Dr. James G. Broerman of Springfield, Missouri passed away on Sunday, July 15, 2007. Jim was born in Evansville, Indiana on December 21, 1935. In 1953, Jim graduated valedictorian from Reitz Memorial High School. He was high school band president.
Jim received a B.S. Summa Cum Laude in Physics in 1957 and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 1963 from St. Louis University. His dissertation involved Quantum Electrodynamics: Area generalizing the Feynmann two component electron theory to a Lagrangian formalism applicable to strong interactions. He was a member of the St. Thomas More Honors Academy and is listed in the Who's Who among the American Colleges and Universities.
In July 1963 Jim joined the Microwave and Low Temperature Physics Group, Research Division, McDonnell Aircraft Company as a Scientist. He remained in this organization until 1991 where he advanced to Chief Scientist while the organization grew and eventually became the Solid State Physics Group of the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories (MDRL). As Chief Scientist, Jim was responsible for research on IR sensor, high-power laser array, and photonic device technology. Jim was a valued scientist and his written papers contributed to the national and international reputation of MDRL. Jim wrote 41 papers on Infrared Detector Materials that were a major reason for MDRL's reputation on mercury cadmium telluride preparation and characterization with the Department of Defense Laboratories. This reputation plus excellent proposals resulted in several multi-man year sole-source contracts on Epitaxially Growth of Mercury Cadmium Telluride. The results of these contracts were state of the art at the time.
In 1991 Jim joined the Physics Department at Missouri State University as a full Professor. Jim was instrumental in acquiring substantial research equipment that was used to grow very thin semiconducting thin films. This equipment has become a cornerstone for development of research and teaching programs. Jim was also instrumental in developing a Master of Science program in Materials Science (this was among the first graduate programs at Missouri State University). He severed as the Graduate Program Coordinator from the inception of the Materials Science Program. He also developed the undergraduate curriculum, served on numerous committees and never tired of encouraging young people toward the study of Physics and Material Sciences. He was often asked to teach the most challenging programs such as Quantum Mechanics and Solid State Theory. He became Professor Emeritus on April 1, 2007.
Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Sandra R. Broerman, and his children, step-children and grandchildren: son and daughter-in-law Matthew and Diane Broerman and granddaughter Daphne Broerman of Sarasota, Florida; daughter Kristin Keckeisen and grandsons Nick and Alex Keckeisen of Alexandria, Virginia; daughter Liesel Broerman of St. Paul, Minnesota; and daughter Inga Broerman and grandsons Max and Augie Spendley of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; step-daughter Andrea Grosnick and husband Cedric Grosnick and grandchildren Christopher and Mathew Junkin of Hershey, Pennsylvania; step-daughter Shelly Mortimer of Campbell, California; step-daughter Aimee Fuller and husband James Fuller and grandchildren Bella and Read Fuller of London, England.
Jim Broerman was a wonderful, intelligent, caring, funny, insightful, brilliant man and will be greatly missed by his wife, family and friends. His many scientific abilities, opinions and expertise will be missed by his colleagues and students at Missouri State in the future. Furthermore, the exMDRL scientists who benefited from Jim's work and advice remember well his congeniality, camaraderie, and expertise....
The family requests that memorial donations be made to Celestis, Inc. These funds will support participation in memorial spaceflights and other launch-related projects, including space camps for children. Click here for donation information.
Services were held at The First & Calvary Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Missouri on July 20, 2007.