili contributed to introducing Paul Kogerman’s life and works through various articles and as a compiler of the memorial book “Paul Kogerman ja tema aeg” (“Paul Kogerman and his time”, in Estonian).

Aili Kogerman was honored with the Koosmeele Award (the Concord Award of the Open Estonia Foundation) in 1999 for her contributions to the development of an open society in Estonia and beyond, fostering mutual understanding among people living in Estonia and building a common future. In 2000, Kogerman was awarded the Order of the Estonian Red Cross, II Class.

The Oil Shale expresses its condolences to Aili Kogerman’s family and remembers her as a cherished colleague.

Photo: Chemist Kogermann, Aili (VK F 1077:1 F); Võrumaa Muuseum,