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.