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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Indiana University Adjunct Professor Allen R. Siedle’s 1973 thesis entitled, “Studies in Boron Hydrides”

September 20, 2023

On Wednesday, September 20th, Adjunct Professor Allen R. Siedle presented a research seminar, “How I Got Here – Adventures in Research and More,” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his Ph.D. Prof. Siedle earned his Ph.D. in the IU Department of Chemistry for his work on “Studies of Boron Hydrides.” After a distinguished career in industry, he returned to our Department as Adjunct Professor in 2012. We  celebrated this special anniversary with a seminar and reception on September 20.  Allen discussed some of the work he undertook at various stages of his career and shared important nuggets of wisdom learned at each stage.  Main topics included fundamental boron NMR, polymer engineering, and exciting current work with IU faculty and graduate students on graphite fluoride chemistry.  He also described the reasoning behind a few key choices he made during his career.

Allen R. Siedle began his career in a home laboratory and received his PhD in inorganic chemistry from Indiana University in 1973 (working with Professor Lee Todd).  He spent 4 years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) first as an NRC postdoctoral fellow and then two years as member of staff.  In 1977, he moved to the 3M Corporate Research Laboratories.  In 2012, he retired and was appointed Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at I.U. In 2020, he was a recipient of the prestigious Indiana University Bicentennial Medal.

Professor Siedle’s research is in the broad field of synthetic inorganic and materials chemistry as exemplified by 151 publications and 48 patents. Disordered/amorphous systems are of great interest because they offer bountiful opportunities for innovative science and practical applications with the further advantage that they attract relatively little competition.  Carbon- and carbon-fluorine chemistry is the most recent area of research.  It has recently led to discovery of a new form of nonbenzenoid carbon.  A critical theme is collaboration with other scientists who contribute sophisticated computational, analytical and characterization techniques that enable deeper insight and understanding of new materials created in the laboratory.