Nuclear Program Founder Dies

Nuclear Program Founder Dies

Nuclear Program Founder Dies

Dick Duffey (Ph.D. '56, chemical engineering), 89, died in November 10 in North Manchester, Ind.

Duffey joined the faculty in 1954 as an instructor in chemical engineering after seven years with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, where he had served as the technical secretary. That same year he started the nuclear engineering program. He established the university's nuclear reactor project in 1957, and served as its director through 1967. Along the way he was promoted to professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and afterward became an emeritus professor of the department. He was the author or co-author of more than 100 articles in technical and professional journals.

During World War II, Duffey was with Union Carbide's Uranium Project and later was on active duty with the U.S. Army's Manhattan Engineering District. He served on the Manhattan Project under General Groves and received an Army Commendation Ribbon for "outstanding service in connection with the development of the Atomic Bomb." He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Reserves and the Corps of Engineers.

Duffey was a licensed professional engineer and consulted for the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy, among others. He conducted research at many nuclear sites, including Hanford, Argonne, Los Alamos and Oak Ridge. He was a charter member of the American Nuclear Society and a life member of many others, including the Purdue Alumni Association, the University of Maryland Alumni Association, and the Reserve Officers Association. He also belonged to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for 61 years, the University Club of Washington, D.C., for 57 years, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Nu Sigma honorary fraternities as well as the New York Academy of Sciences.

Duffey was an avid traveler and outdoorsman who enjoyed climbing, skiing and fly fishing; he was also a licensed commercial pilot.

He is survived by one sister, Bonnie Walters, LaFontaine; a nephew, Charles Walters; nieces, Patricia Walters, Elkhart, and Betty Martens, Rochester, several great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, Charles Parker Duffey, his parents, Kate (Parker) and Glenn Duffey, and a niece, Nancy Kumler, all of LaFontaine, Indiana.

Sources: The University of Maryland Alumni Association and Nuclear News (American Nuclear Society, 2/07).

February 9, 2007


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