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H. Smith Broadbent

by Susan J. Ainsworth
March 8, 2010 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 88, ISSUE 10


H . Smith Broadbent, 89, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Brigham Young University (BYU), died on Jan. 19 at his home in Provo, Utah.

Born in Snowflake, Ariz., Broadbent earned a B.S. in both chemistry and mathematics from BYU in 1942. He then attended Iowa State University, where he worked on the Manhattan Project before earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1946 under Henry Gilman. Subsequently, he conducted postdoctoral research in physical organic chemistry at Harvard University with Paul Bartlett.

Broadbent then accepted a position as an assistant professor of chemistry at BYU. He was appointed professor in 1952 and served as chairman of the BYU chemistry department from 1955 to 1958 as the university established a Ph.D. program. His research focused primarily on heterocyclic chemistry, including synthesis of heterocycles and catalytic hydrogenation.

During one sabbatical, Broadbent served as a group leader in medicinal chemistry research at Schering from 1958 to 1959. He was also a visiting research scientist with the C. F. Kettering Laboratory from 1962 to 1963 and with Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories from 1970 to 1971. He was a visiting professor both at Kuwait University and at the University of Konstanz, in Germany, in 1980.

Broadbent consulted for the Army on technical problems with explosives and ordnance disposal. He also lectured in the U.S., Europe, China, and the Middle East. He retired from BYU in 1985.

After retirement, he taught in China at Qingdao Institute of Chemical Technology and at Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1946.

Broadbent is survived by his wife of 67 years, Katherine; eight children; 46 grandchildren; and 50 great-grandchildren.



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