- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 13, 2005

Alexander Kossiakoff, a chief scientist and former director of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, died Aug. 6 from heart failure. He was 91.

He was a pioneer in solid-propellant rocket technology who guided the development of the Navy’s first guided-missile systems.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1914, he and his parents moved to Seattle in 1923.

He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1936 and his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1938.

In 1943, he left the faculty of the Catholic University to assist in establishing the Allegheny Ballistics Laboratory — a section of President Roosevelt’s National Defense Research Committee created to improve American preparedness.

In 1946, he joined the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel and led the Bumblebee Program, which designed and perfected the Terrier, Tartar and Talos radar-guided supersonic missiles for shipboard air defense.

From 1948 to 1961, he served as the laboratory’s assistant director for technical operations. He was eventually appointed the laboratory’s director in 1969, serving for more than 10 years.

In 1980, he stepped down as director and served as the laboratory’s chief scientist, a position he held until his death.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Arabelle Kossiakoff, of Brookeville, Md.; a daughter, Tanya Schmieler, of White Oak, Md.; a son, Anthony Kossiakoff, of Chicago; and five granddaughters.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering — Systems Engineering Program, 144 New Engineering Building, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. 21218.

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