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Biography of Erich Clar

Erich Clar was a member of staff in the Chemistry Department at the University of Glasgow from 1953 to 1972. He is considered by many to be the father of modern polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon chemistry.

Clar was born in Hrensko, in Czech Sudetenland. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the Technische Hochschule Dresden in 1927. Clar worked in Cambridge and in 1930 became head of the Chemistry Department of the Istituto Ronzoni at Milan. From 1936 to 1946 he worked in his private lab in his home town but also lectured part-time at the University of Prague. In 1946 he moved to Glasgow where he he remained until 1972.

While at Glasgow, Clar collaborated extensively with fellow staff members, as Norman Davidson and former students, such as Regina Schoental.

For his academic achievements, he was awarded the August-Kekulé-Medaille of the Chemical Society of the GDR in 1965 and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Research Award at the 11th International Symposium on Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons in 1987 (posthumously).


University of Glasgow Story


Erich Clar
Born 23 August 1902.
Died 27 March 1987.
GU Degree:
University Link: Lecturer
Occupation categories: organic chemists
English snippet: The father of modern polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon chemistry
Record last updated: 7th May 2014

Country Associations

Czech Republic Czech Republic, Hřensko
Place of Birth

England England, Cambridge

Germany Germany, Dresden

Italy Italy, Milan

University Connections

University Roles

  • Lecturer