University of Texas
Hans Wilhelm Schlüter
August 1, 1930–2009



Hans Wilhelm Schlüter


Plasma physicist Hans Wilhelm Schlüter joined the University of Texas Physics Department in 1961. Professor Schlüter was born in Wattenscheid, Germany on August 1, 1930, the son of a clerk in the city administration. There he attended elementary school (Volksschule) from 1937 to 1941 and high school from 1941 to 1945. His family then moved to Höxter, where he graduated from high school (Gymnasium) with the Abitur examination in 1951.

He studied physics at the universities of Göttingen and Mainz from 1951and received his diploma in Göttingen in 1957. On May 24th, 1958 he married Barbara Schmehl and they moved to Munich where he worked on his PhD dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Werner Heisenberg. In his dissertation he showed experimentally the existence of the lower-hybrid resonance in plasmas. He was awarded the degree by the Ludwig Maximilians University of Münich in 1961.

In 1961 he moved with his wife to the University of Texas, where he started a plasma laboratory. His two sons, Markus and Thomas, were born in Austin in 1962 and 1966, respectively.

At Texas, Professor Schlüter rose rapidly through the ranks, Assistant Professor 1961–1962, Associate Professor, 1962–1966, Professor, 1966. He establish quickly an extensive research laboratory. His work was supported by the Atomic Energy Commission, National Science Foundation, the U. S. Air Force and the U. S. Army. He was a consultant for the Environmental Sciences Service Administration in Boulder, Colorado from 1962-66.

Using plasmas generated in the tank circuit of RF oscillators, he explored the details of the lower hybrid resonance in magnetic plasmas. These plasmas also provided a source for important Stark broadening measurements. He also built one of the early cesium Q- machines. Many students at Texas earned their PhD under his supervision.

While in Texas, Professor Schlüter was advised to find a hobby to reduce some of the stress associated with his exhausting work schedule. He began to build and collect German ship models. He dedicated a room in his house to display them on a large blue plywood ocean. He knew the history of hundreds of his German Navy ships. He later constructed and collected model lighthouses from around the world.

In 1968, he received a prestigious appointment to the Chair for Experimental Physics II, at the newly founded Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany. There, he accepted the challenging task to build up a new Department of Physics and Astronomy.

His main research activities centered on wave phenomena in plasmas—propagation, resonances, instabilities, heating, parametric effects—and plasma spectroscopy - line broadening, non-thermal equilibria, laser diagnostics. For many years he was one of the two main reviewers for plasma physics of the German Science Foundation and chairman of the scientific advisory committee of the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching bei Munchin,in Bavaria, Germany. He retired in 1995.

For his support of plasma research at the Faculty of Physics of the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, he was bestowed an honorary doctor’s degree by that University in 2008 and their highest medal of honor, Prof. em. Picture at right is from that ceremony.

Dr. Hans Schlüter passed away in his home in 2009 after a long illness.

(Thanks to Prof. em. Dr. Hans-Joachim Kunze, a colleague and friend of Hans Schlüter and to Barbara Schlüter, wife of Hans Schlüter, for contributing some of the information and pictures used in this entry.—Mel Oakes)

Students and Staff of Hans Schlüter at U. Texas

(some were shared with Mel Oakes and Erik Lindmann)

Carlos Avila, (1941–) M.A. received his MA in physics in 1965. His thesis title was, Observations on Collisional Stark Broadening in Radio Frequency Discharges. He then joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, where he worked on re-entry physics and radar signature detection computer algorithms as part of the Nike-X Anti-Ballistic Missile System development effort. After three years at Bell, Carlos joined Xerox Data Systems in 1968, where he performed systems analysis and support of scientific, engineering and data acquisition computer applications. After seven years at Xerox, Carlos joined Hewlett Packard in 1975. During his 25 years at HP he held various positions in marketing, manufacturing and R&D before retiring in 2000. Since his retirement, Carlos has done extensive traveling and acquired a new found interest in Roman archaeology and engineering. He has participated in numerous archaeological projects in Italy and England.

