In 1979 Serge was appointed by President Carter to membership on the National Alcohol Fuels Commission. He was a member of the National Materials Advisory Board and served on various study committees of the National Research Council.
As might be expected, Serge also served on several academic advisory committees, including for his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
Serge Gratch’s accomplishments and recognition yielded numerous honors and awards, including the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Award of Merit and its D. Robert Yarnell Award, the Outstanding Leadership Award (twice) from the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Outstanding Teaching Award from Kettering University/GMI, and the ASME Internal Combustion Award. He also was the recipient of two of the highest awards in the engineering community: in 1983 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and in 1992 he received the John Fritz Medal from the American Association of Engineering Societies (for scientific or industrial achievement in any field of pure or applied science).
Serge closed his career by returning to where he had started: academia. He became a professor of mechanical engineering at Kettering University and took special delight in teaching and motivating the young minds of future engineers.
Serge is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Rosemary A. Delay, and their 10 children and 13 grandchildren, two of whom are adopted—processes that were begun before Serge’s death, but which dreams he did not get to see come true. He often was teased by his colleagues for his contribution to the feminist movement with the biased distribution of his nine daughters and one son.
Serge Gratch led a busy and productive life dedicated to the teaching and application of science and technology for national and industrial betterment, combined with a deep commitment to his family and the service of the engineering profession, his government, and his students.