Janet B. Quinn, 58, passed away on July 19, 2008 after a brief but valiant battle with lung cancer. Quinn was a project leader for the American Dental Association Paffenbarger Research Center in Gaithersburg, MD. Her research on dental fractography and mechanical testing received several grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Janet organized a new dental fractography course in May 2007 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Her studies on dental restoration failure analysis garnered international recognition.
Quinn received her B.S. (1973) and M.S. degrees (1975) in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University (Boston). She and her husband George Quinn met as coop engineering students in 1969. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2000 and then joined the ADA.
From 1969 to 1973, she was a coop engineering student at the Army Materials Testing Laboratory in Watertown, MA. During the late 1970’s to 1991, she worked as a consultant and then as ceramic engineer in the Ceramics Division at MTL.
From 1991 until 2000, Quinn worked as a consultant at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD, where she conducted ceramic testing programs. This included biaxial testing of BK-7 glass disks for airplane window design, tensile testing of ceramic fibers, and fracture energy measurements of single crystals. The latter led to a new brittleness parameter for ceramics and an American Ceramic Society Engineering Ceramics Division First Prize for Technical Presentation (1995).
Quinn did not limit her accomplishments to science, however. She was also a well-known professional Middle Eastern dance instructor under the artistic name: Aliya. She trained hundreds of belly dance students in Boston, Washington, and Cologne, Germany and Strasburg, France. She was an active member of the Washington Area Middle Eastern Dance Association. Quinn loved to share the sensuous and vibrant movements, the Middle Eastern music, the history, and of course, the glittering pageantry of the cabaret costumes. She trained hundreds of students in three languages in Boston, Washington, and Cologne, Germany and Strasburg, France.
Quinn had such a wonderful personality that made an impression on everyone who met her. Her joy of life and her willingness to help people brought sunshine into many lives. Everyone remembers her warm smile. She inspired her loved ones, professional colleagues, and dance friends around the world.
She is survived by her husband, George D. Quinn, children Aleta J. and George W., mother Florence Gorcenski, brother Edward Gorcenski and sister Cynthia Kazmer.