At left is the radio frequency (30 Mhz) discharge in a magnetic bottle consisting of two solenoids. A bright light ellipsoidal region with high eletron density, 1013 cm-3, appeared at one of the high field regions of the bottle. This made for a highly desireable light source for studying the collisional "Stark" broadening of the spectral lines of hydrogen and helium. At right is the Bausch and Lomb grating (180,000 lines) stigmatic spectrometer used for these studies. The equipment was used by Schlüter, Carlos Avila and Jim Durham. Avila contributed the photos. More details here.

Ram Babu, was born at Kaithoon, District Kota, Rajasthan, India. His father was a school teacher who died in 1984 at Ram’s home in Kota. As of 2013, his mother at age 95 was living with his family. Ram was schooled primarily at various schools where his father was posted in his government job . For his high school level education, he move to Kota and lived in hostels. He graduated in science and mathematics from Government College, Kota and completed graduate work in Physics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science. BITS Pilani is one of India’s leading and premier higher education institutes. The institute was established, in its present form, in 1964 with a vision to realize Jawaharlal Nehru’s project of nation-building with an emphasis on "science, technology and modernization." During this period, the institute's transformation from a regional engineering college to a national university was backed by businessman founder Ghanshyam Das Birla. At BITS, Ram was appointed Lecturer of Physics. He served for one year than transferred to Indian Institute Of Science, Bangalore to pursue a Ph.D. under Prof. P.L. Bhatnagar (BGK Model of Plasma) . After two years which included several research papers, Ram applied to join the graduate program in plasma physics at UT under the supervision of Professor Schlüter. He moved to Austin in Fall 1966 and began theoretical work on ion-ion hybrid resonances. After Professor Schlüter accepted a position at Bochum, Ram completed his PhD in Dec.1969 under the supervision of Mel Oakes. Following his graduation, Ram was offered a position with Professor Schlüter at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. He joined that laboratory in Jan.1970.

Ram returned to India in 1973 and started a small scale industry, RandK Electric Company at Kota. A year later he married his wife Indu, a gynecologist in private practice. They have a daughter Shefali, who completed an MBA in Aviation Management from UPES, Dehradoon/Dehli and works with Ram. Their factory initially manufactured electric home appliances, then changed to importing substitute electro-mechanical industrial replacements and finally providing industrial services.

Bernard Edward Breihan III, (1939–1998), PhD Ed grew up in El Paso and began his undergraduate work at UT as an architecture student. Everyone was impressed with his design skills. His dissertation work involved the construction of a Q-machine and the study of the lower hybrid resonance in the cesium plasma. Following graduation in 1968, Ed worked for Texas Instruments in Dallas and rose rapidly in the company. He was part of the Voyager team at TI that had responsibiliy for communications and power sources. This required much inventiveness on the part of the team. The Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space in August 2012, 35 years after launch. Voyager 2 entered interstellar space in December 2018, 41 years after launch. He later started a small business assisting companies computerize their accounting. Finally, he and his wife Ginny started a window manufacturing company which was operating successfully at his untimely death. Ed and Ginny had a son, David.

David C. Carlyle, MD, PhD, FACEP
Dr. Carlyle completed a BS and PhD. In Physics at the University of Texas Austin and entered the University Medical Branch in Galveston. After his Internship in surgery, he began to practice emergency medicine in Houston. He was among the first groups of emergency physicians to be Board Certified, completing his first certification in 1982. He has practiced EM for more than thirty years in Texas and Louisiana, and was at Northeast Medical Center Hospital in Humble, Texas for twenty years before joining First Choice Emergency Room. He also serves as Medical Director of the Humble EMS. Dr. Carlyle lives in The Woodlands with his wife.

