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In Memoriam

 

Leslie Eric Cross

 

cross-lo-res

 

 

By Clive A. Randall and Susan Trolier-McKinstry

 

ACerS Fellow and Distinguished Life Member Leslie Eric Cross (1923–2016) passed away peacefully on December 29, 2016. He was an Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a founding member of the Penn State Materials Research Laboratory.

 

Cross was a world leader in the field of ferroelectrics from a fundamental perspective, as an inventor of new characterization techniques, and in materials applications. He was beloved for his intelligence, vision, wit and humanity, as well as the charm with which he shared his fascination with ferroelectrics and his newest ideas. He was also an excellent mentor, and many of his students and postdoctoral researchers went on to scientific leadership positions themselves.

 

Cross came to the field of ferroelectricity in its infancy and to the objection of his advisor, E.C. Stoner, “Who referred to it as a trivial lattice phenomenon!” Stoner was famed for his contributions to magnetism.

 

World War II interrupted Cross’s undergraduate education at Leeds University (U.K.). During the war, he worked for the British Admiralty on a program using high frequency direction finding to track German U-boats, which ultimately allowed convoys to cross the Atlantic unharmed. Just two weeks after his transfer to that assignment, the boat that Cross previously served on was sunk in the Atlantic, with no survivors. Ever after, Cross thought of himself as a lucky man.

 

He was very proud of his long association with the Department of Defense and particularly the U.S. Navy, which supported much of his work in the field of sonar undersea transducers. He and his colleagues made many other societal contributions, such as the piezoelectric transducer used in almost all modern medical ultrasound machines.

 

During his career, Professor Cross was honored by many professional organizations. He was a Fellow of The American Ceramic Society, Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, and IEEE. In 1983, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to the development of electroceramic, dielectric, and piezoelectric materials. ACerS honored him in 2001 with the Society’s highest honor, Distinguished Life Member. He also received the Von Hippel award of the Materials Research Society in 2010, its highest honor.

 

Cross joined Penn State as a senior research associate in 1961, rose through the ranks, and, in 1985, was named Evan Pugh Professor of Electrical Engineering—the highest distinction the university can bestow on a faculty member. He was the author or coauthor of more than 850 refereed papers, held 20 patents, and published a comprehensive textbook, “Domains in Ferroic Crystals and Thin Films.”

 

At Penn State, he mentored more than 50 graduate students from across the world, including Professor Yao Xi, the first Chinese Ph.D. (1982) educated in the U.S. following the Cultural Revolution.

 

Cross will be sadly missed by all that knew him and worked with him. He shared his ideas freely with everyone that he met at scientific conferences, from graduate students to senior leaders in the field. He and his family—wife Lucilla (Cilla), a reluctant but gracious member of the ferroelectrics community by osmosis, and children Peter, Matthew, Daniel, Rachel, Elizabeth, and Rebecca—opened their home to generations of students and colleagues.

 

Very nice memories of the scholar, passion, and personality of Professor Cross can be appreciated on IEEE’s Engineering and Technology History Wiki, which published an interview with Cross in 2011.

 

 

The following deceased ACerS members are organized as their information is received.

 

Richard Alan Alliegro

 

Hans Hausner

 

William McCracken

 

Neil Ault

 

Larry Hench

 

Joel Moskowitz

 

S. Donald Stookey

 

Warren W. Wolf

 

J. Lambert Bates

 

Robert W. Richards

 

Marija Kosec

 

Leslie J. Bowen

 

Irv Gower

 

Matthew Kerper

 

Thomas J. Mroz

 

Alan Searcy

 

Irvin F. Havens

 

C. Rogers Westlake

 

Torstein Utigard

 

William “Bill” Bates

 

John A. Cable

 

Reldon Cooper

 

Charles J. Deignan Sr.

 

Robert Hatch

 

Coy L. Huffine

 

Gordon H. Johnson

 

Lyle E. Shoot

 

Seymour A. Bortz

 

Gian Nicola Babini (former president of International Ceramic Federation, the European Ceramic Society and organizer of ICC2)

 

Andre Ezis

 

Henry M. O’Bryan Jr.

 

Jules Routbort

 

Eva Zeisel (honory member)

 

Gary Schlager

 

Harrison Corbin Van Cott

 

Alan Franklin

 

Wendell S. Williams

 

Robert C. Weedy

 

Roy Victor Harrington

 

Robert L. Snyder

 

Russell L. Yeckley

 

Charles Venable Jr.

 

G. S. Dhami

 

 

Fennimore Nelson Bradley

 

Roy W. Rice

 

Gunter Hermann

 

John Randall Wheeler

 

Tsuneharu Ogasawara

 

Elizabeth “Beth” Judson

 

Yoshiro Harada

 

James Dean Welterlen

 

Rustum Roy

 

Roy E. Gorton Sr.

 

Osgood James Whittemore

 

George Kepka

 

George C. Steer

 

Robert J. Long

 

Jay Comeforo

 

Norman K. Russell

 

William Brown

 

Kenneth Lawrence “Larry” Stover

 

Frederick F. Lange

 

Winston Duckworth

 

Charles Bachman

 

David R. Watson

 

James G. Gibson

 

John S. Haggerty

 

Robert K. Longritz

 

Francis (Fritz) W. Henry

 

James J. Mattis

 

Richard Renskers

 

Silas Larson

 

James V. Jones

 

Anthony G. Evans

 

Peter J. Hoagland

 

L.W. Coughanour

 

Stephan Mitoff

 

J. Walter Szymaszek

 

Robert Newnham

 

David W. Kellerman

 

Randall C. Ragan

 

Janet B. Quinn

 

Basil G. Staples

 

Walter Bennett

 

Edward P. Schauss

 

Henry Paul Kirchner

 

Carlton H. Hogue

 

Edgar Ronald Tostevin

 

Alfred Dube

 

Megumi Tashiro

 

Ronald Stanton Gordon

 

Robert H. Doremus

 

John “Jay” P. Gleason Jr

 

Helmut Franz

 

Please contact Eileen De Guire with questions or to provide a notice or update.


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