Published: Sep 23, 2012 12:03 AM
Modified: Sep 23, 2012 12:03 AM
Professor Emeritus Edward George Bilpuch, 85, of Chapel Hill, died at the Duke University Medical Center Saturday, September 15.
He was the first Henry W. Newson Professor of physics at Duke University and was the second director of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL). Throughout his career he worked to strengthen collaboration of nuclear physicists at the Triangle universities and was instrumental in shaping TUNL from a regional laboratory into a world-class research center.
Internationally recognized for his pioneering work in high-resolution nuclear spectroscopy, he has received numerous awards for his contributions to nuclear physics research, including a Senior U.S. Scientist Humboldt Award by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Jesse W. Beams Award by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society. He received honorary degrees from Fudan University in Shanghai, China and the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.
One of his more treasured honors was the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina, which he received in 1988.
He was born in Connellsville, PA. After two years in the Navy, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a football scholarship. He continued at UNC in graduate physics and was a member of the first class of Morehead Scholars. His thesis research was in experimental nuclear physics under the supervision of Henry W. Newson at Duke University. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1956 and joined the Duke physics department faculty in 1962 as an Assistant Professor. He was devoted to excellence in graduate education and has mentored more than fifty Ph.D. students.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn, and remembered by many friends and former students.
Funeral services were at 3:00 pm on Friday, September 21, at the Duke University Divinity School in the Goodson Chapel., Dr. William H. Willimon officiating.
Visitation was 6:00–8:00 p.m. Thursday at the Howerton and Bryan Funeral Home at 1005 West Main Street in Durham.
Memorials may be made to the Animal Protection Society, 2117 E. Club Blvd, Durham, NC 27701
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