Larry Edward Coble, PhD 1975

James E. Copeland, PhD 1976

Carl Dodge MS ca 1965

Carl Dodge (1941–2016)
Carl Dodge was born to Carl and Jane Rehm Dodge on September 9, 1941 in Houston, Texas. He was the first of three children. He was raised in Bellaire and, following in his father's footsteps, he became an amateur radio operator (W5YXX) when he was 15 years old. He graduated from Bellaire High School in 1959, and he graduated from the University of Texas with a B.S. and Master's degrees in Physics. He worked with Professor Hans Schlüter doing radio frequency plasma experiments. His background in amateur radio served him wel with this project. After working at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio for three years, he attended the University of Houston where he was awarded a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering, with a thesis in light-scattering. After graduating from the University of Houston, Carl worked in the oil industry for Welex, Aceros Camesa (Mexico) and Halliburton, all in the greater Houston area. This work involved the design of well logging equipment, cable design and construction, some of which resulted in patents. He also worked as a consultant after retiring from full-time work at Halliburton. Carl married Elsie Herdman in 1984 and became a stepfather to her three children, Rafa, Patsy and Kathleen, and enjoyed being a grandfather to their children, (Ryan Nevares, Alex Thornley, Lunden Aelvoet, Quinn Haughey, and Conor Haughey). He enjoyed international folk dancing with Elsie throughout his life. They owned a 42- acre ranch near Chappell Hill, Texas where they raised cattle and enjoyed the catfish ponds. He enjoyed family trips to New Braunfels, and overseas trips with his wife, Elsie. Carl is survived by his wife Elsie, stepchildren Rafa (and Yvette) Nevares, Patsy (and Patrick) Aelvoet, Kathleen (and Adam) Haughey, his sister Margret (and Robert) Simmons, his brother Lee Dodge, nephew Jon-Eric Simmons, nieces Allison Dodge and Elissa (and David) Lyon, and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren. A celebration of life service will be held at 1st Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin St on Saturday, March 19th at 2:00 P.M. Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 21, 2016

Jim Durham, PhD

Richard L. Freeman, PhD 1968, Richard had a very successful career as a scientist and group leader at General Dynamics in San Diego, CA. His wife, Pat, is a nurse.

Wanda Freytag (Scheffler), Secretary

David Hasti, PhD.
David was a scientist with Austin Research Associates (company owned by W. E. Drummond). He completed his career with Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.

James Hildebrand,

Gene Holder,

Robert Benton Howell, PhD 1972

G. Scott Mills (1939– ), PhD

Scott Mills, received both his B. (1961), and his PhD (1966) in physics, from UT. Upon completing his PhD, he accepted a post-doctoral position with the Environmental Science Services Adm. in Boulder, CO. He and his wife Suzanne fell under the spell of Colorado hiking, camping and skiing, so he accepted a position at the AEC's Rocky Flats Plant at the conclusion of the post-doctoral position. There, he provided technical/scientific support to production operations and, moving to welding research, successfully applied plasma-spectroscopy techniques (learned in Hans's class on the subject) to analysis of welding arcs.

As a result of an introduction to Dillon McDaniel by Mel Oakes, Scott was offered a position at Sandia National Laboratories in the Pulsed Power group in 1979. After eight years, he became involved in underground testing of nuclear weapons components and fielded radiation diagnostics instruments on several tests until such tests were terminated in 1992.

In early 1993, Scott joined a group responsible for risk analysis of radioactive materials transportation. Until retiring in 2005, he developed and applied geographic information systems tools and statistical methods for the improvement of input data and analysis employed in the calculation of public risks posed by highway, rail and air transportation of general radioactive materials. Particular application of these activities, from 2000 until 2005, was on shipments of commercial power-reactor spent fuel to the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

In all of these varied "careers," Scott found ways to apply the training and knowledge acquired through nine years of study in the UT physics and other departments to fruitful research and development. In some cases, the result was a publication, and in others, a solution to a highly applied problem. He always delighted in the breadth of physics that allowed such a wide range of application.

Dillon Heierman McDaniel, PhD (1945–2012) Obituary. Dillon will be remembered as a loving husband and father with a kind heart and an adventurous spirit. He was regarded by his colleagues as a rare gentleman scientist; always generous, interested, and gracious. He died unexpectedly at his home in Placitas, New Mexico, on May 1, 2012. Born to Dillon Heyworth McDaniel and Dorothy Heierman McDaniel in Austin, Texas in 1945, he grew up in Miami, Florida. (Dillion is show at right between his parents in about 1950 in a Pan American Airways photo. Thanks to Gina McDaniel Tarver for making it available.)

