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Gary E. Maciel

by Susan J. Ainsworth
June 30, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 26

Gary E. Maciel, 79, a professor of chemistry emeritus at Colorado State University, died on April 4.

Born in Niles, Calif., Maciel earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1956 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960. He conducted postdoctoral research with John S. Waugh at MIT until 1961.

Maciel then joined UC Davis as an assistant professor. He was named a professor in 1970. The following year, he moved to Colorado State.

Making major contributions to nuclear magnetic resonance theory, Maciel focused his research on the application of NMR techniques to solid-state samples, environmental problems such as pollutants in soil samples, biomass conversion and the development of biofuels, and analysis of thin films of a range of materials. He served as director of Colorado State’s NMR Center from 1978 until it was shuttered in 1990. He retired in 2011.

He served on the editorial boards of several journals and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of Sigma Xi. Maciel was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1957 and receiving the Colorado Section Award in 1999.

He enjoyed spending time at his vacation home in Maine, was very involved in his grandchildren’s lives, and had a passion for traveling, scuba diving, skiing, landscaping, and living life to its fullest.

He is survived by his wife, Maxine; son, Eric; daughter, Jennifer Sanders; and three grandchildren.

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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