In Memoriam: Bernard J. Eastlund

December 31, 2007

Dr. Bernard J. Eastlund died December 12 at his home in St.Louis.

Dr. Eastlund received a B.S Physics degree from MIT in 1960 and a Ph.D. in plasma physics from Columbia University in 1965. Following a 3 year post-doc fellow position at Columbia, in 1968, he joined the staff of the fusion office at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (USAEC). In 1970, he received a Special Award from the USAEC for a paper "The Fusion Torch" which he co-authored with fellow staff member William C. Gough. He and Gough also published a fusion program review article in Scientific American magazine in 1971.

Ben left the USAEC in 1974 to co-found Fusion Systems Corporation, which brought revolutionary ultraviolet-based curing technology to the packaging industry, the first and most famous of which was for fast drying of labels on Cours beer cans. Later it was also used for fast curing of varnishes in the furniture industry and for other applications. The company was listed publicly and sold in 1997 for $193 million.

Eastlund left Fusion Systems Corporation in 1979 to become Vice President, Energy Research, for BDM Corporation. When Fusion Power Associates was formed in 1979, Eastlund was a member of its first Board of Directors and also served as treasurer.

Upon leaving BDM in 1984, Eastlund worked for Atlantic Richfield Corporation until 1987 when he founded his own company, Production Technologies International Corporation. In 1996, he formed his own consulting company, Eastlund Scientific Enterprises Corporation (www.eastlundscience.com). In 2003, he received a U.S. House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition for contributions to homeland security technology. At the time of his death he was collaborating with Gough and George Miley on updating the fusion torch concept.

He is survived by his wife, Sherrie, and several children. Condolences may be sent to his son David (david.eastlund@sbcglobal.net) or to Sherrie at 10327 Tuxford Drive, #6, St. Louis, MO 63146.