Ašperger Smiljko, F.C.A.
- January 25, 1921, in Zagreb
- May 3, 2014, in Zagreb
Ašperger Smiljko, F.C.A.
- Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Doctor of Science
- professor, retired – Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb
Membership in Academy:
- full member – Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences (07/24/1991 – 05/03/2014)
- extraordinary member – Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences (06/09/1983 – 07/24/1991)
- associate member – Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences (06/06/1975 – 06/09/1983)
Smiljko Ašperger, F.C.A., a prominent chemist, was born in Zagreb on January 25, 1921. He attended elementary school in Đakovo and gymnasium in Osijek. He graduated in 1943 from the Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Engineering, where he received his Doctorate in 1946. As a student, he collaborated with the later Nobel Laureate Vladimir Prelog, who was at the time an assistant professor at the Faculty of Engineering and was his last living student in Zagreb.
He has been an assistant professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry since 1952, part-time professor of physical chemistry since 1958, and a full professor of physical chemistry since 1962. At the Faculty, he was head of the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry (1970-1978) and dean (1959-1962, 1964-1966, 1970-1972). From 1966 to 1968 he was president of the Croatian Chemical Society, and since 1998 its honorary member. From 1958 to 1974 he was also an associate of the Ruđer Bošković Institute. He trained in London and Rochester (USA), and taught at the universities of Minneapolis, Chicago, and Kiev.
He became a regular member of HAZU in 1991, and since 1983 he has been an associate member, and since 1975 he has been an extraordinary member. From 1994 to 2000 he was secretary of the Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences and a member of the Presidency of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was also the first chair of the HAZU Foundation from its foundation in 1993 until 1998.
Smiljko Ašperger was the author of over 100 publications published in the world’s leading scientific journals. He was engaged in the research of reaction mechanisms, the theory of substitution reaction reaction, mass spectrometry, and the application of stable isotopes in chemistry. Among other things, he participated in the discovery of the secondary a-deuterium kinetic isotope effect, and applied it to the study of reaction mechanisms. Together with Karl Weber, he discovered a negative kinetic temperature coefficient in photooxidations of glycerol and ethylene glycol with bichrorate, which led to the discovery of quadrivalent chromium, which was previously unknown. Smiljko Ašperger was the winner of the Ruđer Bošković Award in 1967, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Science in 1993, the Josip Juraj Strossmayer Award in 1997 for the most successful book in the field of science Chemical Kinetics and Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms, and the Božo Težak Medal of the Croatian Chemical Society in 1998.