Dillon received his baccalaureate and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Texas (Austin) in 1967 and 1973 respectively. At Texas Dillon used RF-generated magnetized plasmas to explore the lower hybrid resonance. Following graduation in 1974, Dillon went to directly to Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and began work in the Pulsed Power group. Dillon's career at SNL spanned 38 years.

Dillon made a direct impact on research and development of pulse power applications from the US Department of Energy’s highest power accelerators to smaller, compact accelerators for radiographic applications and current drivers of isentropic equation-of-state experiments. He was an inspiration to young scientists and continually strived to build a strong international pulsed power community to develop new technology and applications toward high-yield fusion energy.

At UT Austin he met Stephanie Hillaker, whom he married on June 4, 1966. Stephanie and Dillon moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in fall 1973. He devoted his life to his wife, children, family, and friends. After losing Stephanie in 2007, he remarried Susan Mertes in 2009. His wife survives him, as do all his children, who share their sorrow with their spouses, Karen and Wade Vaught (Alexandria, VA), Gina and David Tarver (Austin, TX), Dillon and Laurie McDaniel (Savannah, GA), Melissa and Chris Dracup (Albuquerque, NM), Mary McDaniel Clum and Tristan Clum (Albuquerque, NM), Katie and Marti Sarber (San Antonio, TX), and Michael and Erin McDaniel (Albuquerque, NM). He leaves behind sixteen grandchildren, who were his joy, Hunter, Connor, Kayla, Quinn, Addi, Aleida, Max, Nora, Wesley, Liam, Corinne, Owen, Collin, Ian, Ellie and Harbour.

Barry Moore

Gail Reams

“Clarence” J. Ransom, PhD (1940-) received his PhD in 1967. His dissertation was Resonance Studies on Radio Frequency Plasmas, much of which was published with Dr. Schlüter in the article Hybrid Ion-Electron Resonance in Annals of Physics, 33, 360, 1965. Ransom then joined General Dynamics where he developed electro-optics equipment, infrared (IR) detection devices and simulated infrared (IR) guided missiles using analog and digital methods. He also developed non-destructing testing techniques for crack detection in aerospace vehicles. This included IR, ultrasonic and electro-magnetic techniques. He later directed research for General Dynamics various research activities. While at General Dynamics, Ransom developed a unique arrangement of polarizing material that allowed pilots to view cockpit displays in direct sunlight. He also helped develop a delta scan ultrasonic method to find cracks in metal welds and obtained a NASA contract to refine and use the method for analysis of space craft welds. Ransom also discovered a linear relationship between the infrared detector band gap and the atomic structure of the material.
In 1985, he joined Bell Helicopter where he managed a technical computing group. The group developed software for activities such as computational fluid dynamics and helicopter flight dynamics. He also directed process re-engineering and directed the Depart of Defense’s Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle Support (CALS) program for Textron, the parent company of Bell Helicopter. He retired from Bell Helicopter in 2001.

Ransom taught graduate software testing in the Texas Christian University Computer Science Department. He was on the committee that developed a software engineering graduate program at Southern Methodist University.

In 1963, Ransom performed experiments that produced stable spirals of plasma material. Based on those results, he suggested that spiral galaxies were plasma phenomena. This concept was supported theoretically in 1992 by Dr. Anthony Peratt in Physics of the Plasma Universe.

King Hay Tsui, PhD (1945-) Tsui received a bachelor's degree in physics from Chinese University of Hong Kong (1968) and PhD in Plasma Physics - University of Texas at Austin (1975). His dissertation was Large amplitude magnetic pulse penetration into cylindrical plasma.

Following his graduate work, Tsui was appointed to the faculty of Fluminense Federal University, Center for General Studies, Department of Physics. Niteroi, RJ - Brazil 

His research focuses on the areas of Plasma Physics in the laboratory and on Plasma Astrophysics. It acts mainly in the following subjects: free electron lasers, plasma loaded free electron laser, plasma impedance matching in carbon dioxide and nitrogen lasers, planetary nebulae, extragalactic jets, active galactic nuclei, interplanetary magnetic ropes, ball lightning. He also has experience in other areas such as: cosmic ray cascade in atmosphere, celestial mechanics in satellite capture and neptune arcs.

