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AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects




Published as Subject

Thor Smith



June 11, 1920 – September 6, 1999

Authorized Form of Name

Smith, Thor, E.



Thor L. Smith was awarded the Bingham Medal of the Society of Rheology in 1978. Throughout his career, he held positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford Research Institute, Texas A&M University, the IBM Research Division, and the Society of Rheology, among others.

Important Dates

June 11, 1920Birth, Zion (Ill.).

1942B.Sc in Chemistry, Wheaton College, Wheaton (Ill.).

1944M.Sc in Physical Chemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (Ill.).

1948Ph.D in Physical Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Wis.).

1948 – 1954Research chemist, Hercules Inc., Wilmington (Del.).

1954 – 1959Research Engineer (1954-1956); Section Chief (1954-1959), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, La Canada Flintridge (Calif.).

1959 – 1968Research Fellow, Stanford Research Institute, Stanford (Calif.).

1965 – 1969Vice President (1965-1967); and President (1967-1969), Society of Rheology.

1968Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University.

1969 – 1990Researcher in Polymer Sciences and Technology Department, IBM Research Division.

1978Awarded the Bingham Medal, Society of Rheology.

1978Awarded the Outstanding Innovation Award, IBM.

1978 – 1984Member, Board of Trustees, Gordon Research Conferences.

1983Awarded the Research Award, Society of Plastics Engineers.


September 6, 1999Death, Los Altos (Calif.).





Zion (Ill.)

Undergraduate Education

Wheaton (Ill.)

Graduate Education

Chicago (Ill.)

Madison (Wis.)


Wilmington (Del.)

La Canada Flintridge (Calif.)

Stanford (Calif.)

College Station (Tex.)


Los Altos (Calif.)


Physical chemistry.

Polymer rheology.

Rheology -- Societies, etc.




Advisors & Collaborators

Ferry, John D., 1912-2002

Advisor, University of Wisconsin.


Major Positions

Gordon Research Conferences

Member on Board of Trustees, and Chair of conferences.

Hercules Powder Company

Research Chemist.

IBM Research

Researcher in Polymer Sciences and Technology Department; and awarded the Outstanding Innovation Award (1978).

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.)

Research Engineer; and Section Chief.

Stanford Research Institute

Research Fellow.

Texas A & M University. Department of Chemistry

Professor of Chemistry.

Wheaton College (Ill.)

B.Sc. In Chemistry (1942).

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Illinois Institute of Technology

M.S in Physical Chemistry (1944).

Society of Plastics Engineers

Recipient of the Research Award (1983).

Society of Rheology (U.S.)

Vice President; President; and recipient of 1978 Bingham Medal.

University of Wisconsin--Madison. Department of Chemistry

Ph.D in Physical Chemistry (1948).


Published Resources


Physics Today article, "S of R presents Bingham Medal to Thor Smith."

Rheology Bulletin, Vol 47, No. 2, August 1978. Box 6, Folder 30, Society of Rheology miscellaneous publications.

The National Academies Press memorial tribute of Thor Smith.