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Marble at desk, photo taken for Engineering annual report; September 1980 (Photo ID PR-80-217-1-36a)

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Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Jet Propulsion Emeritus, Frank Marble, was a member of the Caltech community for over 50 years. Before coming to Caltech in 1946, Marble earned both his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Applied Mathematics in 1940 and 1942, from the Case School of Applied Science in Cleveland, Ohio (now known as Case Western Reserve University).

Marble with GALCIT faculty outside of Karman laboratory of Fluid Mechanics and Jet Propulsion, left to right Malladi Venkata Subbaiah, Edward Zukoski, W. Duncan Rannie, Fred Culick, and Frank Marble. January 14, 1982 (Photo ID PR-82-141-7a)

During WWII he worked with NASA's predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), where he managed projects to address engine cooling issues for the Martin Marauder B-26 bomber and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. After being awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Research Council, Marble and his wife Ora Lee moved to Pasadena, and Marble completed his PhD in Aeronautics and Mathematics at Caltech.

As a GALCIT faculty member, Marble's research made pioneering contributions to combustion in jet propulsion systems, propagation of acoustics waves, and flame stabilization. Besides being a pioneer in the field of aeronautics, he was a beloved teacher and advisor for over 40 years. In his oral history with Shirley Cohen, he stated how important his students were to him and that he and his wife always treated his students as an extended part of their family. In 2012, Marble’s former PhD and graduate students honored the Marbles by creating the Frank and Ora Lee Marble Endowed Professorship, which benefits a faculty member in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences and ensures Marble’s continued legacy at Caltech.

Frank Marble passed away on August 11, 2014 at the age of 96. The papers of Frank Marble were recently processed, and a searchable guide is now available by visiting the Online Archive of California. -PN

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