Ray Dean Rust, PhD 1970

Clifton Ray Skipping, PhD 1968

Benjamin Alvis Stafford, MS

December 18, 1936 - July 29, 2009

Benjamin Alvis Stafford passed away on July 9, 2009 at the age of 72. Services will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, August 3, 2009 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Boerne. Reverend Jeff Carpenter and Reverend Patrick Heath will officiate. Pall bearers will be Randy Bedwell, Barry Jackson, Dan Heckler, Stan Coughran, Lewis Plunkett, Phillip Tom, and honorary pall bearer Michael Schoch. Ben was born December 18, 1936 to Frank Simmons and Lorene Schroeder Stafford in Poteet, Texas. He graduated from Pleasanton High School. Ben received a Bachelor of Science in Physics as well as a Master's of Science in Physics from The University of Texas at Austin. He received a Masters of Arts in Management Systems from the University of Southern California. Ben proudly served 23 years in the United States Army. Duty assignments were with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii and Viet Nam, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy, Washington D.C. He also served with distinction in Viet Nam in 1970/1971. In 1972 he commanded the Army Ammunition Depot in Modesto, CA. During his service, Ben, was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Metal (w/3OLC) Meritorious Service Metal (W/2OLC), Army Commendation Metal (w/1OLC), and Viet Nam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm. He retired in 1982 as a Colonel in the U.S. Army. After retirement in 1982 Ben and his family settled in Boerne, TX where he went to work for Mission Pharmacal. Later, he open and operated an office supply business. After four years he returned to Mission Pharmacal. Ben was active in community service, serving on the Boerne City Council for 10 years. He remained active in his service with his memberships in the Centurions, Boerne Chamber of Commerce, and the Boerne Economic Development Committee. In his spare, time Ben enjoyed spending time at his family farm south of Jourdanton, sharing time with family and friends and driving the "Mule" over the property. Ben is survived by his wife of 42 years, Emily; son, Matthew Scott Stafford of San Antonio; daughter, Jennifer Ann Stafford of Washington, D.C.; brother Frank Schroeder Stafford of Boerne; niece, Amy and husband Byron Bunker, and children Austin and Madison of Ann Arbor MI; and nephew, Luke and wife Sara Stafford of Winston Salem, NC. In lieu of flowers the family request contributions be made to The Boerne Public Library Foundation, 210 N. Main, Boerne, TX 78006 or The Boerne Education Foundation, P. O. Box 873, Boerne, TX 78006 or any charity of your choice. Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Vaughan"s Funeral Home of Boerne.

Ben is in the movie below at 16' 40"

1964 Version with UT labs included. Partial list of names of UT related scientist in this film: Otto Friedrich, Hans Schlüter, Arwin Dougal, Marshall N. Rosenbluth, Frank Stafford.

Frank Stafford,

Frank was a mathematics major and the brother of Ben Stafford. Frank was hired by Schlüter to do some programming for him. Frank later worked Director of Systems and Network Operations for the UT Health Sciences Center in San Antonio.





