HUDSON, Ohio (March 26, 2012)—Stephen T. Semegen, B.F. Goodrich research official who held 25 patents for rubber and polymer technology, died March 19 at the age of 93.
The Akron native, who lived in suburban Hudson, had suffered a heart attack earlier this month.
Semegen started his career as a laboratory manager at Quaker Rubber Co. in Philadelphia. In 1945 he returned to Akron as a member of Goodrich's research department, later advancing to manager of rubber research, director of technical services and director of new product research.
The list of developments for which he earned patents include: aircraft fuel cells; radiation-resistant rubber; flexible rubber parts and gaskets used on the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus, Apollo Spacecraft and Sputnik satellites; aircraft wing de-icers; magnetic door gaskets for refrigerators; anti-static polymer shoes; breathable synthetic leather; puncture-sealing tires; synthetic chewing gum; and solid-center golf balls, baseballs and hockey pucks.
Semegen left BFG in 1965 and became president and director of technical services for the Natural Rubber Bureau in Washington, D.C., until 1980. For the next 20 years he served as a consultant for the Malaysian Rubber Research Institute, living for several years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Born in Akron, Semegen was class valedictorian in high school, played three sports and was president of the student council and chemistry club and editor of the school newspaper. He went on to study chemistry at the University of Akron,
He earned bachelor's and master's degrees at UA—besides lettering in football, track and basketball—and a doctorate from Ohio State University.
A prolific writer—he financed his undergraduate education by writing short stories for King Features Syndicate—Semegen's scientific works appeared in many publications, from the Encyclopedia Britannica to the Vanderbilt Rubber Handbook and Rubber Age.
Semegen was a frequent lecturer at universities in the U.S. and Canada and throughout the world. He was a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemists, and the New York and Ohio academies of science.
He is survived by sons Stephen, Jack and Dan; four grandchildren and a niece.
The family asked the memorials be made to the Humane Society of Greater Akron.