Charles D. Greskovich, 65, of Niskayuna, N.Y., passed away July 7,
2007 of colon cancer. He was at home surrounded by his family.
Chuck was born at Fredericktown, Pa., in 1942, and was the son of
Joseph Greskovich (a coal miner) and Katherine Righetti. He was proud
of his Slovak-Italian heritage. He attended The Pennsylvania State
University on a basketball and golf scholarship and entered the ceramic
technology department later that year on a scholarship. He completed
his Ph.D. in 1968.
Chuck was an exceptional man in all facets of his life. His energy
and enthusiasm affected those around him. He was a loving husband,
father and grandfather as well as genuine friend to many over the
course of his life. He was an enthusiastic golf, tennis and basketball
player, in addition to being a Bocce and Cinch player extraordinaire.
Above all extracurricular activities, fly fishing was his passion.
Chuck was world renowned in his field of ceramic technology. In
1968, he was awarded an NSF Post-doctoral Fellowship in Germany, and in
1969, became a staff ceramist in the Ceramics Lab of GE’s Corporate
R&D Center at Schenectady, N.Y. His research and technological
interests have encompassed preparation of optically transparent,
polycrystalline ceramics, useful as scintillators in advanced medical
X-ray detectors, arc tube envelopes for high intensity discharge lamps,
and as possible ceramic lasers and optical windows.
He worked on refractory ceramic molds. He is co-inventor of the
first efficient ceramic scintillator, now used in nearly all computed
tomography (CT) body scanners sold by GE since 1988. He developed the
“Gas Pressure Sintering Process” used by many materials companies. In
1997 and 1998 the College of Earth & Mineral Science at Penn State
recognized him as “Centennial Fellow” for distinguished accomplishments
that bring honor to the College and University, and also with the
Charles L. Hoslar Alumni Scholar Medal for outstanding contributions to
science through research.
In 2000, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering,
one of the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer, and
was cited for technical innovations in ceramics and their manufacturing
processes. In 1991 he was awarded a Coolidge Fellowship, the GE R&D
Center’s highest honor. Chuck published more than 50 scientific papers,
and was awarded 51 U.S. patents.
An ACerS Fellow (1980), he was affiliated with the Basic Science
Division. In 1983, he was the American recipient of the Richard M.
Fulrath Award, presented by ACerS; this took him to Japan to lecture
around the country.
Chuck was the much loved husband of Maria Greskovich for more than
40 years and father to Chad Greskovich and Melissa Greskovich of
Niskayuna, and Ann Zenner of Fairfield, Conn. He has two grandchildren,
Helen and Kilian Zenner. They, along with their father John, will miss
him dearly. He also is survived by his brother and sister in-law, Gene
and Jan Greskovich of State College, and his uncles John Greskovich and
his wife Edith of Brownsville, and Paul Greskovich of N.J.
Memorial contributions for an endowed scholarship in his memory may
be made out to Penn State University, College of Earth & Mineral
Sciences, attn: Charles D. Greskovich Scholarship. Send to: College of
Earth & Mineral Sciences, Development Dept., 105 Deike Bldg.,
University Park, PA 16802. Chuck began his career in ceramics on a
scholarship and without it he never would have had the opportunity to
leave his great impact on the field of ceramics.