Philip Stephens,

Richard Perry Storm, PhD 1967

Richard P. “Dick” Storm, age 74, a resident of Pottsboro, Texas, passed away on Thursday, December 10, 2009 in Norman, Oklahoma. Dick was born on October 9, 1935 in Hope, Arkansas to John D. and Imogene P. Storm who grew up in Norman, Oklahoma. He was baptized at First Presbyterian Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Dick’s school years were in Shawnee where he graduated as valedictorian of the Shawnee High School class of 1953. He was very involved in Boy Scouting, attaining his Eagle Scout rank, God and Country Award, and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. He particularly enjoyed hiking Philmont Scout Ranch and attending the National Scout Jamboree of 1950. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BS degree in Physics with Highest Honors followed by a one year Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He returned to study at Stanford University, and then earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas. (Richard built a 4mm microwave interferometer for measuring plasma electron densities in Professor Schlüter’s lab—Mel Oakes.) His employment career began with work in summers for Oklahoma Seismograph Company in Shawnee, and Texas Instruments in Dallas. After earning his PhD he worked for Shell Development Company in Seismic Research before becoming a co-founder of Storm Plastics, Inc. in Norman.He was also president of PAMCO, Inc., and vice president of Storm Manufacturing Company. Dick became Scoutmaster of Troops 245 and 249, introducing many boys to the adventure of Scouting with trips canoeing in Canada, sailing in Florida, and a train trip in Mexico over the Sierra Madre on the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway to the Gulf of California, camping along the way at the Barrancas Del Cobre canyon. Dick became very influential in the fishing tackle industry, serving multiple terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association and the American Sportfishing Association. His leadership in successfully battling the IRS for fourteen years established Dick as the unofficial Excise Tax Expert within the industry. Dick had a love for classical music, a result of his diligent study of the piano as a youth. He was an insatiable reader, especially enjoying history relating to the Civil War and World War II. His greatest passion seemed to be traveling, having visited every National Park in the US, almost every National Monument, every continent except Antarctica, and foreign countries and cities throughout South America, Australia, Europe, China, Papua New Guinea, Baja California, and even a driving trip on the Alcan Highway and to the North Slope in Alaska (a bear ran into his car in Canada and his transmission broke 200 miles north of Fairbanks). His stories are legendary and will be repeated many times by his family and the numerous close friends from his youth and adulthood who heard them.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a close aunt, Marguerite Botha, as well as several other aunts and uncles of the “greatest generation”. Dick is survived by brothers Bill Storm and his wife, Margaret, Gary Storm and his wife, Joanna, former wife Martha Gallaher Storm, nieces Cindy Fetter and Terry Best, nephews John Storm, David Storm, Scott Storm, and Steve Storm, six grandnieces, eight grandnephews, a close cousin, Marilyn Hill, of Norman, and numerous other cousins.

John David Tannich, PhD 1969

David Tannich is a native Houstonian. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he was elected to several academic honorary fraternities, including Phi Beta Kappa. He received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from UT: a BS in Physics with High Honors in January 1965 and a PhD in Physics in August 1969. While at Texas, David met and married the former Margaret Burnett; they will celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary later in 2012. (David and Margaret at right, 2012)

David began his career in the oil industry with Exxon Production Research Company (EPR) and spent the better part of twenty years directly involved in drilling, blowout prevention and well pressure-control work as an active researcher, as Group Leader of Exxon’s research program, and as coordinator of and instructor in Exxon’s international well-control training program. He has conducted well-control training courses in every corner of the world and was the recipient of multiple Outstanding Instructor awards for his training activities. While at EPR, he conceived, developed and utilized numerous special-purpose well-control computer simulation programs to study oil and gas well blowouts and the requirements to ‘kill’ them.

David was then assigned to Exxon Company International’s Drilling Technology group for five years, where he provided technical expertise to a broad range of active and planned exploration and development drilling projects.

He next joined Exxon’s Russian affiliate, Exxon Ventures (CIS), Inc., where he was a drilling advisor for three years in a small group charged with supporting a multi-disciplinary team that evaluated potential investment opportunities in the former Soviet Union. His work focused mainly on possible ventures in the Timan-Pechora region of Arctic Russia, where he was the principal advisor in planning and executing the drilling and testing of an Exxon-funded, Russian-drilled appraisal well in that remote region. David was then reassigned to EPR and placed on a two-year temporary domestic assignment with Exxon Exploration Kuwait, Inc. as a member of a team formed to plan and drill a challenging well in Kuwait, as part of a joint technical study conducted by Exxon and Kuwait Oil Company.

David retired from Exxon in September 1998, after nearly thirty years of service. He then joined Cudd Well Control, where he was Vice President of Engineering. In 2003, David was named President of a Cudd affiliate, Well Control School (WCS), where he had overall management responsibility for the operation of WCS, the industry-leading commercial provider of well-control training. He was instrumental in developing WCS’s System 21, the only computer-based, well-control training course that is industry certified. Since retiring from WCS in October 2006, David has provided consulting services through BSF, Inc., where he is President.

