Cornell University Professor Emeritus Boris (Bob) Batterman, 80, of San Francisco, CA, and Ithaca, NY, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 14, 2010 at his home in San Francisco. He led an active and full life until the end. Born August 25, 1930 in Brooklyn, NY, son of the late Herman and Dora Batterman, he attended Brooklyn Tech and Cooper Union in New York before earning his undergraduate degree at MIT in 1952 and his PHD in Physics there in 1956. Bob and his wife, Elfriede, spent the academic year of 1953-54 as Fulbright Scholars at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, Germany. From 1956 to 1965, he was a member of the Technical Staff of the Bell Telephone Laboratories and then came to Cornell in 1965 as a professor in both the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Applied and Engineering Physics. In 1971-72 Bob was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship. He was Chairman of the School of Applied and Engineering Physics from 1974-1978, when he became director of the newly established Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), a national laboratory for synchrotron radiation research. In 1983 he received the Humboldt Award from the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1985 he was named the Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell. In 2001 Bob retired from Cornell and spent much of his time in San Francisco with his long-time companion Haralyn Kuckes. There he continued to be active in science with positions both at Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he enjoyed the life and culture of San Francisco, attending classical music concerts, enjoying Chinese food and other cuisines of the city, and spending time hiking with friends in the California countryside. His interests were varied. He enjoyed traveling throughout his life and took numerous trips abroad to many parts of the world. He climbed the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps in 1960, an accomplishment of which he was most proud. He raced sailboats, collected and worked on old automobiles, and was an amateur astronomer. He is survived by his partner Haralyn Kuckes; son Robert and wife Carolyn McMullen of Pittsburgh, PA; son William and wife Mary Ellen Meade of Ithaca, NY; son Thomas and wife Lori of Creswell, OR.; a grandson Zachary Batterman and granddaughter Jessica Batterman; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service is planned for the Spring and will be announced on a future date.
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Published in Ithaca Journal on Jan. 8, 2011