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Lawrence J. Schaad

by Susan J. Ainsworth
May 10, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 19

Lawrence J. Schaad, 79, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University, died after a short illness on Nov. 12, 2009, in Nashville.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Schaad attended Harvard University on a Westinghouse Science Scholarship, receiving one of the first National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowships there before graduating in 1952. He earned a Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956 with C. Gardner Swain, deriving what has become known as the Swain-Schaad equation, which describes the relationship between deuterium and tritium isotope effects.

He then conducted research with Charles Coulson at Oxford University for two years before accepting a one-year postdoctoral appointment with Harrison Shull at the University of Indiana. He joined the chemistry department at Vanderbilt in 1961, remaining there until he retired in 2002. He was a member of ACS, joining in 1955.

Schaad is credited with more than 150 papers on quantum and computational chemistry, including a highly cited study on the application of the Hückel method to aromatic hydrocarbons, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (1971, 93, 305).

In his honor, Schaad’s wife, Nancy, has funded an annual lecture in theoretical chemistry at Vanderbilt. Schaad is also survived by a sibling, Sister Elizabeth Ann Schaad.


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