David served as Chairman of the American Petroleum Institute’s Subcommittee 16 for Drilling Well Control Systems for a number of years; the group is charged with writing standards for blowout preventers and related drilling equipment. In addition, David was Convenor (Chairman) of ISO TC67 / SC4 / WG2 for Drilling Well Control Systems, which is responsible for writing international well-control equipment standards. David also chaired subcommittees for the International Association of Drilling Contractors and held membership in the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Leonard Van Essen, MA

Jonathan Watkins, PhD

Below is Jon lecturing to students in The Texas Energy Science Symposium, June 1979.

Bobby Wheatley, MS

Post-doctoral Students

Erick L. Lindman

BS (Physics), California Institute of Technology, 1960
MA (Physics), University of California, Los Angeles, 1963
PhD (Plasma Physics), University of California, Los Angeles, 1964

In 2007, Erick Lindman formed his own company, Otowi Technical Services LLC, to do energy research.

In 2008, he won a Phase-1 Small-Business-Innovation-Research grant to study methods of inserting magnetic fields in inertial-fusion capsules, and presented his results at the 2009 Conference on High Energy Density Physics in Austin, Texas. Since then, he has written a state-of-the-art, fully electromagnetic particle-in-cell code and used it to study anomalies in exploding-pusher experimental results from Omega.

In 2006, after retiring from LANL in 2005, he worked part time for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on several small inertial-fusion projects including an assessment of the DD and DT equations of state and a target-design survey of D-3He targets for rho-r measurements.

From 1995 to 2005, while in the Thermonuclear Applications group at LANL, he contributed to national security by performing calculations of “proliferant” nuclear weapons; contributed to stockpile stewardship by performing calculations of US nuclear weapons to assess their reliability; and contributed to the Advanced Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) by performing calculations and analyses of underground tests to verify the accuracy of ASCI code predictions.

From 1992 to 1995, while in the Inertial Fusion and Plasma Theory group at LANL, he performed integrated inertial-fusion calculations of Nova experiments and contributed to the quality assessment of inertial-fusion design codes at Los Alamos. From 1987 to 1992, he joined Mission Research Corporation (MRC) as a senior staff member at the MRC Los Alamos office. While at MRC he performed analyses of plasma opening switches for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, code-development work for the (Air Force) Weapons Laboratory and computational and theoretical studies of endo-atmospheric laser vulnerability for the Army and Navy. For LANL during the same period, he performed contract work on inertial fusion, e-beam code development and infrared scene generation. From 1986 to 1987, he was in the Inertial Fusion and Plasma Theory Group and performed calculations of dense Z-pinches and developed plasma-simulation techniques.

From 1983 to 1986, he was Group Leader of the Advanced Concepts and Plasma Applications Group at LANL. He led theoretical research in plasma turbulence, in the generation, propagation and effects of intense particle beams and electromagnetic waves, and in the advanced computational techniques necessary to perform this research.
During 1982 to 1983, he was a visiting professor at the Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, in the United Kingdom. On professional research and teaching leave from LANL, he received a Senior Visiting Fellowship from the U. K. Science and Engineering Research Council to perform research in short-wave-length-laser interaction with matter, magnetic-field generation and numerical methods used in particle-in-cell, plasma-simulation techniques.

From 1980 to 1982, he was the Associate Group Leader for Supporting Physics in the Laser Fusion Theory Group where he oversaw research in laser interaction with matter. From 1978 to 1980 he was the Associate Group Leader for Target Design in the Laser Fusion Theory Group where he oversaw inertial fusion target design. From 1973 to 1978 he was a staff member in the Laser Fusion Theory Group where he contributed to code development and research on laser interaction with matter. And from 1971 to 1973, he began his career at LANL as a staff member in the Atmospheric Weapons Effects Group where he contributed to code development and performed research on high-altitude nuclear-weapons effects (HANE).

From 1968 to 1971, he was a Research Physicist at Austin Research Associates where he performed code development tasks and research in HANE. And from 1964 to 1968 he was a Research Scientist and Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Texas where he performed research in ring discharges and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in physics.

