Al Matsen, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry and of physics, died on May 30, 2006. He was 92.
Professor Matsen received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1937. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry and physics from Princeton University in 1940. From 1951-1952, he was at Oxford on a Guggenheim Fellowship and studied under Professor Charles Coulson.
Dr. Matsenís career began at Bucknell University where he was an instructor from 1940-42. In 1943, came to The University of Texas where he remained until his retirement in 1988 with the exception of one year at the University of Chicago in 1945 and his aforementioned year in England. Upon retirement, he continued with his research and was appointed professor emeritus in 1997.
Professor Matsen published over 250 scientific articles and was the author of three books. In 1979, he helped form the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry, which is made up of faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering. For over 40 years he taught a freshmen chemistry course from the perspective of modern quantum mechanics called The Vector Space Theory of Matter.
Dr. Matsen was married to Cecilia Kirkegaard Matsen who preceded him in death in January of 2006. They are survived by two children, Frederick Albert (Rick) and his spouse, Anna Lovell Matsen, and Megan Cecelia and her spouse, Albert Meisenbach. Additionally, they have three grandchildren, Susanna Lovell Matsen, Frederick Albert Matsen IV, and Laura Jane Megan Matsen.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
Office of the General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Jennifer Morgan and posted on the Faculty Council web site
on April 13, 2009. Additional information can be found in the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.