Robert L. Seila, 63, a research chemist with the Environmental Protection Agency, died from leukemia on Aug. 25 in Cary, N.C.
Born in Durham, Seila earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wake Forest University in 1968. After serving three years in the Army, he joined EPA in Research Triangle Park, N.C., where he would remain for 37 years.
Seila was an expert on the gas chromatographic analysis of volatile organic compounds in ambient air. His research and field studies have contributed to an understanding of the sources and ambient concentrations of VOCs in rural and urban atmospheres, which was necessary for the development of photochemical air quality models. He authored and coauthored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications.
Seila was a lifelong member of the Sierra Club and a member of ACS, having joined the society in 1976.
Seila is survived by his wife, Paulina, and daughters, Robin and Graciela.