George Edward Alcorn’s childhood
George Edward Alcorn, Jr. was born on March 22, 1940. His father was an automechanic who sacrificed so Alcorn and his brother could get an education. Alcornattended Occidental College in Pasadena, California, where he maintained an excellentacademic record while earning eight letters in baseball and football. Alcorn graduatedwith a B.A. in physics in 1962, and in 1963 he completed a master's degree in nuclear physics from Howard University. During the summers of 1962 and 1963, Alcorn workedas a research engineer for the Space Division of North American Rockwell, computingtrajectories and orbital mechanics for missiles. A NASA grant supported Alcorn's researchon negative ion formation during the summers of 1965 and 1966. In 1967 he earned hisdoctorate from Howard University in atomic and molecular physics.
George Edward Alcorns After job
After earning his Ph.D., Alcorn spent twelve years in industry. He was senior scientist at Philco-Ford, senior physicist at Perker-Elmer, and advisory engineer at IBMCorporation. In 1973, Alcorn was chosen to be IBM Visiting Professor in ElectricalEngineering at Howard University, and he has held positions at that university ever since,rising to the rank of full professor. Alcorn is also a full professor in the department of electrical engineering at the University of the District of Columbia, where he has taughtcourses ranging from advanced engineering mathematics to microelectronics.
George Edward Alcorn’s Inventions
Alcorn left IBM, where he worked as a Second Plateau Inventor, to join NASA in1978. While at NASA, Alcorn invented an imaging x-ray spectrometer usingthermomigration of aluminum, for which he earned a patent in 1984, and two years later he devised an improved method of fabrication using laser drilling. His work on imagingx-ray spectrometers earned him the 1984 NASA/GSFC Inventor of the Year Award. Hemanaged a shuttle flight experiment that involved Robot Operated Material ProcessingSystem, or ROMPs, in 1994. The experiment involved the manufacture of materials inthe microgravity of space.