Jack Merski Memorial Lecture in Physical Chemistry

The Jack Merski Memorial Lectureship in Physical Chemistry was established by his friends, colleagues and family in memory of his intense interest in science and his dedication to excellence in its practice. Dr. Merski was born in 1947 in Detroit, where he grew up and attended school. He received his B.S. from Wayne State University in Detroit and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1979. His dissertation work laid both the theoretical and experimental foundation for a new spectroscopic technique for studying molecular crystals using stress modulation.

Dr. Merski further increased his expertise in solid state chemistry and physics by spending nearly two years in Professor Flygare's laboratory at the University of Illinois. There he designed and built a microwave interferometer for the study of dielectric properties of crystals. He also spent a year supervising the laboratory of Professor Eckhardt at UNL, who was then on leave. During that time he designed and built a Brillouin scattering spectrometer. In 1982 he joined 3M Corporation in St. Paul as a Senior Scientist. At 3M he was in the process of building up an exceptional facility for the study of the optical and photoconductive properties of materials. His outstanding progress there ceased with his untimely death in 1984.

It is fitting that these lectures, by their topics, reflect Dr. Merski's interest and delight in the nature of collective interactions and their many manifestations in the chemistry and physics of condensed matter.

Past Recipients
  • 1999 - Ahmed H. Zewail
    (1999 Nobel prizewinner)
  • 1986 - Peter Wolynes