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In Memoriam (Obituaries) Archive

Vincenzo (Enzo) Palmieri
Friday, March 16, 2018
Harry (Henry) Jones
Monday, August 24, 2015
Rob McGrath
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Meyer Garber
Thursday, December 14, 2017
William Brownfield Fowler
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Jens Müller
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
James Nordman
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Viktor Efimovich Keilin
Monday, November 24, 2014
Carl Henning
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Henri Desportes
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Koichi Kitazawa
Friday, September 26, 2014
Akira Tonomura
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
John Alcorn
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Werner Weber
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Siegfried Wolff
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Edgar A. Edelsack
Friday, May 5, 2017
Hirosi Maeda
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Milan Polák
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Alexei Abrikosov
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
James H. Parker, Jr.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Marty Lubell
Monday, January 16, 2012
David G. Hawksworth
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Olga L. Polushenko
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Antonio Barone
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Peter E. Gifford
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Hans Hillman
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Shoji Tanaka
Friday, November 11, 2011
Carl Leonard Goodzeit
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Nicola Sacchetti
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Clyde Taylor
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Mauricio (Mau) de Lima Lopes
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Leo K. Kovalev
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Per Dahl
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Lev Petrovich Gor'kov
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Alex Shikov
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Ernst-Helmut Brandt
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Peter Komarek
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Nikolai Kopnin
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Igot Yanson
Monday, July 25, 2011
Giovanni Volpini
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Jeffrey A. Stern
Friday, October 11, 2013
Ray Sarwinski
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Leszek Motowidlo
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Vladimir Pan
Friday, September 20, 2013
Hisashi Kado
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Eric Gregory
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Øystein Håkon Fischer
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Gert Eilenberger
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Eddie Man-Wai Leung
Monday, August 1, 2016
John Clem
Friday, August 2, 2013
W. James Carr Jr.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Helen T. Edwards
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Klaus Irgmaier
Friday, June 28, 2013
Michael Tinkham
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Konrad H. Fischer
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Joe Smith, Jr.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Praveen Chaudhari
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Karl Gschneidner
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Sergey Egorov
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Vitaly L. Ginzburg
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Colmar Hinnrichs
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Kiyoshi Tsukasa
Friday, January 25, 2013
Zdenek J. J. Stekly
Friday, April 3, 2009
William E. "Bill" Keller
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Henry Blosser
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Masaki Suenaga
Friday, February 13, 2009
Robert John Soulen, Jr.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Gordon Donaldson
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hiromi Hirabayashi
Friday, April 11, 2008
Herbert Bousack
Friday, November 13, 2015
Michael Wulf
Friday, November 16, 2012

William Brownfield Fowler

March 22, 1924 to May 3, 2015
Bill Fowler, photo taken in 1977
William Brownfield Fowler Remembered
October 13, 2015 (PO40).  Dr. William Brownfield Fowler passed away peacefully in St. Charles, Illinois, on May 3, 2015, aged 91.  He was an internationally recognized expert in the fields of high-energy particle physics, superconducting magnets, cryogenic bubble chambers, and diffusion cloud chambers.
 
Born on March 22, 1924 in Owensboro, KY, he graduated from Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky, after which he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps during WW-II and was trained as a radio operator. He obtained a B.A. in physics from University of Kentucky in Lexington in 1947. In 1951, he received a Ph.D. in physics from the Washington University, St. Louis, MO, after researching cosmic rays at the Climax Mine in Colorado. Next, he went to the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, Long Island, NY, to perform post-doctoral research that used diffusion cloud chambers to discover "strange" particles at BNLs Cosmotron. He then went to the University of California, Berkeley, as an assistant professor, 1955 - 1959. At Berkeley he and others used newly developed bubble chamber technology to discover and study new "strange"particles, such as Cascade- baryons.  After that academic stint he took a staff position at BNL where he remained until 1969. While at BNL, he and others constructed the 80 inch, cryogenic-hydrogen bubble chamber, which was eventually used to discover the Omega- particle in 1963. In 1969 he took a position at the newly opened National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), in Batavia, Illinois, where he remained until he retired in 2002 at the age of 78.  He further maintained scientific connection with the Lab until February 2015. 
 
