Deceased November 14, 2015

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

Thomas Jerrell “Jerry” Carter Jr. died last fall from mesothelioma cancer. He was born in American Samoa where his father, a Navy doctor, was stationed. Jerry moved frequently with his parents and older sister Marilyn. At age 10, he learned to play golf on sand courses in Egypt. His love of golf continued throughout his life as he developed a low handicap and enjoyed playing courses in Scotland and Ireland.

After high school in La Jolla, Calif., and Severna Park, Md., he enrolled in a five-year college program, graduating from Amherst with an A.B. and from MIT with a B.S. He always considered himself a true Amherst graduate even though he did extra work at MIT. Graduate work at MIT found him at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and at Cambridge, Mass., to earn his graduate degree. Accepting employment as a chemical engineer with Atomics International in Canoga Park, Calif., he worked on nuclear reactors in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Winnipeg, Canada; and Piqua, Ohio (part of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace Program).

Moving his family to Maryland in 1969, he joined the Atomic Energy Commission to help with the regulation of nuclear reactors. With the formation of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Jerry continued his career with safety licensing of power plants until his retirement in 2000. He made significant contributions to regulatory issues based on his engineering expertise and knowledge of nuclear plant operations.

He leaves behind his wife, Carol; son Thomas Jerrell III and his wife, Teresa; daughter Jennifer and her wife, Vanessa; granddaughter Kaia; and a niece and nephew.

James C. Blackburn ’56

50th Reunion

Thomas J. Carter
After spending two plus years at Amherst in the liberal arts environment, I knew that my mind was more comfortable with science than with words. Therefore, I opted to go to MIT after my junior year on what then was called the 3-2 Program; 3 years at Amherst and 2 at MIT would result in a bachelor degree from both colleges. After receiving the endorsement of Prof Beebe and Amherst, I enrolled in the chemical engineering department at MIT and found that we got along well; I remained at MIT for an additional year and received my SM. Unfortunately, when I arrived at MIT I was told that there was no on campus housing available for upper-class students so I was required to live off campus for my remaining undergrad life. This resulted in a limited social interaction with my fellow MIT students. Years later the difference in undergraduate life between Amherst and MIT led me to value and appreciate my Amherst association. It is these warm feelings that bring me back for out 50th reunion. But one unfortunate outcome of this background has been that I rarely encounter a classmate nor have I had a day-to-day association with any of my classmates. But, I have maintained contact with a couple of Amherst roommates.

My graduate time at MIT exposed me to the nuclear energy field, which in turn led me to employment in California with an organization that was designing and building nuclear power facilities. I became involved with safety analyses and the associated thought process that was evolving. I also had the opportunity to work with and learn from engineers having years of practical design experience with conventional power facilities and petrochemical facilities and apply this to my understanding of the new reactor concept being designed. I combined this practical knowledge with my academic scientific knowledge and used the "how" and "why" education to help create new designs and systems. I greatly enjoyed the challenge of creating new design bases, and then being assigned to the field where I made sure it worked as intended!

Thomas J. Carter
After more than 10 years in private industry doing "my thing" I decided it was time for a change. The U.S. Atomic Energy Comission was looking for people that had my design and operating experience to be part of the organization that was being formed to regulate the nuclear industry, and nuclear power facilities in particular. I ultimately spend most of the next 30 years as part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, monitoring the operation of nuclear power facilities. Again, I was involved in developing something new, namely what information did we need to evaluate how well the reactor facilities were being operated so we could provide the required safety oversight. We evaluated the unexpected, postulated what else might happen, and then considered a range of possible consequences. The day-to-day monitoring of various happenings, investigating why they happened, and making sure that suitable corrective actions were taken by licenses was challenging. Time went by very quickly. I retired in 2000.

I have continued to play golf when time permits. Shortly before I le