In Memoriam: Herbert Susskind

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Posted: March 15, 2010

Herbert Susskind, who joined the Department of Nuclear Energy on July 31, 1950, as a junior chemical engineer, died on December 2, 2009, at the age of 80. He had moved in 1969 to the Department of Applied Science as an associate chemical engineer, then to the Medical Department in 1977 as an associate biomedical engineer. He was named biomedical engineer in October 1977, retiring on September 30, 1994, but returning to work as a research collaborator until September 30, 2005.

A note from Hal Atkins, Medical Department

Herbert Susskind, a long-time employee of Brookhaven National Laboratory died on December 2,2009. Mr. Susskind was born in Germany but received his education in the United States. He obtained a B.Ch.E in 1950 cum laude from City College in New York (now City University) and an M.Ch.E. from New York University in 1961.

Susskind spent his entire professional career at BNL, retiring in 1993. Initially, he worked in the Department of Nuclear Energy, starting as a Junior Chemical Engineer, in 1950, then as an Associate Chemical Engineer. Specific studies involved the behavior of packed beds of spheres in containers of different geometries, which culminated in the development of a system in which geometrically perfect packings of spheres are obtained by randomly pouring spheres into rectangular containers. From 1966 to 1970 he was Engineer, Reactor Evaluation and Technical Assistance Group, providing assistance in the technical and economic evaluation of nuclear reactor concepts, processes, and techniques for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. 

Later on he moved to the Applied Science and then the Medical Departments as a Biomedical Engineer from 1970 to 1976. His focus shifted from reactor shielding, nuclear fuel processing and nuclear safeguards to medical applications. He worked closely with Lou Stang and Powell Richards as well as a number of clinician investigators in medical isotope applications and in the development of methods for studying pulmonary physiology, including the development of techniques for the early detection of impaired pulmonary function and of nuclear medicine procedures for the improved diagnosis of pulmonary impairment. He collaborated with outside institutions and received an appointment on the faculty of Stony Brook University where he worked with investigators at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and at University Hospital.

He leaves behind his wife, Susi, three children one daughter and two sons, as well as five grandchildren.

Last Modified: March 15, 2010