About Dr. Clearfield


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About Dr. Clearfield

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            Dr. Clearfield received his BA and MA from Temple University in Philadelphia and his Ph.D. at Rutgers University in 1954. His Ph.D. training was in inorganic chemistry and crystallography.  Upon graduation he spent one year with the Army Quartermaster Corporation in Natick, Massachusetts working on problems related to supplies for the Army including curling chicken feathers for use in sleeping bags.  In 1956, he joined the Titanium Alloy Manufactoring Division of the National Lead Company (now NL Industries) in Niagara Falls, New York.  He conducted research on the applications of zirconium compounds in numerous commercial processes.  He obtained a number of patents for processes he developed and improved the efficiency of the manufactoring processes. 

            In 1963 Dr. Clearfield joined the faculty of Ohio University, after a year as a program officer at the National Science Foundation.  He rose to the rank of full professor in 1968.  During his stay at Ohio University, Dr. Clearfield synthesized and determined the structures of a number of zirconium phosphates that became the focus of a worldwide research effort that continues to this day.  One of the forms of zirconium phosphate is used as a sorbent in portable artificial kidney machines and another is used to immobilize certain proteins and DNA for study of their chemical behavior.

            In 1976 he joined the faculty at Texas A&M University and served as Chairman of the Inorganic Division, Associate Dean of the College of Science and Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Program.  He has worked extensively on layered compounds, intercalation chemistry, inorganic ion exchangers including zeolites and metal phosphonate chemistry.  Professor Clearfield has received several awards for excellence in teaching and research.  In 2007 he was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor, the highest university academic rank.

            Professor Clearfield has published 560 papers in peer reviewed journals, edited four books and holds about 15 patents.  He has an abiding interest in Jewish history, has taught courses on this subject and writes a newspaper column on many aspects of Judaism and Jewish history.