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v.46_nos2-3_13

 

ORNL's Ludtka receives 1994 Ernest O. Lawrence Award

     
     

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Gerard M. Ludtka has been named a winner of the Department of Energy's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, which honors midcareer scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in research and development. He received this award for significant contributions to materials technology through the development and implementation of superplastic forming of uranium alloys and through the development of a method to predict the effects of quenching on microstructure and residual stresses. These contributions improved designs, reduced costs, increased efficiency, and minimized waste in the production of uranium weapons components.

Gerald M. Ludtka's development and implementation of superplastic forming processes for uranium alloys revolutionized the manufacturing of hemispherical weapons components. Dr Ludtka recognized that uranium alloys had the potential for superplasticity and attendant advantages for weapons fabrication. He characterized the superplastic behavior of uranium alloys, developed simple superplastic forming equipment for prototype parts, overcame a variety of engineering problems, and directed the scale-up and implementation of superplastic forming for the manufacture of weapons components. His process provided substantial improvements; including the use of much simpler forming equipment, the fabrication of parts much closer to their final shapes, significant reductions in the amount of waste materials, and reductions in the costs of manufacturing.

Gerard M. Ludtka was born in Philadelphia in 1950. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Drexel University and a Ph.D. degree in metallurgy and materials science from Carnegie-Mellon University. He worked in failure analysis of helicopter components and titanium metallurgy at the Boeing-Vertol Company in Philadelphia and for General Motors Research Laboratories in Warren, Michigan. From 1982 to 1991, he worked for DOE's Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant. Currently, he is with DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Materials Process Modeling Group of Metals and Ceramics Division. Dr. Ludtka has twelve patents (issued or under review), over 30 publications in the open literature, and has received DOE's Weapons Complex Award of Excellence three times, the Y-12 Plant Award of Excellence twice, and the Martin Marietta Energy Systems Award of Excellence three times. (Martin Marietta manages Oak Ridge National Laboatory for DOE.)