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Tech professor publishes second edition of textbook

May 12, 2016

REBEKAH BARNES

Staff Reporter | reb033@latech.edu

 

 

After designing systems used at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Randall Barron is using his experience and knowledge to further the field of cryogenics.

 

 

Barron, a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, has co-written the second edition of his textbook “Cryogenic Heat Transfer” with Gregory Nellis from the University of Wisconsin. Barron became a professor at Louisiana Tech in 1965 after teaching at Ohio State University.

 

 

“At Ohio State I was teaching full time, I was working in industry part time, I was writing a book and we had three kids,” Barron said.

 

 

He wrote his first textbook, “Cryogenic Systems,” in his 20s, which was the first book in cryogenics teachings. He said his new edition focuses on the problems scientists encounter when using low temperatures which can affect oil wells, space stations and racecars.

 

 

“It’s intended to provide information for practicing engineers and for classroom work as well,” he said. “But the main idea is to look at these very special problems in heat transfer in cryogenics.”

 

 

Ray Radenbaugh, a physicist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said the information in this book is extremely valuable to students.

 

 

“This is the best all-around heat transfer book I have seen as well as one that uniquely covers all areas important to cryogenics,” Radenbaugh said.

 

 

He said heat transfer is one of the most important problems in the field of cryogenics, and Barron’s book covers topics rarely explained in other textbooks.

 

 

“I want to have the entire book on my shelf,” Radenbaugh said. “I will turn to it very often in my research.”

 

 

Steven Scriver, a mechanical engineering professor at Florida State University, said the book is readable enough to be used in education, but is extensive enough for practical use as well.

 

 

“I teach a course in cryogenics at Florida State and occasionally a training course to the industry,” Scriver said. “‘Cryogenic Heat Transfer’ would be a valuable resource for this class.”

 

 

Barron said the writing process has changed since his first book, when he typed out all 1,000 pages four different times after edits were made.

 

 

“I drew up all the pictures and used an ink lettering set for the figures,” he said. “The second time, the process was very different. Now all the graphs are drawn electronically.”

 

 

He said his wife reads everything as he writes, and said she is concerned because she is beginning to understand some of the more technical aspects of his work.

 

 

“To me it’s interesting to find out things that aren’t generally known,” he said. “In order to write something where other people understand it, I have to understand it very well, too. It’s a challenge.”

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