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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

William Hinch was a research associate at the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory (“Met Lab”) during the Manhattan Project. He was married to fellow Manhattan Project worker, Josephine Benedeck. They both later worked at the Manhattan Project site in Los Alamos, NM.

Hinch worked in the Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) group. On December 2, 1942, he was on one of the forty-nine scientists, who witnessed the Chicago Pile 1 at Stagg Field become the world’s first nuclear reactor to critical.

From August 1944 until August 1945, Finch was the group leader of CM-12, the health instruments group in the Chemistry and Metallurgy Division at Los Alamos. His group focused on solving problems related to alpha contamination. Hinch was one of the Manhattan Project workers present at the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945.


Early Years

William Hinch was born on June 16, 1919 in Amity, Colorado. He graduated from the University of Denver in 1940 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. 

After graduating from Denver, Hinch was recruited along with his soon-to-be wife Josephine Benedeck to join the Manhattan Project. Before leaving for Chicago, the two married in Glenwood, Colorado. 


Later Years

Following World War II, Hinch returned to Denver and worked at the Bureau of Reclamation. Afterward, he co-founded Engineering Consultants, Inc., a consulting engineering firm. His company designed large-scale projects including dams, power plants, transmission lines and flood control methods. 

In 1971, Hinch retired from work to spend more time with his family. On March 26, 2005, William Hinch died in Englewood, Colorado. He was eighty-five years old.


For more information about William Hinch, please see the following references:

William Hinch's Timeline
1919 Jun 16th Born in Denver, CO.
1940 Graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Denver.
1942 Dec 2nd Witnessed the Chicago Pile 1 at Stagg Field become the world's first nuclear reactor to critical.
1944 Aug1945 Aug Served as the CM-12 (health instruments) group leader at Los Alamos
1945 Jul 16th Observed the Trinity Test.
1971 Retired from working.
2005 Mar 26th At the age of eighty-five, died in Englewood, CO.

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