1928 – 1992

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States


Prof. Robert L. Coble was a dedicated teacher and researcher widely recognized for his contributions to the theory of sintering of materials and to ceramic processing. He received his graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955 and spent the following five years at General Electric Research Laboratories. There he worked on the sintering of ceramics and made major contributions to the theory of sintering and development a dense product "Lucalox". In 1960 he returned to MIT, became an associate professor in 1962, received tenure in 1966, and was promoted to professor in 1969.

In 1984 Prof. Coble received the prestigious Humboldt Research Award for U.S. Scientists to support a one-year stay in Germany; he spent most of that time at the Max Planck Institute in MPI in Stutgart

Stuttgart. In 1985 he was awarded the Frenkel Prize for outstanding contributions to the theoretical base of sintering materials by the International Institute for the Science of Sintering. Professor Robert Coble was also awarded the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers' Professional Achievement Prize in 1960 and the Raytheon Award for "Outstanding Ceramist of the Year" in 1967. He served as chairman, vice-chairman, and trustee of the Basic Science Division of the American Ceramic Society and held a succession of offices in the New England Section of the American Ceramic Society. He served on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Materials Research Council. He served on the advisory board of the U.S. congressional Office of Technology Assessment and on several ad hoc committees organized by the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Research Council, which addressed materials problems.

Professor Robert Coble died on the island of Maui in Hawaii on August 27, 1992, at the age of sixty-four.

Taken from The National Academic Press, Volume 14 (2011)