Emmanuel P. Papadakis

Acoustical Society of America

Biennial Award


Emmanuel P. Papadakis

Our subject for the biennial award this year is a man of many letters, Emmanuel Philippos Papadakis, BS, PhD, MIT, BTL, and so on and on. Born in New York City, he was destined not to become a true Gothamite; and after a few years, he moved to Omaha, which he called home until he finished high school. After earning a BS in physics at MIT, he studied for the priesthood. Eventually physics won out, and he returned to the Acoustics Lab at MIT to complete his PhD work. While at MIT, he became interested in a program at the Watertown Arsenal aimed at using acoustics for nondestructive testing of steel and soon thereafter began the steady flow of papers on the subject that constitute part of the basis for this award.

Using pulse-echo techniques to determine structure properties, he soon became concerned with the corrections for diffraction effects on pulse-echo measurements. He recognized that ultrasonic propagation in steel was strongly influenced not only by grain size but also by the structure-induced anisotropy—also known as texture or preferred orientation. He was among the first to demonstrate that polycrystalline metals exhibit crystalline anisotropy effects by virtue of their processing history. His attention also turned to wave-propagation effects in single crystals, and a study of these effects in alkali halide crystals became his thesis topic under Professor Von Hippel. He made the first observation of elastic double refraction in both single crystals and in worked metals. The single-crystal study led to the consideration of diffraction effects in elastically anisotropic materials which has been the subject of several of his papers. Along the way came nondestructive tests for proper heat treatment of steel. The diffraction studies were expanded to include phase effects.

After finishing his PhD work, Emmanuel came to work at Bell Labs at Allentown where a new group was being formed for development of metal strip delay lines. This provided him with an opportunity to study wave propagation in metals from another viewpoint, which emphasized attenuation and the temperature dependence of the elastic parameters. More recently, Emmanuel has been occupied with the variations of ultrasonic velocity in fused quartz and fused silica, and with the correlation of these effects with optical inhomogeneities.

Emmanuel is a man of many talents and a wide range of interests. Many of you probably know him as an active participant at Acoustical Society meetings. He is also a member of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers where he has been active on Program Committees and on the Administrative Committee of the Group on Sonics and Ultrasonics.

On the nontechnical side, he cultivates a passionate interest in fast automobiles, airplanes, and antiques. He has restored many of his collected antiques to "like-new" elegance. Pursuing this interest has led him to take up the finer points of cabinetry, and he is fast becoming a master of the intricate turnings identified with Duncan Phyfe, Hepplewhite, Early Wormwood, and Band-Aids. But most of all, he devotes his attention to his charming wife Stella and their children Susan Helen, 5; Philip Emmanuel, 4; and Christopher Emmanuel, 2.

Emmanuel is possessed with an artistic talent. He also has a vivid imagination and an independent nature, so that his approach to a situation is not always the most conventional and he is frequently surrounded by somewhat of a stir. For example, as an infant he caused quite a stir when he was born on Christmas Day. Among his compatriots, he is known for his avid interest in exploring Oriental and near Eastern restaurants. He is not reluctant to lampoon the local administration with imaginative and artistic cartoons. A visit to Emmanuel's lab is always good for a laugh to start with, but usually ends up in a very rewarding technical discussion.