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Stanley J. Czyzak (1916-2008)

Stanley J. Czyzak was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 21, 1916 to recent Polish immigrants John and Sophia (Jezierski) Czyzak.  Attending Fenn College (now Cleveland State University), he received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1935 and another B.S. in Civil Engineering a year later.  He worked as a chemical engineer and metallurgist in industry from 1935 to 1940, collecting an M.S. degree from John Carroll University in 1939.  Joining the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant in January 1941, he flew combat missions in Southeast Asia in the US Army Air Force.  He retired from active duty in July 1949 with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel, although he continued his collaboration with the Air Force.  He received his D. Sc. degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Cincinnati in 1948.  He was the Stephen H. Wilder Research Fellow at the University of Cincinnati from 1946 to 1948, a Research Physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1948 and 1949, and a Research Physicist at the Battelle Memorial Institute from 1949 to 1950.  After a year as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Detroit (now the University of Detroit Mercy), he moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, to serve as Chief of the Modern Physics Section of the Flight Research Laboratory during the Korean War, rising to the rank of Colonel.  He returned to the University of Detroit as Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Physics Department from 1955 to 1960.  He then returned to Wright-Patterson as Commander of the Air Force Institute of Technology from 1960 to 1966, being promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.  Czyzak returned to academia in 1966 when he joined the Department of Astronomy at the Ohio State University as Professor.  He supervised five Ph. D. students there before becoming Professor Emeritus in June, 1983.


Czyzak’s research covered a wide range of topics.  Early publications were mostly on the study of crystals, for which he received two U. S. patents.  He also studied such diverse topics as age-hardening of metals and diffraction of neutrons.  By the early 1960s, his research began concentrating on atomic structure calculations, mostly using the Hartree-Fock method, which he and his co-authors applied to the solar corona and especially planetary nebulae.  He had 95 refereed publications along with numerous technical reports for the Army and Air Force and chapters for several books.  Nearly all his publications were with co-authors, especially L. H. Aller (with whom he had many observing runs), J. B. Kaler, and T. K. Krueger.  Czyzak also combined his early work on the solid state with his astrophysical research to study interstellar grains.  He was a member of IAU Commissions 14 (Atomic & Molecular Data) and 34 (Interstellar Matter).

Czyzak died in the Summerville at Fox Run retirement home in Fairborn, Ohio on June 10, 2008. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth, and two brothers. He is survived by his four children, Stanley, Patricia C. Mirenayat, James, and David.

Obituary written by: Gerald Newsom (The Ohio State University)

BAAS Citation: BAAS, 2014, 46, 002

DOI: 10.3847/BAASOBIT2014002