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R. BRUCE THOMPSON

1941–2011

Elected in 2003

“For outstanding contributions to nondestructive evaluation,
materials processing, and life-cycle management, and for the
development of novel ultrasonic technology.”

BY DONALD O. THOMPSON

R. BRUCE THOMPSON—Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in the materials science and engineering department and the aerospace engineering department and director of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State University and editor of the Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation—died on March 7, 2011. He was 69 years old.

Bruce was born to George and Marion Hatch on July 18, 1941, in College Station, Texas. His father was professor of mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University, and his mother was a homemaker. He graduated from A&M Consolidated High School, where he was an excellent student and an active participant in the school’s extracurricular programs. After high school, Bruce attended Rice University in Houston, from which he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in physics, and from Stanford University, where he earned an M.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in applied physics.

Bruce’s professional career began after graduation in 1970 when he accepted a position with the technical staff at the North American Rockwell Science Center (later the Rockwell International Science Center) in Thousand Oaks, California. He became group leader of ultrasonic applications and initiated new research in ultrasonics with emphasis on the development of ultrasonic electromagnetic acoustic transducer technology, a subject in which he rapidly became a technical leader and in



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