The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | Rain Fog/Mist and Breezy

Nicholas J. Grant

Professor Emeritus of Metallurgy Nicholas J. Grant ScD ’44 died on May 1, 2004 at the age of 88, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

After graduating from MIT in 1944, Grant became an instructor here. He became a full professor in 1956, and then served as the director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering from 1968 to 1977.

Grant “was an early researcher in the development of alloys,” including high temperature and metallic alloys, said Samuel M. Allen PhD ’75, professor of physical metallurgy and current department head.

Grant published over 500 papers and held over 130 patents, Allen said. In addition, he worked with many government committees and agencies, including NASA, NATO, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Department of Defense.

“So many of his graduates... went on to very high positions of leadership in industry,” said Donald R. Sadoway, professor of materials science and engineering. Grant “had a unique ability to foster leadership,” he said.

Grant was also “someone who would stick up for his students,” Allen said. “He engaged with people in situations very actively” and “was among my more colorful colleagues,” he said.

Many of Grant’s colleagues also found his physical condition remarkable, Sadoway said. Grant was accepted to Carnegie Mellon University on a football scholarship for his undergraduate education, and he later remained active enough to beat most of his students at football, even after he retired, Allen said.

Grant is survived by four children.