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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Clark E. Center

Superintendent, PresidentOak Ridge, TN

Manhattan Project VeteranPostwar Nuclear ProgramScientist

Clark Center was a Manhattan Project veteran, who was the general superintendent and later President of the Union Carbide Nuclear Division in Oak Ridge.

Center was an experienced manager, who had been working for Carbide at their plant in Whiting, Indiana. Beforehand, he had worked at Columbia University with notable figures, like Harold Urey and George Felbeck.

Center came to Oak Ridge on February 15, 1943 to work on gas separation at the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant. He served as the Superintendent from 1944 to 1947. His badge number was “1” at K-25 because he was the first person that was hired by Felbeck, the designer of the plant. Felbeck knew Center because they had worked on projects of a similar capacity; Felbeck always designed the plant, and Center managed and operated it.

Over the years, Center received two significant citations from the Atomic Energy Commission, as well as many local awards. In addition, he was a very active member of the Oak Ridge community and had been a member of the Oak Ridge Rotary Club since 1945.

Center retired on a 250-acre farm on Watts Bar Lake in 1967. A park in Oak Ridge, Clark Center Park, was named in his honor. Overall, Center worked with Union Carbide for 40 years and was a top manager in Oak Ridge for 24 years. As a result, he is known to many in the area as “Mr. Carbide”.

Center passed away in May of 1985.

Clark E. Center's Timeline
1943 Feb 15th Arrived in Oak Ridge.
19441947 Served as the Superintendent of the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
1945 Became a member of the Oak Ridge Rotary Club.
1967 Retired on a 250-acre farm on Watts Bar Lake.
1985 May Passed away.

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