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In Memoriam: Professor Alexander Sesonske (1921-2013)


Emeritus Professor Alexander Sesonske passed away on October 29, 2013.

The history of the School of Nuclear Engineering originates with Alexander Sesonske, who arrived at Purdue University from Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in September 1954 as an associate professor of Chemical Engineering. Over the period of 1954 to 1957 he brought nuclear engineering from an introductory course for chemical engineers to an interdisciplinary graduate program open to students from various engineering disciplines.  In 1955, the first edition of Nuclear Reactor Engineering by Samuel Glasstone and Alexander Sesonke was published.  Subsequent editions in two volumes have long been the principle introductory textbooks in reactor engineering.  In 1966 Professor Sesonske became Acting Head for the School of Nuclear Engineering until Professor Lykoudis was appointed Head in 1973.

Surviving is his daughter, Jana Sesonske, a grandson Tony Burroff, living in Eugene, Ore., and Alex’s son, Michael, living in Portland.