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Duward F. Shriver, Former Chair of Chemistry, Dies

Inorganic chemist was a distinguished researcher, teacher and colleague

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April 25, 2013 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Duward F. Shriver, a renowned inorganic chemist and former chairman of the department of chemistry at Northwestern University, died March 6. 

Shriver spent his entire academic career at Northwestern, beginning in 1961. He was named Morrison Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1987 and served as chemistry department chair from 1992 to 1995. Shriver was a key member of Northwestern’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science.

Shriver’s most important work was in organometallic chemistry, particularly air-sensitive compounds. His research interests spanned inorganic and organometallic synthesis, bioinorganic, solid-state and polymer chemistry, and vibrational spectroscopy. His book “The Manipulation of Air-Sensitive Materials” is the standard reference in the field of organometallic chemistry.

Shriver published more than 400 scientific works and mentored more than 150 students and postdoctoral students who went on to careers in industry and government and at national laboratories, colleges and universities.

Shriver received many professional awards for his research. They include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Royal Society of Chemistry Ludwig Mond Medal, the Materials Research Society Medal and the American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in Inorganic Chemistry. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Born in 1934 in Glendale, Calif., Shriver was raised on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. He received his undergraduate degree in 1958 from the University of California, Berkeley, working with William L. Jolly, and his Ph.D. in 1961 from the University of Michigan, working with Robert W. Parry.

Shriver is survived by his wife, Shirley; children Justin and Daniel and their spouses; and two grandchildren.