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Ersel Arthur Evans ’47

A picture of Ersel Evans

Ersel Arthur Evans ’47, November 9, 2011, in Seattle, Washington. Ersel came to Reed after serving in the Naval Air Corps during World War II and earned a BA in chemistry. He completed a PhD in chemistry with a minor in metallurgical engineering at Oregon State University. In 1951, he went to work for General Electric at Hanford, Washington. He was technical director of the Hanford Engineering Development Laboratories for over a decade and was an authority on ceramic and materials research and the development of nuclear reactor fuels. He directed major research and engineering programs, projects involving uranium, thorium, and plutonium fuels research and production, and developed materials for applications in aerospace, alternative energy, and medicine. During his career, he received the Westinghouse Order of Merit, the American Nuclear Society Exceptional Service Award, and the Walker Cister Medal. He was a fellow in the American Nuclear Society, the American Institute of Chemists, the American Society of Metals, and the American Ceramic Society. “I have been blessed with remarkably inspiring, helpful coworkers in graduate school and my professional career,” Ersel wrote. “But most of my fondest memories and greatest respect go back to Reed. Dr. [Arthur] Scott [chemistry 1923–79] and many others, staff and students, had a profound effect on me in an amazing variety of ways, inspiring from the front, rather than prodding from the rear.” He is survived by his son and predeceased by his daughter.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2012

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