Bill Fowler is perhaps best known at Fermilab for his work leading the construction of the National Accelerator Laboratory 15-foot bubble chamber, the largest in the world.  He was also a leader in the effort to build the Tevatron and in the development of its superconducting magnets.
 
He was an enthusiastic photographer who loved the outdoors. His wildflower photographs were beautiful reminders of hikes in the Sierra Nevada, the Rockies, or the Appalachian mountains. He also enjoyed traveling, backpacking, bicycling, canoeing, birdwatching, and skiing. He was a skilled woodworker, an avid bridge player, loved the arts, and regularly attended performances by the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera. He also enjoyed watching plays, and regularly went to thespian festivals around the country and in Canada.  He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Fowler, daughters and grandchildren.
 
(Remembrance after New York Times obituary, May 21-22, 2015, and Cryogenic Society of America “Cold Facts”, courtesy Laurie Huget, Exec. Director)

 

Viktor Efimovich Keilin

February 26, 1933 to November 24, 2014
Viktor Keilin (recent photo)
Viktor Efimovich Keilin, 1933 -2014
December 5, 2014 (PO38).  Professor Viktor Keilin passed away on 24 November, 2014 at the age of 81. For more than 50 years, he was in charge of technical applications of superconductivity at the leading Russian research organization, the I.V. Kurchatov Institute for Atomic Energy.
 
Viktor Efimovich Keilin was born 26 February 1933 in Kharkov (then USSR). In 1957 he graduated from the Moscow Bauman State Technical University with specialization in cryogenics. After graduation, he joined the P.L. Kapitsa Institute for Physical Problems. His PhD thesis was dedicated to cryogenics for superconductivity.
 
Prof. Keilin joined the Kurchatov Institute in 1961. As he mentioned many times: “I was the very first person in USSR hired just to work in applied superconductivity”  His supervisors were a vice-president of the USSR Academy of Science, M.D. Millionschikov, and academician E.K. Zavoisky known for the discovery of the electron paramagnetic resonance.  From the very beginning, Viktor was involved in a new area at that time: applied superconductivity. His scientific ingenuity, technical creativity, dedication, and wisdom resulted in outstanding achievements. The Kurchatov team  developed under his leadership classic cryogenic configurations for large superconducting magnets, including current leads that can carry high currents, and established principles for designing partially-stabilized superconducting magnets. Independent of the Oak Ridge team, he introduced the cable-in-conduit approach. Ideas of Prof. Keilin were successfully demonstrated in the world-first tokamak T-7 with superconducting coil system for generation of the toroidal field (1979), and in tokamak T-15 with Nb3Sn windings (1988). With upgrades and modifications, principles developed by him and his associates are used in designing superconducting magnets for ITER.
 
Viktor was always dreaming about efficient, easy-maintenance, relatively inexpensive superconducting magnets for diverse applications. The Kurchatov team built hundreds of magnets for gyrotrons, wigglers, high-field applications, etc. He lead developments that were used in such unique facilities as SST-1 (India), HT-7 (China), KSTAR (Korea), ATLAS (CERN). He inspired Russian efforts in HTS including development of superconducting transmission and distribution cables, fault current limiters, HTS leads for collider NICA (Dubna, Russia) and other projects. He was awarded two very prestigious USSR State Prizes, in 1976 and 1988.
 
Viktor Efimovich Keilin was also famous for attracting cohorts of young scientists to applied superconductivity. His positive attitude towards life, inexhaustible enthusiasm and energy, endless optimism and sense of humor attracted a lot of young people into the field. He had a map where he marked countries where his former students have been working. These included Russia, Ukraine, USA, Germany, Japan, England, Netherlands and many others. He was a professor at the Moscow Institute of Engineering Physics and supervised dozens of PhD students.  For more than 30 years, he lead the annual school of superconductivity in Protvino near Moscow. It is not easy to find a Russian scientist or engineer in the field of superconductivity who did not attend this school at least once. Most of his students have been staying in the field during their whole career.
 
All of us who knew this outstanding man feel a great personal loss. At the same time, memory of Prof. Keilin will continue encouraging us towards new achievements in applications of superconductivity.
 
