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Obituary: Donald J. Plazek

by Nina Notman, special to C&EN
January 18, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 2


Donald J Plazek.
Credit: Courtesy of the Plazek family
Donald J Plazek

Donald J. Plazek, 92, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died July 17, 2023.

“Donald was the 1995 Bingham Medal recipient. While polymer physics was his main passion, he was also an avid mushroom hunter, a tropical fish breeder, a zealous tennis player, and a lover of jokes, among other things. His warm heart, gentle manner, and sense of humor will be greatly missed. Over the course of Donald’s professional lifetime, his fields of specialization included the viscoelasticity of polymers and organic glasses, the structure-property relations of polymers, and rheology. He also developed a magnetic-suspension creep apparatus. Donald wrote 146 refereed publications in the field of polymers and glass-forming liquids.”—Caroline T. Plazek, daughter

Most recent title: Professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Education: BA, chemistry, 1953, and PhD, physical chemistry, 1957, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Survivors: Children, Mary V. Taylor, Cynthia Plazek, Caroline T. Plazek, Daniel Plazek, John Plazek, David Plazek, and Anne Taylor; 23 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister, Estelle Skoumbouris

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