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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Theodore Rockwell (1923-2013) was a member of the Process Improvement Unit known as the “Tiger Team” in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The team was tasked as a rapid response unit to problems that arose in the K-25 and Y-12 Plants. After the war, Rockwell transferred to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and became the Head of the Radiation Shield Engineering Group.

He married Mary Compton, who was a secretary at the Y-12 Plant during the Manhattan Project. They were married in the Chapel-on-the Hill.

Rockwell went on to have a distinguished career in nuclear technology, working in both the public and private sector. He received Distinguished Service Medals from the US Navy and from the Atomic Energy Commission, the latter of which became an annual award known as the “Rockwell Award.” Rockwell is the author of a number of books and technical manuals relating to atomic energy, including The Rickover Effect and Creating the New World

Theodore Rockwell's Timeline
1923 Born in Chicago
1943 Began work as a part of the Tiger Team at Oak Ridge, Tennessee
19491964 Assisted in design of nuclear-powered naval vessels and commercial reactor designs
1964 Created his own engineering firm, MPR Associates, with two colleagues
2013 Apr Died in the Washington DC area

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