Colleagues at I.V. Kurchatov Institute and M. Parizh, GE, Schenectady, NY, USA

 

Koichi Kitazawa

April 17, 1943 to September 26, 2014
Koichi Kitazawa (recent photo)
Koichi Kitazawa Remembered
December 12, 2014 (PO37U).  Koichi Kitazawa, a materials scientist prominent in high-Tc superconductivity, former president of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and president of Tokyo City University, passed away on September 26, 2014, at the age of 71.  He was born on April 17, 1943 at Iiyama in Nagano prefecture, Japan.  After obtaining the BS degree in chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science of the University of Tokyo, in 1966 he became graduate student in Professor Mukaibo’s laboratory, Department of Industrial Chemistry of the Faculty of Engineering at the same university, and got his master degree there in 1968.  Finally, in 1972, he earned the D.Sc. degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science.  In 1973, he joined the University of Tokyo as research associate, lecturer (~1979), associate professor (~1982) and professor (~1987 to 2002). Early in the 2nd decade of his 30 years career at the University of Tokyo, he started studies on superconductivity of Ba(Bi,Pb)O3 at Professor Tanaka’s laboratory and as the first in the world verified high-Tc superconductivity at and above 30 K occurring in La-Ba-Cu-O system, thus confirming the discovery of Bednorz and Mueller. 
 
The identification of superconducting phase (La,Ba)2CuO4 in November, 1986, was attained through the collaboration between Prof. Fueki’s and Prof. Tanaka’s laboratories.  Soon after a series of epoch-making experiments, he triggered so-called “High-Tc fever” by reporting at the MRS 1986 Fall Meeting, held in Boston, USA, on observed evidence of superconductivity (the Meissner effect) in the high-Tc cuprate. Since the (La,Ba)2CuO4 could be synthesized easily by the conventional solid-state reaction in air, a large number of researchers all over the world immediately started exploring new high-Tc  superconductors, resulting in discoveries of numerous superconducting cuprates.
 
Subsequently, still at the University of Tokyo, Professor Kitazawa had been leading studies on new superconductors, superconductivity mechanisms and vortex physics in high-Tc  superconductors.  In addition, he promoted a new scientific field, “magneto-science” for paramagnetic materials1, using cryogen-free superconducting magnets equipped with current leads made of cuprate superconductors.
 
After moving to JST in 2002, he had supported many scientific projects leading to great successes, such as IPS cells by Professor Yamanaka’s2 group and the discovery of iron-based superconductors by Professor Hosono’s group. After stepping down from JST presidency, he chaired “The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” in 2011-2012. Besides his great achievements on high-Tc  superconductors, and management of scientific organizations, he kept emphasized importance of giving dreams to young generations through advanced science and technologies; he found time to hold many scientific seminars for students at junior high schools and high schools.  He moved to Tokyo City University as its president in October, 2013, and started new programs for students of the university, fueled by his enthusiasm for developing good human resources and having big dreams for the future world.  His most regrettable sudden passing away occurred when implementation of his dreams was just beginning.

Jun-ichi Shimoyama (Department of Applied Chemistry, The University of Tokyo)
 
1This term encompasses studies of effects of strong magnetic fields on various processes involving inorganic crystals or organic and biological paramagnetic molecules.  An example of the latter is the effect on the growth of various plants.
2The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Shinya Yamanaka, a stem cell researcher, for his ground-breaking research on IPS (Induced Pluripotent Stem) cells.

 

Werner Weber

August 6, 1945 to July 3, 2014
Werner Weber at his retirement festivity (2010) © Claudia Masur
Werner Weber Remembered
October 10, 2014 (PO36).  Werner Weber, professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Technical University of Dortmund (TUD), Germany, died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home on 3rd of July 2014.
 
Werner was born on 6th of August, 1945, in Bad Urach, Germany, and studied physics at the Munich Technical University, 1964-1970.  Two years later (1972) he earned his PhD on “Lattice Dynamics in Hard Materials and Transition Metals”, a broad subject absorbing him for most of his scientific career.  In August 1972 he joined Max Planck Institute of Solid State Physics in Stuttgart, Germany, where he remained until 1977. His  study of that period on "Adiabatic bond charge model for phonons in diamond, Si, Ge, and α-Sn“ (1977) has been  one of his most cited publicationsi.It appeared in print during his two-years-long research stint at Bell Laboratories, where he collaborated closely with Chandra Varma on reformulating the problem of lattice dynamics in transition metals and applying to understand the phonon anomalies discovered more than 15 years earlier by neutron scattering. They showed that the traditional views of phonon anomalies as due to nesting, (W. Kohn and A. Overhauser), needed a serious modification. The modification was the momentum-dependence introduced by local field effects. They found an easy way to include them by using moving tight binding orbitalsii.  When Werner went back to Germany, he extended this method to various transition metal compounds. All this resulted in a firm quantitative understanding of electron-phonon effects in strong-coupling superconductors.
 
