In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Robert Schuler

Author: Tammi Freehling

In Memoriam Feature

Professor Emeritus Robert Schuler, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, passed away Nov. 13. He was 91.

In Memoriam Feature

“He was best known as a strong leader, maintaining high professional standards for his unit while maintaining his own very active research program and seeking closer ties with the department,” said Paul Helquist, professor and associate chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Schuler earned his bachelor of science degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, in 1946 and his doctorate from Notre Dame in 1949.

He returned to Canisius College as an assistant professor in 1949. From 1953 to 1956 he was an associate chemist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 1956 he became director of the Radiation Research Laboratories of the Mellon Institute. In 1976 he became director of the Radiation Laboratory at Notre Dame and professor in the Department of Chemistry. In 1985 he was honored with the John A. Zahm Professorship, a position he held until 2000, when he transitioned to Emeritus status. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

During his career, Schuler published more than 250 research papers, which received over 9500 citations. His work focused on radiation chemistry, chemical kinetics, electron spin resonance and Raman spectroscopy with particular interest in the structural and kinetic properties of transient radical intermediates.

His research established a fundamental understanding of the effects of radiation on matter, including his development of the Warman-Asmuss-Schuler equation that describes ion savaging and diffusion process in radiation tracts. Among his many honors are the Marie Sklodowska Curie Medal from the Polish Association for Radiation Research in 1992, the Award of Honor from the University of Notre Dame in 1976 and the Crowdle Award for academic achievement from Canisius College in 1976.

Schuler was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Florence, and is survived by a brother, three daughters, two sons and 11 grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Nov. 21 in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to:

Sacred Heart Parish

104 Sacred Heart Parish Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556


Condolences may be sent to:

The Schuler Family, 51034 Erin Glen Drive, Granger, IN 46530-8627

Originally published by College of Science at on November 22, 2017.