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'A huge loss': Chemistry professor emeritus Scott Lynn dies at 94

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Lynn first joined the College of Chemistry faculty in 1967.


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DECEMBER 27, 2022

Professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the College of Chemistry Scott Lynn passed away Dec. 17 at the age of 94.

Lynn’s career was marked by extensive knowledge in industrial and design processes in the field of chemistry, according to his colleague and close friend, Steve Sciamanna, professor at the College of Chemistry.

“He had this uncanny ability when it came to process engineering and process synthesis,” Sciamanna said. “The guy could see around corners, he could look at a situation and be able to come up with the most efficient way to come up with a process scheme to solve that problem.”

Lynn joined the faculty in 1967 when he began jointly teaching classes alongside UC provost and senior vice president C. Judson King.

King said they taught on the topic of chemical process synthesis through an interactive teaching approach called “troubleshooting problems.”

“He was an utterly unpretentious person,” King said. “I think if it is possible for students to be utterly unintimidated by a faculty member, he’s the one.”

In addition to teaching, Lynn served as an associate dean for undergraduate affairs in the College of Chemistry from 1986 to 1991 and then as the associate dean for business affairs in the college from 1991 until his retirement in 1994, according to a press release.

Even after his retirement, Lynn continued to teach industrial design classes as a professor emeritus and created two companies with Sciamanna, which he was involved in until the COVID-19 pandemic ended the businesses.

“He always liked talking about this, you know, kicking around ideas,” Sciamanna said. “He was such a sharp guy even into his 90s.”

Prior to joining the faculty at Berkeley, Lynn worked at Dow Chemical Company for 12 years as a senior researcher where he gained invaluable experience in the industrial applications of electrochemistry. Sciamanna noted that his work in industry distinguished him from his other colleagues in the college at a time when classes more heavily focused on the nano biopharmaceutical field.

Aside from his passion for chemistry, Lynn was also an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoyed spending time with his family at their cabins in the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas, according to his son, Peter Lynn.

The family has plans to scatter his ashes at their cabin as well as plant a birch tree in his honor alongside the memorial birch tree planted in honor of Lynn’s late wife, Anette Lynn.

“Scott was just a great human being and an incredible friend, colleague and mentor,Sciamanna said. “It’s a huge loss.”

Contact Natasha Kaye at 


DECEMBER 27, 2022