In 1977 Werner assumed a tenured position the Research Center Karlsruhe and subsequently, in 1983, earned his “habilitation” (a DSc equivalent) at the Karlsruhe Technical University.  In mid-1980s (probably 1985-1987) he went again to Bell Labs, where, among other projects, he worked with Varma and a graduate student, Lisa Randall, on application of the Gutzwiller methods to multi-band problems, such as heavy-Fermion compoundsiiiand with L. Mattheiss and by himself on high temperature superconductivity, both widely cited studiesiv.  This was immediately after the discovery of high critical temperatures in cuprates, which exceeded theoretical expectations based on the electron-phonon interaction.  Soon thereafter, in 1989, Werner was appointed to the “Chair of Theoretical Physics II” at TUD, which he occupied until his retirement in 2010.
 
The overall goal of Werner’s efforts was in that period to combine the band theory with the Gutzwiller’s many particle method, which satisfactorily describes 3d and 4d electrons in transition metals.  Indeed, in 1996, he and his PhD student Joerg Buenemann, succeeded in a generalization for multiband systems.  Werner’s last work in correlations physics was to lay formal basis for the Gutzweiler theory of density functional.   His fervent hope was its further development and application.
 
In 2009 Werner became interested in climate change and in 2010 contributed a publication on „Strong signature of the active Sun in 100 years of terrestrial insolation data“, proposing that formation of aerosols due to cosmic radiation contributes to solar energy delivery to Earth’s surface thus decisively affecting the climatev.  This work, representing a minority point of view, was seriously debated in the climatologist community.
 
At TUD, Werner was an engaged faculty member, twice a Dean, and in his last years there also interim Director of the TUD Center of Synchrotron Radiation (DELTA), a research and training facility.   After his retirement he remained very involved, especially in shaping and promoting a new TUD Bachelor and Master study in medical physics.  This was prompted in part by his participation in a successful industrial venture (Cryoelectra) developing and manufacturing critical components for superconducting synchrotron accelerator systems designed for clinical proton therapy of cancer.
 
His colleagues and collaborators remember him as warm hearted person and a scientist never satisfied by standard answers while striving at uncovering the real correlations.  He was a great mentor, wonderful colleague and friend.  We’ll all miss him.

Florian Gebhard, Frithjof Anders, Jörg Fink, Ulrich Eckern, Roser Valenti at TUD, Chandra Varma at UC Riverside, USA, and Alex Braginski at Research Center Juelich, Germany

iW. Weber,  Phys. Rev. B , 15, 4789 (1977). 
iiC.M. Varma and W. Weber, Phys. Rev. B, 19, 6142 (1979).
iiiC.M. Varma, W. Weber and L.J. Randall, Phys. Rev. B, 33, 1015 (1986).
ivW. WeberPhys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1371 (1987).
W. Weber, Ann. Phys. 552,6, 372-381 (2010).
 

Hirosi Maeda

January 1, 1936 to May 24, 2014
Hiroshi Maeda, (Early 1990's)
June 12, 2014 (PO30).  Dr. Hiroshi Maeda, the discoverer of Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O high-Tc superconducting cuprate compounds, passed away on May 24, 2014, at the age of 78.  His contribution to applied superconductivity community is enormous. Especially, his discovery of Bi2Sr2Ca2Cu3Ox (Bi-2223) and Bi2Sr2CaCu2Oy (Bi-2212) opened the door to many high-temperature superconducting (HTS) applications, such as transmission cables, motors, high field magnets, and so on.
 
