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Princeton Combustion Laboratory, Inc., in 1975, with two young associates. He and Neale A. Messina evolved the company into Princeton Combustion Research Laboratories (PCRL), well respected in the community and noted for its combined experimental and analytical treatment of complex high-pressure combustion systems. Around 1994 the company was acquired initially by Lockheed Martin. Shortly thereafter, Martin began to reduce his activities due to failing health and relinquished his role in PCRL. He remained active as an advisor and a vigorous campaigner for technical approaches in the national interest. In 1996 he was elevated to honorary fellow by the AIAA, our aerospace community’s highest honor.

Martin Summerfield was a genius. Anyone who worked with him will testify to that. He surrounded himself with the most capable people, recruited the brightest students, and attracted colleagues who would challenge him technically. In the final analysis, Martin’s insights were often the defining interpretation of difficult physical problems…and he loved it. He had the ability to see through the first interpretation to a more satisfying one.



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