Elected in 1979
“For contributions to the theory and applications of compact heat exchangers, especially in the gas turbine field.”
BY SALOMON LEVY
ALEX LOUIS (“LOU”) LONDON was one of the world’s best-known experts in heat transfer equipment design, performance, and analysis. He died on March 19, 2008, following a short illness after a stroke.
He was born on August 31, 1913, in Nairobi, British East Africa (now Kenya). In 1921 his parents moved to the United States, which allowed Lou London to attend school in Oakland, California, and to get a bachelor of science (B.S.) in 1935 and a master of science (M.S.) in 1938 in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. During the period 1935 to 1938, he was employed by Standard Oil of California, he was an instructor at the University of Santa Clara, and he met and married his wife Charlotte. They had three children, and they were together for 61 years until her death in 1999. Since 2000 he lived in San Rafael with his son Allan.
Lou London began his career at Stanford University in 1938, where he was a professor of mechanical engineering until 1971. He continued to supervise graduate students until 1988, and he wrote 52 published technical papers with them. During World War II, he was in the U.S. Navy on active duty for three years doing research for the Bureau of Ships. He retired with the rank of commander from the Naval Reserve in 1978. In 1964 he worked for General Motors on gas turbines, and in 1979 he helped formulate Stanford’s geothermal program.