Issue Date: October 12, 2009
Herbert M. Clark
Herbert M. Clark, 90, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in Troy, N.Y., died on Aug. 20.
Born in Derby, Conn., Clark attended Yale University as an undergraduate, remained there throughout his graduate studies, and received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1944.
After joining the RPI faculty in 1946, Clark attended a nuclear technology training school at Clinton Laboratories (now part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory), in Oak Ridge, Tenn. There, he studied the theory of nuclear reactors and learned radiochemical procedures for working with sources of ionizing radiation developed under the Manhattan Project.
During his 38 years on RPI's faculty, Clark taught a wide range of science courses. Using a mobile laboratory provided by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Clark also traveled to colleges and industrial laboratories to teach courses on using radioactive isotopes.
His research focused on the absorption of nuclear fission products by hydrous oxides; the extraction of inorganic substances by organic solvents; and the chemistry of technetium, a radioactive element used in the preparation of radiopharmaceuticals.
While on leave from 1978 to 1979, Clark worked on the Alternative Fuel Cycle Evaluation Program, in Germantown, Md. He coauthored three textbooks and published several papers in scientific journals.
He was a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of many scientific organizations, and an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1940. Clark was also a 45-year member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, in Troy, N.Y.
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