Thomas Fehlner


Chemistry & Biochemistry
College or School
College of Science
Year of Emeritus Status

An undergraduate at Siena College and graduate student at The Johns Hopkins University, he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Notre Dame in the fall of 1964 as an assistant professor of Inorganic Chemistry. Promotions followed and in 1988 he was made the Grace-Rupley Chair of Chemistry. He served two terms as Department Chair (1982-88). Research in the Fehlner group ranged from mass spectrometry and photoelectron spectroscopy of unstable inorganic species to the synthesis of new types of cluster compounds to the development of novel materials and the experimental exploration of new computer paradigms. This work was supported principally by the National Science Foundation over 40 years and was published in 272 research papers and reviews, an edited book and a co-authored book. He was a Gugenheim Fellow at Wisconsin, JSPS Fellow at Tohoku University, and Leverhulme Visiting Professor in Bath. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he was a charter member of the Notre Dame chapter and served as its first secretary.

Since becoming emeritus professor in 2006 he switched from chemistry to the visual arts. First, however, there was a 4 year hiatus serving a chair of the Buchanan City Watershed Committee that successfully resolved the conflict between the naturalists/fishermen and the Preservation Society concerning the restoration of Pears Mill race. Mainly a self-taught artist, he works in watercolor, oil, pen & ink and clay, producing landscapes, portraits and bas reliefs. His work has been shown in regional juried shows and has received awards from the MAAC show at the Box Factory as well as several NIA shows. He is a member of a number of art organizations and a board member on two: the Niles Art Association and Northern Indiana Artists.

Department Website