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University of California Santa Barbara

Memos to Campus

Sad News - Professor Frederick F. Lange

April 6, 2010

TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
 
Dear Colleagues:
 
I am deeply saddened to share with you the news that Professor Frederick F. Lange passed away on Friday evening, April 2, while with his wife and family in Tucson, Arizona.
 
Professor Lange joined our campus community in 1986 with a joint appointment as Professor of Materials and Professor of Chemical Engineering. He contributed tremendously to the development of both departments and to our campus as a whole over the past 24 years. From 1998 to 2005 he served as the Chair of our nationally top-ranked Materials Department, and from 1999 to 2005 he held the Alcoa Chair in Materials. He was an admired colleague who led by example, an outstanding professor who inspired and guided generations of students, and an indefatigable champion of international collaborations in materials research.
 
In addition to his positions at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Lange held a distinguished visiting professor appointment at the National University of Singapore. He received his B.S. in ceramic science at Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in solid state technology at Pennsylvania State University. Early in his career he was a temporary senior scientist at AERE Harwell; he joined Westinghouse Research Laboratory as a fellow scientist, then went on to Rockwell International Science Center as a group leader and later a principal scientist. From 1979 to 1986 he was an adjunct professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. He was a Jubilee Professor at Chalmers University and a Miegunyah Distinguished Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
 
Professor Lange was held in the highest esteem by scholars around the world for his creativity and pioneering work in the conceptual design of structural and functional ceramics, as well as his science-based development of novel processing approaches. His broad research interests included topics as diverse as colloidal routes to powder processing of advanced ceramics, solution processing routes to single crystal films, design and synthesis of superhydrophobic surfaces, fracture mechanics, and processing and properties of damage-tolerant ceramic-matrix composites. Some of his principal contributions were in the processing of ceramic microstructures that produce higher crack growth resistance, and colloidal powder processing methods leading to improved processing reliability by minimizing flaw populations.
 
Dr. Lange was an ISI Highly Cited Researcher, with more than 300 journal articles and 32 patents to his name. He was an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering as well as a Fellow and Distinguished Life Member of the American Ceramic Society. Dr. Lange won nearly every major award of the American Ceramic Society, including the Outstanding Educator Award, the John Jeppson Award, the Sosman Memorial Lecture Award, the Richard M. Fulrath Award, the Ross Coffin Purdy Award, and just last year, the W. David Kingery Award. He received numerous other prestigious honors for his achievements and contributions over the years, including a Max Planck Research Award, a Humboldt Senior Fellowship, and the 2009 Richard Brook Prize from the European Ceramic Society. While working for Rockwell International Science Center, he was named Engineer of the Year in 1980 for recognizing the failure mode for a Space Shuttle tile problem that arose eight months prior to the Shuttle’s first mission.
 
Our hearts go out to Fred’s wife, MaryAnn, and all of their children, grandchildren, family members, and friends. Those who wish to send a message of condolence to the family may do so in care of Ashley Thompson in our Materials Department (ashley_thompson@engineering.ucsb.edu). Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 9, at 11 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara. His family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Department of Materials at UCSB to support student research.
 
Professor Lange will be greatly missed by our entire UCSB community. Our campus flag will be lowered to half-staff on Friday in his honor.
 
Sincerely,
 
Henry T. Yang
Chancellor