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Irwin Greenfield, 75 Metallurgist, Longtime Engineering Professor

August 4, 2005
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Irwin G. Greenfield, 75, a longtime member of the University of Delaware engineering faculty, died July 16. He was a resident of Kennett Square, Pa.

A graduate of Overbrook High School, Greenfield earned his bachelor's degree in metallurgy from Temple University, and master's and doctoral degrees in metallurgical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

He was a metallurgist at the Naval Air Experimental Station and a senior research metallurgist at the Franklin Institute Laboratories for Research and Development before joining the University of Delaware faculty in 1963 as an assistant professor, specializing in metals and crystallography. He was promoted to associate professor in 1965 and full professor in 1968.

Greenfield was named acting dean of the College of Engineering in 1973 and the next year became dean, a post he held for 10 years.

Under his leadership, the college achieved several milestones, including the establishment of three nationally recognized research centers: the Materials Durability Center, the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology, and the Center for Composite Materials.

When Greenfield stepped down as dean in 1984, he was named Unidel Professor of Engineering and assistant to the president for engineering science in recognition of his contributions. When he retired from the university in 1992, he was given the title dean emeritus.

In the 1980s he received an Energy Conservation Award from the state of Delaware for "selflessly devoting time, talents, resources and good offices to the furtherance of energy independence."

Greenfield served as a visiting professor at Stanford and Oxford universities, the University of Cambridge and the Eindhoven Technical University in the Netherlands. He also served as a visiting scientist at the DuPont Co.

He was a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among others.

Greenfield is survived by his wife, Louise Truesdale Loening; daughter Hermine Brindak; sons Richard Greenfield and Steven Greenfield; brother Milton Greenfield; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara Shapiro Greenfield.

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