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Robert A. Stryk (Ph.D., Physics,1967; M.S., Physics, 1962; B., Physics 1959)


I was the last person to use the Van de Graff accelerator
whose large tank still sits behind the Physics building.

Thank you, Office of Naval Research. I have been married three times. I am currently widowed. I have three children, seven grandchildren and one greatgrandson. I worked at Honeywell on the ultra-violet fl ame detector. I was the co-inventor (with three others) of the ionizing type smoke detector. I set up real-time data acquisition with a minicomputer. I advised divisions on local vs. corporate computer usage until inexpensive computers made local the obvious best choice. I became the principal code developer for a mechanical simulation computer program which included plastic fl ow and material failure. Over 20 years it went from four boxes of cards in FORTRAN IV to 100,000+ lines of Fortran 98. I became an employee of Alliant Techsystems in 1990 when Alliant was split from Honeywell. I retired in 2002, but was hired as a part-time employee for continuing code development and organization at Southwest Research Institute. My hobby of long-distance running was thwarted by a hip replacement. I am currently playing the bass clarinet in the Minnesota State Band. I am still fascinated by physics and the many diverse insights that continue to be found such as those given at the Wednesday Physics Colloquium. My current contribution is running BOINC on my home computers. I gratefully remember having the opportunity to develop my thesis using grand classic equipment and clever things made locally by our own machine shop (thanks Buddy Thornes) and glassblower. I was enhanced by great discussions with other graduate students and Professors Morris Blair, Walter Johnson, Al Nier and many