Alumni Profile:  Alfred Schneider ChE’51

Alfred Schneider ChE’51 received the 1993 Gano Dunn Award and was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009. He worked as a research engineer, technical manager, consultant and professor of nuclear engineering. He received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in 1958. He has received nine patents for inventions in the plastics, recording, photographic, and nuclear fields.

After graduating from Cooper Union, Schneider worked as a development engineer for Celanese Corporation from 1951 to 1956, developing new processes for the production of plastic films. From 1956 to 1961 he participated as a chemical engineer at Argonne National Laboratory in nuclear fuel cycle research projects. In 1961, he returned to industry as Manager of Nuclear R&D for Martin Marietta, where he participated in the development of nuclear batteries for terrestrial and space applications and in the construction and operation of small nuclear power reactors for remote locations (Wyoming and Antarctica).

Between 1964 and 1965, as Manager of Materials and Processes at NUS in Washington, DC Alfred supervised the production in the U.S. of the core for the German AVR nuclear pebble bed reactor.  In 1965, he joined Allied Chemical Corporation where he spent the next ten years developing the design and building the Barnwell nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. As Manager and then Director of Nuclear Technology he was responsible for the scientific and technical aspects of this large project.

In 1975, Schneider embarked on an academic career: he was appointed Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) where he taught and conducted research in the nuclear fuel cycle area until his retirement in 1990. He continued to teach as a Visiting Professor of Nuclear Engineering and conducted research as a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) until 1996. Schneider was an advisor to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and the Attorney General of Georgia and served as a consultant to Allied General Nuclear Services, Westinghouse, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and others.

Alfred was a member of six committees of the National Academy of Sciences and an official U.S. participant at six symposia of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and was elected Chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Division in 1979. He received the Antarctica Medal from the U.S. Navy and the Robert E. Wilson Award from AIChE.

He is the author of Educational modules development for the nuclear fuel cycle , 1977

Alfred Schneider was born in Romania. He survived the Holocaust and later lectured extensively on the topic. He passed away on August 20, 2020. Link to Obituary