Richard Vair Shanklin III

February 12, 1937January 17, 2018
Obituary of Richard Vair Shanklin III


Demaine Funeral Home

Richard Vair Shanklin III of McLean, VA [and Tucson, AZ] passed away at the age of 80 on January 17, 2018. He was born on February 12. 1937. He is survived by his beloved wife of 36 years, Margaret Anne Shanklin (nee Krogstad) and also survived by his daughters from a previous marriage: Carolyn Shanklin Payne and her husband, Philip L. Payne of Warrenton, VA, and Anne Shanklin Weaver of Mobile, AL, together with five grandchildren, Sarah, Michael, and Scott Payne and Ryan Swindall and Emily Weaver. He was a 1955 graduate of Virginia Episcopal School, Lynchburg, following which he attended Duke University receiving the BSME degree in 1959. He was a member of Pi Kapa Alpha Fraternity at Duke. He received master’s and PhD degrees from The University of Tennessee in 1966 and 1971, respectively. All degrees were in mechanical engineering. Shanklin’s professional career was mainly concerned with the design, test and evaluation of various mechanical and energy related technologies spanning positions in college level teaching, private industry, and government. His teaching activities included undergraduate and graduate courses. His principal academic research activities concerned magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation, a field in which he authored or co-authored some thirty published papers. Upon leaving academic research, as a private industry contractor he managed the Air Force’s MHD Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Afterward, he served in Washington, DC, as the Director of the Department of Energy’s MHD Division responsible for the Department’s program for the development of commercial MHD power generation. This included participation in the development and negotiation of an international cooperative agreement in MHD between the DOE and the USSR’s High Temperature Institute. Following, he was involved in programs for synthetic fuels produced from coal, shale and heavy oils, and in programs for the remediation of nuclear waste disposal sites In 1972 he was elected to the University of Tennessee Chapter of The Society of the Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific research society. He received the 1976 George Westinghouse Silver Medal for “eminent achievement in magnetohydrodynamic power generation….” awarded by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 1979 he was an invited lecturer in MHD by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences at its Advanced Energy Conversion Symposium held in Stockholm. He was made a Life Member of the ASME in 1997. During the latter part of his career before retirement he was listed in Who’s Who in Engineering and Who’s Who in America. In 1989 he was elected to the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC. He was a lifelong Episcopalian. A visitation for Richard will be held Friday, January 19, 2018 from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Demaine Funeral Home Old Town Alexandria. A funeral service will occur Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 2:00 pm at St. John's Episcopal Church, 6715 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101. Burial will be private at his family’s cemetery plot at Druid Ridge Cemetery in Baltimore, MD.

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Friday, January 19, 2018


Saturday, January 20, 2018

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