John Perry Howe, Jr. was Associate Director at the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory (“Met Lab”) during the Manhattan Project. He was married to fellow Manhattan Project worker, Marilyn (Evans) Howe.
From 1942 to 1944, Howe was Associate Director at the Met Lab. In 1944, he served as the Met Lab’s liaison to the Hanford, WA plutonium production site. Howe was one of seventy scientists to sign the Szilard Petition, a document written by Leo Szilard petitioning President Truman to avoid dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.
On June 24, 1910, John Perry Howe, Jr. was born in Groton, New York. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. from Hobart College in 1933. He earned his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1936.
From 1936 until 1938, Howe served as a chemistry instructor at Ohio State University. Beginning in 1938, he served as an assistant professor of physical chemistry at Brown University for four years. He married Marilyn Evans on December 27, 1941.
From 1945 until 1952, he was the manager of the Metallurgy Section in General Electric’s Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory. The next year, he worked in research energy conversion and storage at the General Electric Research Laboratory.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Howe was a member of various boards of the Atomic Energy Commission. At the same time, he worked at Atomics International Division of North American Aviation. Howe served as the Section Chief of Reactor Materials from 1953 to 1957 and the Director of the Research Department from 1957 to 1961.
Between 1962 and 1967, Howe worked at the College of Engineering at Cornell University. During his time at Cornell, he was Ford Professor of Engineering in the Department of Engineering Physics and Materials Science and later the Director of the Department of Materials Science.
From the late ’60s to mid ’70s, Howe held a number of leadership positions at General Atomic, Inc. These included Assistant Laboratory Director, Chairman of Metallurgy, Associate Director of Research and Development, and Technical Director of Advanced Energy Systems. From 1973 until 1983, Howe was an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego.
At the age of eighty-eight, John P. Howe, Jr. died on June 3, 1999 in La Jolla, California.
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