Russell Lewis Collins, PhD, son of Glenn Samuel, Sr. and Amy Unas Kirkland Collins, PhD, was born in Coffeyville, Kansas on September 21, 1928. He passed away on Monday, October 11, 2010, at the age of 82 years.
Dr. Russell Collins grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended public schools in the same city and earned a BS degree in engineering physics at the University of Tulsa in 1948. Thence to Norman, Oklahoma for graduate study in physics; he earned his master's Degree in 1950, and his PhD in 1953. His dissertation was entitled The Vibrational Spectra of Methyltrifluorosilane. His supervisor was J. Rud Nielsen. Russ’ mother earned her bachelor’s degree in 1953. She and Russ participated in graduation together.
Russ married Sharon L. Hatcher on July 25, 1979 in Travis County, TX. They were divorced on December 21, 1999. Russell married Aura Renee Gonzales on December 8, 2000.
He worked at Phillips Petroleum Company and joined the University of Texas at Austin faculty in 1962. With his graduate students, Dr. Collins published more than 50 refereed papers in standard journals. His work was supported by various agencies, including the Welch Foundation. His research interest was condensed matter physics, specializing in Mössbauer Effect. He held a number of patents concerning nuclear magnetic resonance and well logging. He started his company, Austin Science Associates while at UT and retired from the University to purse further development of the company.
Russ was well known around campus as “that prof with the amphibian car”. The German made Amphicar, only 3800 built in the 1960s, had twin propellers protruding from under the rear, enabling Russ to drive to Lake Austin and motor across to his home on the other side. Several successfully crossed the English Channel.
In retirement, he worked on several vexing problems of physics. He wrote, Rubber Rulers and Lackadaisical Clocks Simplify Gravity, this represents one of his findings. He was working on a book about photons which remains unfinished. He was a member of the American Physical Society where he presented multiple dissertations on his findings. He was also involved with a small group who loved physics, meeting to discuss new theories and findings. Dr. Collins had a special bond with a friend of many years, probably because he identified himself with him as a person of integrity and high moral values, but mostly because he was his most dearest friend, Bob Hanna.
Dr. Collins was preceded in death by his parents; his son, James Vann Collins; brother, Glen Samuel Collins, Jr.; and sister, Clara Isabel Collins.
He is survived by his wife, Aura Renee Collins; son, David Russell Collins; granddaughters, Danae Marie Rice, and Jessica Marie Collins; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Keiley, James, Alejandra, Jay, Yaribeth, Nathalie, and Jayden; stepdaughters, Edith, Ingra, and Saskia; nephews, Glenn Samuel Collins III, and Roger Collins, M.D.; nieces, Delyssa Trotter, and Cristi Wuller; and all related husbands, daughters, and grandchildren.
Russell Lewis Collins Photo Album