Born Seattle, Wash, March 20, 1938; married 1963, Joy; children Barbara, Susan, Melissa, Jennifer and Allison. Memberships: American Physical Society, Research Statement & Publications: High-energy-density physics; inertial fusion; computational plasma physics. (Source: American Men & Women of Science, 2012)

Melvin Oakes

Edward J. Powers

After PhD from Stanford University in 1965, Dr. Powers joined the physics department and electrical engineering department. He conducted plasma physics research with Schlüter’s group before joining the electrical engineering faculty. He became Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the recently established Telecommunications and Signal Processing Research Center. Previously, Ed served as Director of the Electronics Research Center from 1977 to 1999. Primary responsibility involved administering the Joint Services Electronics Program (AFOSR, ARO, and ONR) which ended in 1999. From 1981–1989 he served as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, one of the largest departments on the UT Campus. In 1982, he was appointed as the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation Professor in Engineering. In 1985, he received the UT Austin College of Engineering's highest award, the Joe J. King Professional Engineering Achievement Award, which was established in 1976 to recognize College of Engineering faculty who have shown exemplary leadership in the engineering profession.


James Collins,


Harold Finley MacFarlane

Harold F. McFarlane is the Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear Programs and Director of the Space Nuclear Systems and Technology Division of the Idaho National Laboratory. He is a past chair and fellow of the American Nuclear Society, a not-for-profit, international scientific and educational organization of more than 10,000 engineers, scientists, administrators and educators.

Dr. McFarlane’s technical background is in nuclear reactor development, nuclear fuel cycle R&D, radioactive waste management, radioisotope power systems, neutron physics and plasma physics. He has also taught nuclear engineering at New York University.

Most recently as Associate Laboratory Director, Dr. McFarlane’s experience includes leadership positions with responsibility for developing advanced systems for nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel cycle, and space nuclear power. He is also the Technical Director of the Generation-IV International Forum, an international research framework for developing advanced nuclear reactors. As the senior technical advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy, he coordinated the DOE national laboratories’ technical support following the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Dr. McFarlane was born in Maryland but grew up in Del Rio, Texas. He graduated magna cum laude. As a student, he worked with Richard Freeman’s experiment in Dr. Schlüter’s lab. Dr. McFarlane holds a BS in physics from the University of Texas, a PhD in engineering science from CalTech, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Harold and his wife, Mary Ellen, have lived in Idaho Falls for 34 years. Their son, Matt, lives in Boise.

Philip Stephens

Dennis Kamenitsa
Work for Axceis, a semiconductor company in Austin, Texas.

I would appreciate any write-ups from any of these students about their careers. I will add them here. Additions and corrections welcomed.
—Mel Oakes





Hans Schlüter Photo Album

Hans Schlüter, Wattenscheid,
Hans Schlüter, Göttingen
Hans Schlüter, smoking in his laboratory at Göttingen where he was working on his Diploma. He smoked very rarely at Texas.
Hans Schlüter, Munich
Barbara and Hans Schlüter with sons Markus and Thomas, (photo from Ram Babu)
Hans Schlüter and Margaret Lockenvitz, Austin, TX
Dr. Ram Babu and Professor Hans Schlüter, Bochum 1971. (photo by C. J. Ransom)
Professor Hans Schlüter and Dr. Ram Babu, Bochum.
(photo from Ram Babu)
Back: Ray Skipping, Bill McHarg, Barry Moore, Francisco “Paco” Arumi
Front: David Carlyle, James Copeland, Nov. 9, 1970
(Picture above and the five black and white ones below provided by Wanda Freytag Scheffler)
Hans Schlüter on right with graduate student in his lab at UT. From 1960 General Atomic TAERF film, "Reaching for the Stars".
Dr. Ram Babu, daughter Shefali, wife Indu. Indu is a physician. (photo from Shefali Babu)
Barry Moore and Francisco “Paco” Arumi
Cleon Yates, glassblower.
Wanda Freytag, Group Secretary.
Barry Moore, Francisco “Paco” Arumi and James Copeland
Dillon McDaniel at his desk.


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