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University Honors

Professor, Chemistry Department

Professor Emeritus



Harry Szmant was born in Poland and migrated to the United States in 1936.  He earned a B.A. from Ohio State University in 1940 and his doctorate from Purdue University in 1944.  Dr. Szmant was appointed as full Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in 1968 “where he combines administrative work with teaching and research in the areas of organic sulfur compounds, solvent effects, and carbohydrate chemistry.”

He brought twenty-two years of teaching experience to the University when he came from the University of Puerto Rico where he was a Professor of Chemistry.  He was also the Director of the Physical Science Division at the Puerto Rico Nuclear Center for seven years.  His previous experience includes Research Chemistry, Monzanto Chemical Co. Dayton Ohio, Professor of Chemistry, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and Head of the Chemistry Department and Founder and Director for the Center of Chemical Research, University of Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

According to the June 25, 1973 issue of C&EN the announcement was made of a new University of Detroit B.A degree which would require a minimum of 20 semester hours of chemistry, 21 to 24 hours of business.  The article noted “The University of Detroit will offer a four-year joint chemistry-business program leading to a bachelor of arts degree, beginning in the fall.  The curriculum was conceived and developed by Dr. H. Harry Szmant, chairman of the chemistry department, and Dr. Rikuma Ito, Dean of the College of Business and Administration.  According to Dr. Szmant, the new program will give people preparing for employment in the chemical industry ‘a better awareness of what is expected of them.’”

In 1982 Dr. Szmant was appointed as the University of Detroit’s Co-Director of the International Institute for Development Through Chemistry.  As one of the university’s representatives to the International Institute he was responsible for initiatives in preparing proposals for funding to federal and international agencies and to foundations.

An active participant in the chemistry profession he was a member of Sigma Xi and Phi Lambda Upsilon; Honorary Societies America Chemical Society; Abstractor, Chemical Abstracts; Fritzsche Award Committee of the American Chemical Society; Secretary then Chairman Organic Division, Pittsburgh Section, American Chemical Society; advisor, Fund for Overseas Research Grants and Education (FORGE); Chairman, Puerto Rico Section, American Chemical Society; Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Index Chemicus; and, Member, New York Academy of Science.

Dr. Szmant’s archive file indicates more than seventy published research papers, numerous research presentations and five books: Organic Chemistry, Organic Sulfur Compounds, and Organic Electronic Spectral Data, A Modern Introduction to Organic Chemistry, and an Introduction to the Physico Chemical Basis of Biological Processes.

There is no documentation when the Professor Emeritus honor was conferred on Dr. Szmant or the date of his retirement.

University of Detroit

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