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Remembering Professor Emeritus Thomas J. McIlrath

Professor Emeritus Thomas J. McIlrath, long time faculty member of the Institute, passed away on December 20, 2020 of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Following graduation from Princeton University in 1966, McIlrath spent a year as a NATO postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University. He then went on to work as a research associate at Harvard College Observatory for several years before joining the faculty of the Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics (IFDAM) in 1973. He became a member of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) when formed in 1975 and was a member of the faculty until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1998.

He, with colleague and collaborator Thomas Lucatorto (NIST), received a Silver Medal from the Department of Commerce in 1981 for Research in Plasma Studies and Spectroscopy.

An Obituary, written by Jan Sengers and Wendell Hill III, with help from colleagues, appeared in Physics Today, 74, 8, 60 (2021).