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Richard A. Nyquist

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 4, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 27

Born in Rockford, Ill., Nyquist received a B.A. degree in chemistry in 1951 from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.; an M.S. in chemistry in 1953 from Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State University); and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1994 from the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

He was employed by Dow Chemical in Midland from 1953 until 1994, when he retired as a research scientist. In his work, he focused on infrared, Raman, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Nyquist authored or coauthored more than 160 scientific publications. After retiring from Dow, he worked as a consultant in vibrational spectroscopy at Michigan Molecular Institute, in Midland, until his death.

Dow awarded Nyquist the V. A. Stenger Award in 1981 and the Walter Graf European Award in 1994. The company also established the Nyquist Analytical Award in his honor in 1995.

In 1985, Nyquist received the Williams-Wright Award from the Coblentz Society, which named him an honorary member. He was also an honorary member of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy. The Association of Analytical Chemistry honored Nyquist with the Anachem Award in 1993. A member of ASTM International, he received the ASTM Award of Appreciation for his contributions to the practice of qualitative infrared analysis. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1960.

Nyquist is survived by his wife, Irene, whom he married in 1956; sons, Richard and Robert; daughters, Jean and Kathryn; and two grandchildren.


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