Department Notes the Passing of former Chair, Professor Lowell Coulter

in Alumni, Emeriti, Faculty
May 2nd, 2009

Professor Emeritus Lowell Coulter

Professor Emeritus Lowell Coulter, passed away on May 2 at the age of 95. Dr. Coulter, a physical chemist by training (PhD, University of California, Berkeley), was Professor of Chemistry at Boston University for over 35 years (1942 and 1977). In an energy related topic that resonates today as much as it did when he worked on it over fifty years ago, his research focused on the thermodynamic properties of clathrates (inclusion compounds). He explored the variation of their heat capacities from cryogenic to ambient temperatures, building impressive calorimetric equipment with which to do comprehensive and accurate measurements to derive detailed thermodynamic properties. Professor Coulter’s research qualified him for election in 1963 as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His scientific talent also connected him to a momentous historical event: early in his career he was a group leader on the Manhattan Project.

Prof. Coulter was a dedicated teacher and devoted member of the Boston University community, which he served in many ways, most notably as Chair of Chemistry between 1961 and 1973. During his tenure as Chair, he recruited 21 teaching and research faculty. Of those still here or recently retired (in order of recruitment) are: Al Prock, Mort Hoffman, Rich Laursen, Stan Hartman, Scott Mohr, Bob Umans, Richard Clarke, Warren Giering, Gil Jones, Dan Dill, and Georgia Weinstein. The legacy of talent he left our department is truly impressive, and one for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.

For the Boston Globe article that reviewed the contributions and career of Professor Coulter, please click here.

For the BU Today article about Professor Coulter, please click here.

May 2009