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Next Meeting of SAS-Chicago

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Serendipity: Five Generations, Four Missions, Three Products, Two Courses, One Career

Alexander Scheeline Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign President, SpectroClick Inc.

It is better to be lucky than smart.  In my 5 decade random walk through atomic and molecular spectrometry, I have benefitted from the scientific friendship of many, especially in SAS.  While I taught many courses, two in particular (quantitative analysis, instrumental methods) resulted in my participation in a program to teach using American pedagogy in Hanoi, Vietnam, resulting in a patent, a company, and involvement in the fourth mission of the University of Illinois, economic development (teaching, research, and service are the other three missions).  The unusual handheld absorbance spectrometer that is the technical focus of the talk is the beneficiary of five scientific generations of ingenuity, insight, and collaboration, but an essential ingredient was being at the right place, at the right time, and recognizing an unanticipated solution to a long-standing measurement problem.


Alexander comes from Hollidaysburg, PA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1974, doing research in chemical kinetics under the direction of S. R. Crouch. His 1978 Ph.D. in chemistry was awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Madison for research on spark discharges under the direction of J. P. Walters. He was then a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, working with J. R. DeVoe and J. C. Travis on laser diagnostics of sparks.
He was on the chemistry faculty at the University of Iowa before moving to Illinois in 1981, continuing research in atomic emission spectroscopy and optical instrumentation, as well as working extensively on oscillatory chemical reactions, sensors for reactive oxygen species, chemical pedagogy, and ultrasonically levitated drops as microreactors. His group trained 15 Ph.D. students, 6 post-doctoral fellows, 7 Masters students, and 61 undergraduates. He served briefly as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, and was active in operations and governance of FACSS and SAS. With the Analytical Sciences Digital Library, he was founding editor of JASDL, the Library’s open access journal. Co-winner of two W. F. Meggers awards, he is a Fellow and Honorary Member of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. He is Professor of Chemistry Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, President of SpectroClick Inc., a firm developing hand-held instrumentation, and Vice President of Anchor Science LLC, a materials development partnership.