He was born in Fukui, Japan (1936). After finishing a B.S. in 1958 at the Department of Physics, Kanazawa University, he joined the National Research Institute for Metals (now NIMS) and started his research on magnetic materials. His major research achievement in this field was the development of high performance thin films for magnetic disks. He received a doctorate in science from Hiroshima University in 1971. His first involvement in superconducting and cryogenic technology was his research on magnetic refrigeration materiasl and systems, beginning in 1981. In 1985, he was promoted to group leader of the Superconducting and Cryogenic Materials Research Group and began research on superconducting materials. 
 
The discovery of HTS oxide stimulated his own research as a material scientist and he started exploring new HTS compounds, which he has been synthesizing by himself. By the end of 1987 he succeeded in synthesizing Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O and found superconductivity at 105 K. His article reporting on this new HTS family was published at the beginning of 1988. Since then many researchers worldwide followed his path pursued both fundamental and application studies of these and similar compounds. 
 
His discovery of Bi-cuprates high-Tc was honored with many prizes, such as the Tsukuba Prize (1989), Matthias Prize (1991), and other. In 1993, the Tsukuba Magnet Laboratory (TML) was founded as a part of NIMS and he became TML’s director. In the same year, he assumed the additional position of a professor at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Science, University of Tsukuba (operated jointly by NIMS and University of Tsukuba).  
 
After retiring from NIMS in 1996, he continued his research and educational work as a professor at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University (1996–99) and Kitami Institute of Technology (1999–2002). He also made a stint at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, USA (2001–03).
 
He contributed to applied superconductivity community activities also by serving as a Board Member of the International Cryogenic Materials Conference and the Cryogenics and Superconductivity Society of Japan.
 
His private passion was tennis and he was, indeed, a very good player.  He could be found on a tennis court most every weekend.
 
One day in 1983, he played tennis with the Japanese crown prince family when they visited Tsukuba. He then paired with the princess Michiko (the present empress).

James H. Parker, Jr.

December 4, 1926 to April 15, 2014
James H. Parker, Jr. (recent photo)
James H. Parker, Jr. Passed Away at 87
 
June 6, 2014 (PO29).  James (Jim) H. Parker, Jr., was born in Bakersfield, California, USA, on December 4, 1926 and passed away on April 15, 2014.  He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1949 and 1954 respectively.  He was a member of staff at the Westinghouse Research Labs (later R&D Center) in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, from 1953 until retirement in 1985.  Up to 1970, he carried out experimental and theoretical work over a broad range of physics problems ranging from the motion of electrons in gases, color centers in alkali halides, Raman scattering from metals and semiconductors and nonlinear properties of crystals using optical techniques. In particular, Jim was a pioneer in the use of the recently developed laser for Raman spectroscopy, first with He-neon lasers and later with argon ion lasers.  He was the first to use this technique for the study of lattice vibrational modes in semiconductors and metals, including localized vibrational modes in Si-Ge alloys.  Because commercial ion lasers were not available at the time (1960s), he became expert in developing technologies of new fabrication techniques for such lasers.  In that decade became one of six directors of the R&D center, each responsible for a broader area of research and development.
 
In 1970, Jim was given special assignment to manage the Cryogenics and Superconductivity Department. This group worked on superconducting materials, theory and experimental work on ac losses of Superconductors and large-scale applications of superconductivity.  The emphasis was on the development of ac generators with low-temperature superconducting field winding for military and power systems applications.  This was a worldwide pioneering work, cooperative with the Westighouse Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD), which also provided a staff of engineers for the design, development and testing of the electrical machinery   This combined effort was crowned with the first successful demonstration of a 60 Hz 5MW alternator for electric utilities and a high-speed, four-pole 5 MV, 400 Hz Generator for the US Air Force.
 
See RN26 for details on these and other achievements of Jim’s Department, which was then among the world leaders in industrial research into superconductivity, fundamental and applied.  four of us (RB, AB, GW and MW) had the privilege to have Jim as our supervisor during good parts of our Westinghouse careers and we remember him most fondly as a kind, insightful, helpful and friendly boss.  Two of us (DF and JM) collaborated with him and have equally fond memories.
 
After retirement from Westinghouse in 1985, Jim continued his engineering work as a private contractor for Westinghouse and several other local companies. Here his work ranged from developing simulation programs for linear motors and rail guns, the electrical design of high speed alternators with high temperature superconducting windings, calculation of Hall current losses for composite Al conductors at 20 K and calculation of the end turn forces in SSC dipole magnets. Such work he continued almost until his death.  Jim has authored or co authored about 50 journal and conference papers.  He was Fellow of the American Physical Society and Life Member of IEEE. 
 
