Metallurgy

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Teleconference
Abstract

In this interview Jeffrey Wadsworth, retired and former President and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, discusses his life and career. He recounts: early childhood around the globe due to his father’s service in the British military, later childhood in Manchester, England, and final school-age years in Bahrain; undergraduate at University of Sheffield where he focused on metallurgy; decision to stay at Sheffield for graduate work measuring lattice parameters and testing steel strength at high temperatures; opportunities that led to his postdoctoral research at Stanford and metallurgy research at Lockheed; Livermore recruiting him to work on technology transfer issues during the Clinton administration; work as Associate Director at Livermore for chemistry and materials science and the internal politics leading to Michael Anastasio being named Lab Director; Batelle’s attempts to recruit him to run the Pacific Northwest Lab, and their offer for him to run Batelle Labs as a contractor to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security (DHS); complex administrative framework that developed between DHS and the Department of Energy (DOE), and the dynamics that led to his directorship of Oak Ridge; his initiative to make Oak Ridge a center of supercomputing research; return to Battelle to run the entire organization; origins of the Spallation Neutron Source; complexities of having oversight of eight major laboratory sites; decision leading to him being named President and CEO of Battelle; move away from science to become more involved in philanthropy, and his achievements in this role during the financial crisis; importance of the transportability of his leadership skills over the course of his career. 

 

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Remote Interview
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP interviews Siegfried Hecker, Professor Emeritus with the Department of Management Science and Engineering, and Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Security and Cooperation, at Stanford University. Hecker recounts his family background as the child of ethnic Austrian and German parents who lived in Bosnia at the outbreak of World War II. He describes his family’s ordeal during the war and the circumstances surrounding his mother’s decision to move the family to the United States. Hecker recounts his experiences growing up in Cleveland and his decision to attend Case Tech for his undergraduate education. He explains his decision to switch his focus from physics to metallurgy, his formative summer at Los Alamos Lab before returning to Case for his Ph.D. work, and his decision to return to Los Alamos for postdoctoral research in metallurgy and elastic to plastic transitions. He describes his work at the General Motors Research Lab and his decision to return once again to Los Alamos, where he was assured he could focus on science and not management issues. Hecker explains how he became more involved in plutonium research and the various national security implications of this work. He describes his rise in the ranks at Los Alamos and how he became involved in national policy decisions in Washington. Hecker recounts the circumstances leading to being named director of Los Alamos, and he reflects on the challenges and opportunities he saw to improve the lab in this position. He provides an overview of nuclear weapons policy at the end of the Cold War and the renaissance in plutonium research in the 1990s. Hecker reflects on his decision to join the faculty at Stanford, and why he wanted to pursue matters of international security studies, and he describes his record of advisory work on nuclear verification in North Korea and elsewhere. At the end of the interview, Hecker describes his ongoing interest and research in metallurgy, and he reflects on how these interests bring him back full circle to the origins of his career. 

Interviewed by
Lillian Hoddeson
Interview date
Location
Bell Laboratories
Abstract

Family background and early education; studying chemistry at Occidental College. Work at Bell Labs (1930’s), the job freeze during the 1930’s Depression. Morgan’s work on dielectric constants. Columbia University, Rabi’s course, comparison of academic and industrial scientists. Colloquia and study groups, Darrow, Nix, Shockley. Transfer to Metallurgy Department, work on single crystals of zinc; The Bell Laboratories Record; work under Germer and Davisson, their experiments; work on carbon deposits on filaments using x-ray diffraction, Grisdale, W. E. Campbell. Evolution in role of basic research at Bell Labs; Kelly’s role; Buckley; Bell Labs conference (1954), AIP symposium. Awareness of work on copper oxide rectifiers by Becker, Davisson, Brattain; work on microphone carbon; Holden’s work on quartz; changes in the solid state program. Work during the war years; material research of Scaff and Grisdale; pn junction; technological application. Effects of war on solid state research, interactions with other solid state centers. Postwar years, work in Woolen’s group (1945), work in Wooldridge’s group; reasons for Bardeen’s leaving; Fisk’s group; development of transistor under Shockley.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
Fraser's office, Applied Physics Laboratory, Baltimore, Maryland
Abstract

This interview describes Fraser's work as an engineer and instrumentation specialist at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) during WWII, and then more significantly, at Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) following World War II.  His work at DTM was on proximity fuse research.  He tranferred from DTM to APL during the war and concentrated on radar research and control systems for guided missiles.  After the war, he participated in the used of V-2s for upper atmostphere research with James Van Allen's High Altitude Group, developing instrumentation for telemtetry and cosmic ray research.  Other affiliations and contacts discussed include:  Luis Alvarez, William Fowler, Allen Hynek, Richard Roberts, Philip Rudnick, Robert Shankland, Merle Tuve, James Van Allen, John Victoreen and the Victoreen Instrument Company, White Sands Missile Range.  Topics discussed include metallurgy, nuclear fission, proximity fuzes, rocket development and radio transmission.