06 January 2011

Peter Murray

Peter Murray

Nuclear Scientist and Loving Husband and Father

Dr. Peter Murray, nuclear scientist both in the UK and the US for 69 years, died on Sunday July 26, 2009 in Rockville, Maryland, at the age of 89, from a brief illness and complications related to pneumonia.

He was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England on March 13, 1920. He was educated at De La Salle College, Sheffield and at Sheffield University. He was awarded a B.Sc. with honors in Chemistry in 1941 and a Ph.D. in Metallurgy in 1950. From 1949 to 1967, he was at the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, and was appointed Head of the Metallurgy Division in 1960 and Assistant Director in 1964. In 1967, Dr. Murray joined the Advanced Reactors Division of Westinghouse in Madison, Pennsylvania. He became a US Citizen in 1974. He was Director of Research for Westinghouse Electric Europe in Brussels, Belgium from 1974 to 1975. He returned to the US to become Chief Scientist, Westinghouse Advanced Power Systems Division. From 1981 until 1992, he was Director of Nuclear Programs in the Government Affairs office of Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Washington, DC. After his retirement from Westinghouse in 1992 he remained a consultant on nuclear programs. He was a member of the American Nuclear Society, American Ceramic Society and was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 1976. Dr. Murray was President of the British Ceramic Society in 1965. The author of 80 scientific and technical papers in such areas as nuclear reactor fuels, fuel cycles, fast reactors, waste management, and energy systems, he was the recipient of the Holland Memorial Prize for Research at Sheffield University in 1949; the Newton Chambers Prize, Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1954; the Mellor Memorial Lecturer, Institute of Ceramics, 1963; the Outstanding Achievement Award, American Nuclear Society in 1983. In 1990 he received the Order of Merit, the highest award of Westinghouse Electric Corporation for his outstanding accomplishments in making Westinghouse a world leader in advanced nuclear technology. In 2006 he was awarded the Walker Lee Cisler medal of the American Nuclear Society in recognition for his leadership in the development of Fast Breeder Reactor Technology.

He married Josie Glaisher in 1947 and was a devoted husband until her death in 2007. He was a loving father and family man, and is survived by his three children, Professor Jane Weston of East Amherst, New York, Paul Murray of Key West, Florida and Alexander Murray of Gaithersburg, Maryland; four grandchildren: Robert, Jamie, Peter and Krista and a great granddaughter, Julia Jane Weston.