At 99, Lew Aronin ’40 volunteers for MIT AgeLab

As a volunteer for MIT’s AgeLab, 99-year-old Lew Aronin ’40 does exactly what he loves mostsearching for systematic understanding when it comes to advantage of humankind. A physics alum­nus who attends MIT activities and donates annually, Aronin is just a member of 85+ life Leaders, a team of folks 85 and older, including numerous alumni and partners, whom delve into subjects such as for instance age-friendly design, caregiv­ing, and employ of technology.

Aronin’s career began during World War II: The Waltham Watch business hired him to reproduce the verneuil procedure for making artificial sapphires, which are an essential compo­nent of watch bearings. “If the organization’s supply from Switzerland ended up being stop, there was clearly outstanding worry that the just source of preci­sion bearings would be lost,” claims Aronin. “I effectively performed this within just per year.”

If the company folded, Aronin joined the employees of this MIT Metallurgical Proj­ect, in which he additionally consulted regarding the improvement the atomic bomb. His research focused on nuclear reactors, and then he published articles on radiation damage in Journal of Applied Physics in 1954. After their department spun to become a com­pany known as Nuclear Metals, he worked being a department manager, and he also con­tributed two chapters to a textbook known as Nuclear Reactor gas Elements Metal­lurgy and Fabrication.

Aronin very first experienced the Institute when his sci­ence teacher in Norwood, Massachusetts, took their best students to go to lec­tures by notables like Harold “Doc” Edgerton and Robert Van de Graaff. The lectures and the university won him over. Incapable of pay for a dor­mitory, Aronin commuted together with a part-time job on campus. “we worked hard and found myself in MIT using odds against myself,” he claims, “and it has served myself really.”

One first-year experi­ence left a large impression. On May 6, 1937, while work­ing for a problem set-in Build­ing 2, he noticed a rapid darkness. As he looked outside, he saw the Hinden­burg expense, with swasti­kas on its tail. Three hours later, it crashed in Manches­ter Township, New Jersey.

He and his late spouse, Eleanor, a musician, were hitched for 59 years. They increased kids in Lex­ington, Massachusetts, where she became a coveted piano instructor; he had been an active volunteer for the Lions Club and Masons.

Aronin, whom retired in 1990, completed his career during the Army analysis Labora­tory in Watertown, in which he was an expert in beryllium, a somewhat uncommon substance ele­ment used in cellular phones, missiles, and plane.

A version of this short article initially appeared in the Slice of MIT web log