In his private life, Jim was a music lover.  He played bassoon for the Pittsburgh Savoyards and was also a long-standing member of the Pittsburgh Woodwind Quintet. He loved jazz and classical music, physics, electronics, woodworking, and metal working.  In 2009 he lost his beloved wife Cathy, and this was for him an especially hard event.  They were both staunch supporters of local charities, including, for example, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. They left behind two children, Lynn and David, and two grandchildren.
 
Richard Blaugher, Alex Braginski, Don Feldman, John Mole, David Parker, George Wagner and Michael Walker.

Olga L. Polushenko

October 8, 1942 to March 4, 2014
Young Olga L. Poluschenko (about 1974)
Olga L. Polushenko, 1942 – 2014
June 30, 2014 (PO32).  Olga Leonidowna Polushenko was born on October 8th, 1942 in the Voronesh region and passed away after a severe illness on March 4th, 2014.  She graduated from the famous Moscow State Technical University (named after N.E. Bauman, Russian acronym MGTU), in 1965 and earned her Ph.D. degree (Russian “candidate of sciences”) in 1973 for a study on hot pressing of ferrites, also from MGTU.  While her early research was in powder metallurgy of electronic and magnetic materials, she became deeply involved in R&D of superconducting materials since the advent of high-Tcsuperconducting (HTS) cuprates in 1986. Olga remained at MGTU and became there a “docent” (equivalent to Associate Professor) combining teaching and research activities. 
 
Over the past 28 years, her interest concentrated on bulk HTS technology, suitable for fabrication of high-strength cryogenic magnets.  The excellent properties of her bulk materials enabled the construction of first Russian HTS superconducting motors with excellent characteristics.  Recently, she made a major contribution to the development of superconducting bearings for the kinetic energy storage (under a “Rosatom” program).
 
Olga authored over 40 scientific publications and had 6 Russian patents to her credit.  Her friends remember her not only as a scientist and “a patriot of Russian superconductivity”, but also as a remarkable and wonderful person.  Many remember her also as an excellent culinary chef, especially remembered by her unforgettable tort cakes.  She’ll remain in the hearts of her many collaborators and friends.  Olga didn’t leave behind any family.
 
(Written by SNF based in part on an obituary in Russian published by N. Nizhel’skiy for friends of Olga Poluschenko in the online Superconductors in Electric Power Industry published by the Moscow Kurchatov Institute, a Russian National Research Center, http://www.nrcki.ru/ andhttp://perst.isssph.kiae.ru/supercond/news.php?id=1109).

Hans Hillman

February 15, 1922 to February 6, 2014
Hans Hillmann, 2008
Hans HIllmann Remembered
 
September 10, 2014 (PO35).  Hans Hillmann, a prominent superconducting materials scientist and consummate artist, passed away on February 6, 2014, at almost 92.  He was born on February 15, 1922 in Ronneburg, Thuringia, Germany.  Shortly after WW II, he started his career initially as a teacher of art, mathematics and physics (1946-1956), while nearly simultaneously studying physics as an extern at the Technical University of Dresden, Saxony, Germany (1952-1957).  Upon graduating with a diploma, he became there a Scientific Assistant at the Institute for X-Ray Science and Metal Physics.  
 
In 1959 Hans successfully moved from East Germany to the West and immediately got hired by Vacuumschmelze GmbH (VAC) in Hanau, West Germany, to work in their R&D laboratory.VAC was then a prominent manufacturer of high quality specialty metals and alloys, especially soft magnetic alloys. Shortly thereafter, in 1961, Gene Kunzler of Bell Labs demonstrated high critical current at 8 tesla in Nb3Sn and the first worldwide “gold rush” into fabricating superconducting wires of more ductile alloys began, first of NbZr soon superseded by NbTi. Naturally, Vacuumschmelze joined the fray and so Hans got involved into superconductivity of materials and conductors, over the years making and publishing multiple important contributions to the science and technology of NbZr, NbTi and Nb3Sn.  He worked on these over the rest of his scientific career.  Nevertheless, the breadth of his interest and the experience with difficult to process NbZr led Hans to contribute also in other areas.  
 
