Bruce A. Scott, 62, Was Accomplished Scientist
Bruce Albert Scott died Oct. 1 at home with his family by his side. He had fought thyroid cancer for eight years with steadfast determination. He faced his death with an uncommon serenity and dignity, and will be missed for his human warmth as well as his scientific abundances. Despite the effects of his illness, Bruce remained professionally active and involved to the very end.
Bruce was born on Feb. 23, 1940, in Trenton, N.J. He received his full ham radio license at the age of 13. He attended Rutgers University, where he received his bachelor degree in chemistry in 1962. In 1965, at the age of 25, he earned his Ph.D. in solid state chemistry from Pennsylvania State University. His doctoral thesis was entitled NMR and Magnetic Susceptibility Studies of the Transition Metals Monophosphides.
Dr. Scott began his professional career with a short stint at Dupont Eastern Laboratory. In 1967, he joined the IBM T.J. Watson research center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., where he spent the remainder of his productive and multifaceted career. At IBM, Dr. Scott carried out pioneering work in many areas of solid state and materials chemistry; in particular, the organic semiconductors used in photocopying machines.
In the late 1970s, he carried out work in the deposition of thin films for energy efficient solar cells. In 1972, Bruce became a technical manager in the lab's physical sciences department. In this capacity, he continued his original research; more significantly, he recruited and inspired the many young scientists whose research greatly expanded IBM's technology markets. He developed and promoted research in areas as diverse as copper chemical vapor deposition, nanoscopic materials and silicon materials chemistry. The latter studies led to the establishment of the science and technology of low temperature silicon and silicon-germanium epitaxy which plays an important role in telecommunications.
In the early 1980s, Bruce made new and original contributions to the field of high-temperature superconductors, where he pioneered techniques for their synthesis under high pressure. This new direction led to a fruitful collaboration with Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty earth observatory. Most of the joint projects were directed at the synthesis of target structures for high-temperature superconductors which helped resolve some outstanding key technical questions. Some of this work was published in the journals Nature and Science and illustrated that not all scientific stars are behind ivy-covered walls.
Dr. Scott was an accomplished scientist; he authored or co-authored over 132 scientific papers, held numerous patents and was a member of the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society and a fellow of the American Physical Society. In 1989, Bruce's managerial talent was recognized with his appointment as a senior manager and he was accomplished in this position.
His pitch-perfect sensitivity and a true-north sense of perspective, along with his sharp intelligence, made him a well-loved manager. That so many of his colleagues counted him as a friend as well was no surprise.
Bruce officially left his role in management to start a new effort as program director in technical recruiting at IBM. He committed all of his energy to the cause of inspiring and recruiting under represented minority science students. Bruce was respected by all the engineering deans and university program heads with whom he had interacted. He had a strong reputation as a supporter for the students of historically black colleges and universities.
Bruce had a natural curiosity about everything from his lengthy profession in chemistry, to his pondering of the origin of the universe (he cherished his gift of a meteor, an Iron-Course Octahedrite, found in Siberia). He was an avid reader of world and civil history and he had an intense interest in geology, with an extensive collection of rocks from around the globe.
Bruce was a committed jogger for 30 years. When, during this last year his running slowed to walking, he managed to smell the flowers, feed the oxen and horses along his way and map his favorite Vineyard hiking trails, enjoying the essence of the Island where he had met his wife, Christine Warsyk, 24 years ago in Edgartown.
After living in Westchester County, N.Y., for 20 years, Bruce, Chris and their son, Benjamin, moved back to Martha's Vineyard, where they built a home in Vineyard Haven.
Bruce will be greatly missed by his wife and children for his lavish praise and boundless love; his empathy and his self-effacing humor. He enriched their lives and those of his family, friends and coworkers.
Bruce Scott is survived by his wife and son, Christine and Benjamin, of Vineyard Haven; his son, Marc, and grandson, Max, of Queens, N.Y.; his daughter Melissa, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and brother, David, of Bethesda, Md.
A memorial service will be held on Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Scotts' home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Vineyard Nursing Association, P.O. Box 2568, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.