In Passing

Glen A Slack 1928-2019: a giant and friend

Glen was already a giant when I first met him at GE in 1984. The year I was born he established isotope scattering as the main source of thermal resistance at low temperatures in Silicon. Isotope scattering is a special case of mass fluctuation scattering, without which we'd probably have no useful thermoelectric materials at all. 

Slack, Glen A. "Effect of isotopes on low-temperature thermal conductivity." Physical Review 105, no. 3 (1957): 829.

News Category: 

Emanuel 'Emil' Andrew Skrabek 1934 - 2019

Holding a manuscript presented at ICT2008TO: Space Nuclear Community
FROM: Gary L. Bennett
Below is the obituary of Dr. Emil Skrabek (far left), one of the key technical people in the U.S. space nuclear program.  As the obituary notes, Emil was involved in many of the U.S. space nuclear missions.  He invented the thermoelectric material TAGS-85 that was used in the Pioneer-10/11 RTGs, Viking Lander-1/2 RTGs and currently in the Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory RTG.  He was smart, knowledgeable yet with a certain quiet humbleness and a clever sense of humor.  He will be missed.
P.S. The acronym TAGS comes from the constituents of the thermoelectric material:  tellurium, antimony, germanium, and silver.
        RTG = Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

News Category: 

Kinichi Uemura 1923-2014

Katsushi Fukuda has informed us of the sudden passing of Kinichi Uemura on April 24, 2014 after a brief illness at the age of 91 in Japan. Prof. Uemura was well known to the thermoelectric community in Japan and around the world, serving on the International Thermoelectric Society board from 1992-4. He worked on thermoelectrics at Komatsu for many years and was a tireless advocate of the technology. He was modest, very professional, a scientist, an engineer and a teacher too. 

Prof. Uemura first came to my attention as the organizer of the 12th International Conference on Thermoelectrics, ICT1993 and the 1993 Short Course on Thermoelectrics, SCT-93 (scanned PDF files of the lecture handouts are available online on this website.) ICT1993 was the first ITS conference to be organized in Asia and established the three year rotation (North America, Europe, Asia) preference used by ITS for selecting the ICT location up to the present day. ICT1993 also significantly raised the bar for the overall quality of the conference series, a standard that each ICT organizer strives to maintain.

After leaving Komatsu, Prof. Uemura remained active in thermoelectrics through the institute he founded, ITTJ, Institute for Thermoelectric Technologies Japan. He is survived by his daughter, Erico, and son, Hiroshi.

News Category: 

Marat Vedernikov, 1931-2011

Dear Colleagues,

Marat Vedernikov left us on August 11 of 2011, when he was 80 years old.

For many years he was the head of the laboratory for physics of thermoelements of Ioffe Physical-technical Institute.

Let him be remembered forever.

    -  Mikhail I Fedorov

Marat Vedernikov at ICT1995 in St. Petersburg, Russia

News Category: 


Subscribe to In Passing