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Sad news - Scott Maclaren - Popular, Inspiring University of Illinois Scientist and Nanotechnologist

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Don Chernoff posted on Thu, May 18 2017 8:57 AM

Scott Maclaren was well-known in the AFM community.  I copy here the notice posted on the Microscopy Listserver by his colleague Allen Hall.


It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the passing of an
advisory board member, and pioneer in SPM analysis, Dr. Scott W.
Maclaren. He will be sorely missed as a fellow scientist and a close friend.

A picture of Scott, one of his popular SPM images, and the following
article can be found here:

One of the most popular and beloved scientists in the Midwest, who
trained more than a thousand researchers and inspired creativity in
thousands more, has died. Dr. Scott Maclaren, of the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), succumbed to complications related
to diabetes on Tuesday, May 9th. He was 57.

Maclaren served as Senior Staff Scientist of UIUCbs Frederick Seitz
Material Research Laboratory. The son of a General Electric executive,
born in Syracuse, New York and raised in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Maclaren
was a childhood prodigy who showed an early aptitude in science and
began taking university courses while still in high school. He attended
the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he
mastered several disciplines; taking on a double major in Physics and
Planetary Science. While at MIT, Maclaren also taught physics to
underclassmen and earned a reputation for his inspiring instruction
style. He graduated in 1982 after writing a thesis on laser beam
weaponry that several of his teachers were concerned might have to be

Shortly after leaving MIT, Maclaren moved to UIUC where he remained for
the rest of his life. Although he was considered an expert in many
scientific disciplines, the field Maclaren was most famous in was
Scanning Probe Microscopy, or SPM. Basically, a form of imaging of
materials at the atomic level and used extensively in the emerging field
of nanotechnology.

Maclaren's knowledge and experience commanded global respect and his
expertise was much sought after by many foreign institutions. Maclaren
also worked as an advisor to several major companies in the United
States and aboard. Among them were US-based Asylum Research and
BudgetSensors of Bulgaria. Maclaren was also an advisor and mentor to
Illinois-based Prairie Nanotechnology. Aside from giving lectures and
tutorials on SPM at many national workshops and conferences, Maclaren
was also involved in several outreach programs promoting nanotechnology
in science education.

Even though Maclaren was plagued by numerous health issues in the latter
part of his life, he still had a work ethic those around him sometimes
found intimidating. Every weekend, Maclaren could be found in MRL's
Atomic Force Microscopy lab investigating any material he found
interesting and juggling multiple projects.

After being checked into Presence Convent Medical Center in Urbana on
May 3rd for what seemed to be a minor skin condition, his health quickly
deteriorated. He died shortly thereafter.

Funeral arrangements are currently being finalized and will be private.
A traditional memorial service unique to UIUC will be held later this
year. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in
his memory to the Orpheum Children's Science Museum ( or
the Vasculitis Foundation (

With my sincere condolences to all of Scott's friends and colleagues, he
will be sorely missed.
-Allen J. Hall


Please send your thoughts about Scott to Allen Hall, who will pass them along to Scott's family.


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Top 10 Contributor
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Bruker Employee

Hi Don,

I'm really sorry to hear that.  Scott will be missed by all of us.

Thanks for the information,


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