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In Memoriam: Hans Ludewig

Hans Ludewig

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Hans Ludewig

Hans Ludewig, a senior physicist in Brookhaven Lab's Nuclear Science & Technology Department, died on Oct. 29, 2013. He was 74.

Ludewig arrived in the Lab's Nuclear Energy Department as a research associate in Jan. 1966. He was promoted to assistant physicist in Nov. 1967 and received a continuing appointment in July 1969. He was promoted to the ranks of physicist in March 1974 and senior physicist in Oct. 2000.

Some of Ludewig's contributions during his 43-year tenure at the Lab included developing applications for the Strategic Defense Initiative to protect the United States from missile attacks; designing collimators that safely strip straying particles from beams at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and reviewing the safety of new power reactors for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At the time of his death, Ludewig was working with a team for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy on a study to evaluate and screen different nuclear fuel cycle options.

Nuclear Science & Technology Department Chair Bill Horak said, "Hans was a great scientist and a true mentor to young staff.  He was always available to answer their questions and would treat each of them with grace and respect. I speak from personal experience—as I started my career at BNL as a student, Hans was the person I turned to for help when I faced a particularly tough research problem."

Chief Scientist for the Lab's Nuclear Science & Technology Department and Ludewig's supervisor David Diamond said, "Hans was creative in his ability to find solutions to technical problems and was always willing to lend a hand. I was his supervisor, but more importantly, his colleague, his admirer, his friend. He was a smart, gentle, and kind person, and it was a privilege to work with him. He is greatly missed."

Long-time colleague and Senior Nuclear Engineer Michael Todosow said, "Hans was a remarkable person. Not only was he one of the smartest, most technically knowledgeable people, he was incredibly nice and honest—an exceptional scientist and an exceptional human being."

In addition to his skills in science and technology, Ludewig is remembered as an excellent runner who, for decades, ran every day with colleagues from across the Lab. His clever wit and intelligence made him the center of conversations on the trails and in the locker room, Diamond noted.

Ludewig is survived by his wife, Margie; daughters Kristine and Karin; and three grandsons.

A memorial service will be held for Ludewig at 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 26, in Bellport United Methodist Church at 185 South Country Road in Bellport, NY.

Tags: personnel

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