In Memoriam: Gilbert J. Sloan, Ph.D., 1928-2023

Gil Sloan with equipment

Gil with his ultimate Zone Refiner complete with bells and whistles.

We are sorry to report the passing of Dr. Gilbert J. Sloan on May 25, 2023. He was 94 years old and still a volunteer in the LRSM for ~15 years. Gil retired from DuPont in 1994, having started with the company in the Central Research Department in 1953, after a successful career, first as a senior research scientist and later as Manager of Analytical Services. In 1972-3 he spent a sabbatical year as a visiting scientist at University College, Wales with Prof. Sir John Meurig Thomas, former director of the Royal Institution and Chair of Chemistry at Cambridge University.

On retirement, he bought his specialized lab equipment from DuPont and set up operation within the Norquay Company in Chester PA as a consultant where he successfully purified organic materials for several major chemical companies. After 12 years, he closed his business and began volunteering in the MSE department at Penn where he assisted undergraduate students with their senior design projects, especially those of Prof. Russell Composto.  Because he donated several pieces of original equipment to the group, the students made him a plaque stating that he was an ‘Ad-Junk Professor’. He also started collaborating with Andrew McGhie, who had been a post-doc. with him at DuPont, and they published a book in Wiley Interscience’s Techniques of Chemistry series called ‘Techniques of Melt Crystallization’ in 1988.  Over the last few years, they co-authored several papers with Prof. Peter Beckmann, Chemistry Dept. Bryn Mawr College on methyl group rotation in organic solids. During this time, they had also been working on the development of a large, continuous zone refiner, based on work that they had originally published in 1980! He will be missed.

plaque reading: Gil Sloan the Ad-Junk Professor

the Ad-Junk Professor