As an example can serve - developed by him - the first nonmagnetic watch springs with temperature-independent E modulus, which found application in expensive mechanical watches.  Soon after, the technology of such springs fell in oblivion due to the rapid spread of quartz watches.  Only decades later, with Hans long retired, very expensive mechanical watches had their renaissance and Swiss manufacturers were desperate to find a source of appropriate springs.  Hans was the only remaining repository of spring know-how.  He faced the challenge, jumped into action and reconstituted the technology.  Today, a very expensive Swiss watch is likely to contain a spring „Made by Hans Hillmann“.
 
In 1974 he defended his doctoral dissertation on "Micro-Structural Principles of Flux Pinning in NbTi" with Prof. W. Buckel as advisor at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, and in the same year was awarded the prestigious Tammann Medal by the German Metallurgy Society.  That award was for his pioneering work in the field of hard (Type II) superconductors.  Hans retired in 1988, but continued publishing and consulting while simultaneously pursuing his artistic activities as painter and exhibitor at art galleries and museums.
 
Most remarkable was Hans’s gift to be able to see any problem as a whole with all its ramifications and extrapolations into the future.  He participated in many European projects and toward the end of his career he was responsible for all the superconducting R&D activity at VAC.  During the more than 26 years of his work in this area, his main focus - next to performing basic research on high-current and high-field superconductor technology - was to transform laboratory results into technically usable NbTi and Nb3Sn commercial products. He contributed largely to the early stages of industrial manufacturing of superconductors at VAC.  Particularly vital was his insistence on understanding technical superconductors in the complex nanostructured forms in which they had to be used.  He was a delightful colleague, not at all narrow-minded in any commercial sense, because he always seemed motivated by the belief that better superconductors would increase the market for all.  This spirit certainly made VAC one of the leading companies worldwide, a situation still true today decades after his retirement when it is now owned by Bruker EAS, but still at Hanau, Germany.
 
Hans’s art gene was nurtured by his early professional activity of math, physics and art teacher, as documented by his exceptional drawings and sketches of experimental equipment.  The esthetics of mathematics and superconductor physics was visualized in his multiple paintings inspired by images of physical effects.
 
Hans has been an exceptional personality in the superconductivity community.  To have him among us was a special gift. We’ll cherish his memory.
 
Colleagues and friends at Bruker, David Larbalestier at NHMFL and Alex Braginski at Research Center Juelich

Nicola Sacchetti

April 5, 1936 to February 1, 2014
Nicola Sacchetti (recent photo)
Nicola Sacchetti, 1936 - 2014
 
June 24, 2014 (PO31).  Nicola Sacchetti was born in Florence (Italy) on April 5th, 1936 and died in Frascati (Italy) on the 1st of February 2014.  He will be remembered as one of the pioneers in applied superconductivity, not only in Italy and Europe, but also in the U.S. and Japan.  His ability in communicating knowledge and enthusiasm to young researchers made him one of the best teachers one could have met.
 
Born in Florence in 1936, he graduated in Physics at Genoa University in 1960.  In 1962, soon after the completion of his master thesis, he joined the Magnet Group of the Frascati National Laboratory in Frascati, coordinated at that time by the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics, INFN. 
 
His initial scientific activity, until 1970, was already devoted to physics of superconductivity, specifically the tunneling effect. He was among the first to develop tunnel junctions in Italy.  Independently of it created a prototype installation for the production of Nb3Sn tape conductor based on liquid tin diffusion.  In the same years he became involved in the completion of several superconducting magnets, among which the Nb3Sn solenoid able to produce the magnetic field of 11T in a volume then large enough for experimental purposes.  In the following years, Nicola also started efforts to ignite interest in applied superconductivity at Italian industries such as Ansaldo and LMI.
 
In 1976 Nicola was appointed Director of Superconductivity Laboratory in the Fusion Department of CNEN (now ENEA) - in the frame of the EURATOM Association - and exerted that function until 1989.   In this period he proposed the construction of the test facility SULTAN, to be built in collaboration with SIN (now Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI) at Villigen, Switzerland.  This important step was the starting point of his and the ENEA Superconductivity Lab’s close and fruitful collaboration with Italian industries in the realization of large scale projects in the field of applied superconductivity.  That brought these industries into deep involvement in the construction of important international experimental operations such as the LHC accelerator system and currently the fusion demonstrator ITER.
 
