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School 36

       


Derek Albert Tidman

October 18, 1930 ~ May 24, 2019 (age 88)


An irrepressibly enthusiastic physicist, and a loving and dearly loved husband and father, passed away on May 24, 2019 at his home in McLean, VA. He was 88 years old.
 
Dr. Tidman was born in 1930 in London, England and obtained his PhD in physics from the University of London, March, 1956, and a D.I.C., Diploma of Imperial College of Science and Technology, in May, 1956. Following his education, he became an Assistant Professor at the Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago, in 1957, and from 1960 to 1983, he was a Research Professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. He also consulted with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and the Department of Energy.
 
In 1980, Dr. Tidman left full-time academia to establish GT-Devices, Inc,. a mass acceleration laboratory focusing on electrothermal and electromagnetic launchers. GT-Devices was acquired as a subsidiary of General Dynamics in 1989. Dr. Tidman stayed on with GT-Devices for a period of time following the acquisition and retired in 1994. Then, during his "retirement," he invented transformative technology in his mass accelerator, the Slingatron, which he developed and resourced himself in his last company, Advanced Launch Corporation.
 
Over his career, Dr. Tidman directed ten doctoral theses, authored and co-authored four books and over 130 scientific journal papers, and was an inventor on dozens of patents. In addition to his remarkable contributions as a physicist, Dr. Tidman inspired and progressed his family and others with his generosity and humility. He leaves behind the love of his life and wife of sixty years, Pauline Tidman, daughter Katherine Blee, and son Mark Tidman, as well as his sister Doreen Wootton, and brother Keith Tidman. He was preceded in death by his brother Clifford Tidman. He also leaves behind his four grandchildren Anna Ault, J.D. Ault, Lilyana Tidman, and Owen Tidman.
 
A memorial service will take place at 12 noon, June 15, at the Everly Funeral Home, Falls Church, Virginia.
 

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