Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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JOHN P. STARK
John P. Stark, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, passed away on June 3, 2012, at the age of seventy-three. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1956. He attended Iowa State University for one and a half years, majoring in industrial engineering. John then moved to the University of Oklahoma and received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics in 1960. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Oklahoma in engineering sciences majoring in metallurgy in 1963. His dissertation research was in the area of grain boundary diffusion of lead, funded by a U.S. Navy grant under Dr. W.R. Upthegrove.
John joined the mechanical engineering department at The University of Texas at Austin in 1963 as an assistant professor. At that time, the University was committed to forming and building an interdepartmental graduate program in materials science and engineering. John was one of the first professors hired explicitly to accomplish this. His career research was in the area of diffusion in solids, an important topic for the time. He was promoted to associate professor in 1967 and to full professor in 1973.
John’s research over the years focused on theoretical approaches to transport/diffusion in solids. His one hundred scholarly published papers related to this area were thought of very highly in the materials science and engineering field. He wrote and published a book on the subject, ”Diffusion in Solids.” The results of one of his calculations and publications have recently been the driving force for doctoral work at the University of Connecticut, demonstrating the longevity of his efforts. John’s research was supported by external funds during most of his career. His research will be remembered most by his colleagues as efforts to understand the mechanisms that controlled and defined how transport occurred in solid materials.
Dr. Stark retired from the University in 1997, and received an appointment as emeritus professor that year. Summarizing his thirty-four years on the faculty, John wrote,
My years here at the University have been ever so memorable, and this institution has truly been a place that permitted me to develop professionally to the best of my ability relatively unencumbered by any outside interference. I have absolutely no regrets at choosing the University of Texas as the best place to spend my working career and feel that the University is a great institution heading for even higher status.
In retirement, John pursued his interests in reading and the visual arts. He was an accomplished painter using watercolors and oils. John was predeceased by his former wife, Jennine Kay Campbell, with whom he had a daughter, Susan Stark Young. He was survived by his wife of ten years, Glenna Owens Stark.<signed>
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors David L. Bourell (chair), Kenneth M. Ralls, and Harris L. Marcus.