Ralph Stein

Ralph Stein, 82, died March 11, 2013.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Mr. Stein graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and attended Ohio State University as a graduate student in nuclear engineering. He began his career as a chemical engineer for Battelle Institute in Columbus, Ohio. At Battelle, in the early days of computing, he came up with the idea of applying the speed of computers to scheduling plans for industry, resulting in the computerized flight arrivals and departures used by the airline industry. Mr. Stein then moved to Springfied, Va., to work on the safe use of nuclear energy at Ft. Bevoir, then to Sandusky, Ohio, to work at a NASA test nuclear reactor. At NASA he led teams that perfected the fuel mixures for the Apollo moon landings and developed the composites for the space capsule’s heat shields. After NASA, he worked at the Atomic Energy Commission (later the Department of Energy), becoming a well-known expert in nuclear waste management. After his government career, he worked for two private nuclear waste management companies, SAIC and Golder Associates. Upon retirement, he moved to Tucson and wrote a seminal water use plan for the Oro Valley Storm Water Utility Commission.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Rosalyn Stein; children, Janet (Freddy ) Turim, Wendy (Oben) Besong, Ed (Diane) Stein and David (Varsha) Stein.
Graveside services were held in the Temple Emanu-El  section of Evergreen Cemetery with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Arizona Cancer Center, Community Food Bank or the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.