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Roland E. Florin

by Susan J. Ainsworth
January 13, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 2

Roland E. Florin, 96, a retired National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) research chemist, died on Nov. 9, 2011, in Takoma Park, Md.

Born in Chicago, Florin received a B.S. in chemistry in 1936 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

He worked as a patent abstractor and technologist for Standard Oil from 1937 until he was drafted in 1941. After serving in the Army Medical Corps during World War II, he returned to the University of Illinois, where he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1948 using veterans’ education benefits provided by the G.I. Bill.

Florin then joined the chemistry department at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, as an instructor of physical chemistry. In 1951, he accepted a position as a research chemist at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. (now NIST).

During his career, he authored or coauthored many research papers about the effects of nuclear radiation on polymers and the chemistry of fluorocarbon polymers. He retired in 1980.

Florin received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award in 1965. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1938.

His wife of 61 years, Marion, died in 2010. He is survived by his son, Eric, and his daughter, Suzanne Moran.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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