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by Susan J. Ainsworth
February 2, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 5

Robert Bau, 64, a chemistry professor who taught at the University of Southern California for almost four decades, died on Dec. 28, 2008.

Bau earned a B.S. in chemistry and physics from the University of Hong Kong in 1964 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1968. He then spent a year as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University.

In 1969, Bau joined the USC faculty as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor of chemistry in 1974 and to professor of chemistry in 1977.

A distinguished researcher in the field of X-ray and neutron diffraction crystallography, Bau was a fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation from 1974 to 1976 and became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1982.

He was the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation U.S. Senior Scientist Award and a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award. He also received awards for excellence in research and teaching from USC and was president of the American Crystallographic Association in 2006. Bau was a member of ACS, joining in 1968.

A special tribute for Bau is planned for March 19 during a previously scheduled symposium in his honor at USC’s Seeley G. Mudd Auditorium.

Bau is survived by his wife, Margaret Churchill; children Christina, Alexander, and Phillip; and his mother, Maria.

Samuel L. Cooke Jr., 76, a professor of chemistry and systems management, died on Aug. 2, 2008.

Born in Georgia, Cooke earned a B.S. in 1952 and M.S. in 1954, both in chemistry, from the University of Richmond, in Virginia. In 1957, he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Baylor University, in Waco, Texas.

Cooke began his career as a research chemist at DuPont in Wilmington, Del., before returning to Richmond to become an instrument designer for Interscience.

He then began a career shift into academia, teaching first at Alabama College, in Montevallo (which became the University of Montevallo in 1969), and then serving as professor of chemistry and systems science at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, for 21 years. Subsequently, he was a field professor of systems science for the University of Southern California for nine years.

Cooke was a visiting lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich; a consultant at the Louisville Science Center; and an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1955. Within the ACS Louisville Section, he served as chair, newsletter editor, and councilor. He also served as president of the Louisville chapter of the Sigma Xi science research society.

Cooke received the Kentucky Academy of Science Outstanding College Science Teacher award in 1983 and a Kentucky legislative commendation for his computer literacy course in 1982. He also held the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel,” and authored numerous publications and a textbook.

Cooke is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara; three children, Cynthia, Samuel, and Raymond; and six grandchildren.

Donald J. Cotton, 72, a retired Department of Energy research scientist, died on Oct. 20, 2008.

Born in Cleveland, Cotton earned a B.S. in chemistry from Howard University in 1957, an M.S. in physical chemistry from Yale University in 1959, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Howard University in 1967. He held a National Aeronautics & Space Administration research fellowship from 1966 to 1967.

Early in his career, Cotton worked with the Naval Research Laboratories, in Indian Head and Annapolis, Md. However, he spent most of his career with DOE, serving in roles including international affairs specialist and assistant secretary of nuclear energy.

Cotton served as a professor at the University of Guyana; the University of the District of Columbia; and the University of Cape Coast, in Ghana.

He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a member of Sigma Xi. He was an emeritus member of the national mathematics honor society, Pi Mu Epsilon, and of ACS, joining in 1960.

He held patents, published many papers in scientific journals, and was the author of the novel “Sore Foots.” Cotton was fluent in French, German, Russian, and Chinese.

Cotton is survived by a daughter, Denise Tyson; and a grandson.


Robert V. Edwards, 67, professor emeritus of chemical engineering and former associate dean at Case Western Reserve University, died at his home in Chesterland, Ohio, on Dec. 8, 2008, of pancreatic cancer.

Born in Baltimore, Edwards earned a B.S. in mathematics in 1962 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1968, both at Johns Hopkins University.

Edwards then joined Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University), where he remained a faculty member until his death. He was chair of the chemical engineering department, chair of the electrical engineering and computer science department, associate dean of engineering, and minority affairs assistant to the president of the university.

In the 1970s, Edwards helped develop use of Doppler-shifted laser light to measure velocities of fluids and moving objects. In addition to publishing many scientific papers, Edwards was a visiting scientist at the Danish Atomic Energy Commission, in Risøe, Denmark, and at the National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s Lewis Research Center (now the Glenn Research Center) in Cleveland. He wrote a book, “Processing Random Data: Statistics for Engineers and Scientists.”

Edwards was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He was a member of ACS, joining in 1972.

He is survived by his wife, Anne; two children; five step-children; and 13 grandchildren.

Robert Kunin, 90, a retired Rohm and Haas chemist and ion-exchange pioneer, died on Jan. 6 in Ewing Township, N.J., of complications from pneumonia.

