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Professor Emeritus



Dr. Blass was born in Germany in March 1916. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Leipzig in 1943. Among others, he studied under Werner Heisenberg. While working on his doctorate, Blass served as an assistant instructor of Theoretical Physics at Leipzig.

From 1943 to ’45, Dr. Blass was a research physicist at Siemens and Halske in Berlin, where he worked on the quantum theory of solid state. He taught math and physics first at the Oberschule in 1946, and then at Ohm-Polytechnikum from 1947 to 1949, both in Nuremberg.

Dr. Blass came to the United States in 1949 where he became an assistant professor of physics at St. Thomas College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He joined the University of Detroit faculty in 1951 and was promoted to an associate professor in 1953.

At the University of Detroit, Dr. Blass became one of the highest rated teachers by his students and was consistently the recipient of many Outstanding Teacher nominations. He was not only admired as a superior physics teacher, but for his ability to demonstrate how physics was connected to other academic disciplines such as history and philosophy.

In 1961, Dr. Blass became a full professor and in 1962 he was promoted to chairman of the Physics Department. That same year, he published Theoretical Physics, a graduate level text. He would go on to author numerous articles for such scholarly journals as “American Mathematical Monthly” and the “American Journal of Physics. In 1971 he finished work on his second advanced text, Astrophysics.  

Throughout his career at the University of Detroit, Dr. Blass became much more than a teacher of physics, he was heavily involved with student activities, departmental and university responsibilities, and voluntary service to the community. 

Dr. Blass served as moderator of both the Physics Club and the Physics Honor Society. He developed several new courses for the Physics Department. He oversaw all library acquisitions of physics books. He was a member of the University Senate, the University Council on Business Affairs, the Arts and Science Faculty Council, and the University Faculty Council. On top of all this, Dr. Blass served on the Professional Advisory Committee for the construction of the Detroit Science Center and as president of the Detroit Astronomical Society.

Dr. Blass was not only a physicist, but a highly skilled mathematician, philosopher, and linguist, speaking German, English, French, and Italian. He was a member of the American Physical Society, the Mathematics Association of America, the New York Academy of Science, the Sigma Xi fraternity, the Albertus Magnus Guild, and the Association of American University Professors.

Dr. Blass retired from the University of Detroit as a full-time teacher in 1981.

Dr. Blass was listed in Who’s Who in America, the Dictionary of International Biography, Who’s Who in American Education, Leaders in American Science, The Blue Book, Two Thousand Men of Achievement, and others.

University of Detroit

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