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Smiljko Asperger

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 14, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 28

Smiljko Asperger

Smiljko Ašperger, 93, a distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Zagreb, died on May 3 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Born in Zagreb, Ašperger attended the University of Zagreb, receiving a B.Sc. in chemical engineering in 1943 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1946 under Karlo Weber. He then accepted postdoctoral appointments with Christopher K. Ingold at University College London and William H. Saunders Jr. at the University of Rochester in New York.

Ašperger then returned to Croatia to serve as a professor on the pharmacy and biochemistry faculty at the University of Zagreb, where he remained until his retirement in 1986. From 1958 until 1974, he also served as founder and head of the chemical kinetics laboratory in the physical chemistry department at the Ruđer Bošković Institute, where he conducted the bulk of his research.

He published many research papers and two books. For several semesters, he taught graduate courses on inorganic reaction mechanisms at Northwestern University.

Ašperger received numerous awards. In 1983, he became a member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences & Arts and served as secretary of its department of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. He was also president of the Croatian Chemical Society, a member of the U.K.’s Royal Society of Chemistry, and a 38-year member of ACS, which he joined in 1971.

He is survived by his wife, Ema; son, Miroslav; and a grandson.

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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