NASA Apollo Project Contrubtor Jim Dudek V55 Interacts with AP Physics II Students

Nov 12, 2019

On Friday, November 8, Jim Dudek V55 interacted with Mr. Engels AP Physics II students. Mr. Dudek has a PhD in Applied Physics and worked on the Apollo Program for NASA in the 1960s. He also wrote some of the first computer programs used to design nuclear reactors. Students enjoyed getting to know Mr. Dudek and were appreciative of the knowledge and inspiration gained from the talk. Mr. Dudek, a current resident of Florida, was in Akron for the week for a wedding. Mr. Dudek was accompanied by his wife Jean, also a V55 graduate. Thank you to Mr. Dudek for taking time out his trip home to visit and interact with our students!

Jim Dudek V55 Biography


Grade School: Saint Martha
High SchoolSt. Vincent
Undergraduate: Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) - B.S., Physics
Masters: University of California at San Diego - M.S., Physics
Doctorate: George Washington University - PhD, Applied Physics


In 1964, two software programs that Mr. Dudek had written became the second and third software programs to ever be copy written. One of them was the first to be leased. It was used by both Government Research Laboratories in the United States and abroad by the worldwide engineering firms who built nuclear power reactors. The program computed the fundamental nuclear cross-sections, which are necessary to design nuclear power reactors that could be operated safely.

Mr. Dudek's contribution to the Apollo Project for NASA was to devise an alternative scheme to de-boost into orbits around the moon that would allow for the Lunar Module to land at sites that are considerably further from the Lunar Equator than the original mission plan could achieve.