In 1974 Nicola became member of the CERN Machine Advisory Committee for S.P.S.  In 1976 he became deputy member of the Advisory Group of Fusion Technology of Euratom, which had a role in the approval of the Tore-Supra tokamak project realized in Cadarache, France.  In 1994 was appointed as Scientific Advisor for the Fusion Department in ENEA.  In 1995 was appointed by MURTS (Italian Department for University, Research and Education) as consultant for the evaluation of large scientific projects in the field of cryogenics and applied superconductivity (such as ICARUS and a prototype model of ATLAS).  He also contributed to the applied superconductivity community as member of International Organizing Committee of the MT conference.
 
Nicola had a strong passion for watercolor painting and some of his fine pictures are adorning the houses of most of his colleagues.

 

Leo K. Kovalev

January 1, 1942 to January 28, 2014
Leo K. Kovalev (December 2012)

Leo K. Kovalev, 1941 - 2014, Remembered

February 7, 2014 (PO26). On January 28, 2014, Prof. Leo K. Kovalev suddenly passed away in Moscow from a myocardial infarction at the age of 72. To the superconducting electro-machinery community, Leo K. Kovalev was well known worldwide through his work on electric machines with HTS bulk elements, comprising hysteresis motors, reluctance motors and motors utilizing permanent magnets. He also paid great attention to HTS-magnetic-suspension systems for high-speed rail-borne transportation and flywheels.

In 1964, he started his professional career at the Central Institute of Aircraft Engines, Moscow, after graduating from Moscow State Technical University Named After N. E. Bauman. A few years later he joined the Department of Electric Machines, the Dept. 310, of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), headed by Prof. Albert I. Bertinov. During that time he pursued research in the field of MHD (magneto-hydrodynamic) energy conversion, and in 1972 he finished his Science Candidate (doctoral) dissertation on MHD generators. For the following ten years his research activity shifted to ionosphere radio physics, hydrodynamics and radio waves propagation at the Scientific Research Institute of Long-Haul Radio. During 1980-1982 he was the Deputy General Constructor of that institute. In 1982 he returned to the Dept.310 of MAI, headed at that time by Prof. Dmitry A. But, and continued research on MHD problems and in parallel extended his interest to low-temperature superconducting electric machines. When In 1986, when high-temperature superconductivity (HTS) was discovered, Leo concentrated his research on HTS electric machines and developed several series of cryogenic electric machines utilizing bulk HTS elements, operating at liquid nitrogen temperatures. He is the author of four books and more than 200 scientific and technical papers. In 1996 he attained his D.Sc. (habilitation equivalent) degree and became a Professor. Since 2002 he headed Dept. 310 of MAI, and in that same year he was awarded the State Prize of Russian Government in the field of Science and Technology. He initiated “The Centre of Superconducting Electric Machines and Devices” at MAI. Leo was an enthusiastic specialist in electromechanics, applied superconductivity, hydrodynamics and radio physics. He liked to first identify new scientific problems and then to solve them.

He actively took part in the international development of superconducting electric machines and was one of the initiators of the German-Russian cooperation, leading to the design and development of superconducting electric motors with liquid nitrogen cooling. The consortium comprised: Oswald Elektromotoren GmbH (Miltenberg), Stuttgart Technical University, IPHT (Jena), IFW (Dresden), Moscow Aviation Institute, A.A. Bochvar All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Inorganic Materials (Moscow), All-Russian Electrotechnical Institute (Moscow), and the Institute for Solid State Physics (Chernogolovka, Moscow region).

Prof. Leo K. Kovalev was an Academician of the Russian Academy of Electrotechnical Sciences, an Honored Scientist of Russian Federation (RF), and an advisory council member of Highest Certifying Commission (RF).

Besides his research activities, Leo K. Kovalev was a true intellectual and a real friend for all his partners. Everyone who visited his Moscow home or countryside residence was surrounded with hospitality and warmth. He possessed a rare gift of charming his interlocutor from the very first words of communication.  He left behind his dear wife Tatiana and a son, who like all of us will miss him very much.

Vladimir T. Penkin and Konstantin L. Kovalev

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