Born in West New York, N.J., Kunin earned a bachelor’s degree in 1939 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1942, both from Rutgers University.

Kunin began his career as a senior scientist for the Tennessee Valley Authority. From 1944 to 1945, he served as a senior scientist at Columbia University under the Manhattan Project. He was a fellow at the Mellon Institute from 1945 to 1946.

Kunin then began a long career at Rohm and Haas, working in its ion-exchange lab. During that time, he served as a consultant to the blood preservation lab at Harvard University and to the now-defunct Atomic Energy Commission. Between 1960 and 1980, Kunin also lectured at American University and the University of Pennsylvania. He retired from Rohm and Haas as development manager of the fluid process chemicals department in 1976, but continued to do ion-exchange purification consulting work until 2003.

Kunin received Franklin Institute’s Potts Medal in 1966. He held more than 100 patents and wrote 10 books and more than 250 scientific articles. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1942.

He is survived by two children, Anne Leibowitz and David; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Kunin’s wife, Edith, died in 1988.


Wladyslaw (Val) Metanomski, 85, a senior scientific information analyst who worked for Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) for 44 years, died in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 11, 2008.

Born in Vienna, Metanomski was a World War II veteran of the Polish Army and fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino, in Italy.

After the war, he earned a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1952 from the University of London before taking a position at Dearborn Chemical, in Toronto, from 1952 to 1958. Metanomski then enrolled at the University of Toronto, earning an M.S. in chemical engineering in 1960 and a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry in 1964.

Metanomski joined the CAS Editorial Division in 1964, developing vocabulary control; working in abstracting, indexing, and nomenclature; and helping to define the technical content of CAS publications and services. He remained at CAS until four weeks before his death.

In connection with the 100th anniversary of CAS, Metanomski was profiled in a Web supplement to the June 11, 2007, issue of Chemical & Engineering News. In May 2008, he received the ACS Columbus Section award for a lifetime of service to chemical information.

A member of ACS since 1964, Metanomski was active in the Division of Chemical Information (CINF), serving as its chair in 1987. For the 50th anniversary of the division, he published the book “50 Years of Chemical Information in the American Chemical Society, 1943–93.” In 1992, the division presented him with its Meritorious Service Award. In 2006, he received the CINF Lifetime Membership Award.

He had been a member of the ACS Nomenclature Committee since 1990 and served on the editorial advisory board of what is now titled the Journal of Chemical Information & Modeling. Metanomski participated in the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry and received its Distinguished Service Award in 1995.

He also participated in the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry as a member of the Commission on Macromolecular Nomenclature from 1987 to 1999 and served as secretary of its Interdivisional Committee on Nomenclature & Symbols from 1996 to 1999.

His wife of 44 years, Helena, died soon after him on Jan. 17. He is survived by a daughter, Marianne; and two grandchildren.

Arthur P. Weber, 88, a retired chemical engineer, died on Nov. 24, 2008, in Long Island, N.Y.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Weber earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from City College of New York in 1941. He then worked on the Manhattan Project, in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Weber was awarded an advanced degree in nuclear science and engineering from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1947, in recognition of his scientific efforts there.

He remained in the Oak Ridge area, becoming director of process development and design for Kellex. He then served as technical director for International Engineering, which was based in Dayton, Ohio.

In 1951, Weber began consulting in chemical and professional engineering. Concurrently, he also served as an adjunct professor, working two years as an instructor at College of the City of New York (the former name of New York University’s undergraduate college), five years as an associate professor at NYU, and nine years as professor at the Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn (now Polytechnic Institute of NYU). In addition to publishing many technical papers, Weber held patents, including one for a continuous-flow reactor for high-viscosity materials.

He was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Weber was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to the New York Academy of Sciences. An emeritus member of ACS, he joined in 1944.

He was president of New York’s Metropolitan Golf Association and a cofounder of Old Westbury Golf & Country Club in 1961. In 1995, the Audubon Society recognized his Old Westbury Code of Environmental Conduct for golf course maintenance. He shared a patent for electromotive eradication of moss.

In his youth, Weber played harmonica on the “Horn & Hardart Children’s Hour” radio program and was a champion speed skater. He continued playing and skating into his later years.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean; two children, Diane Lichtman and Geoffrey; and two grandchildren.

Susan J. Ainsworth writes Obituaries. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include a detailed educational and professional history.



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