Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 940–940 | Cite as

Donald “Don” J. Wulpi

In Memoriam
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Donald “Don” J. Wulpi, FASM, passed away on September 4, 2016, at the age of 92, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A graduate of Lehigh University, with a degree in metallurgical engineering, Don was widely recognized for his notable contributions as a specialist in failure analysis of metals.

He wrote the book Understanding How Components Fail, now in its third edition. The book was a best-seller for ASM, and grew out of ASM magazine articles and education seminars that Don developed. Roch Shipley, Principal Engineer at Professional Analysis and Consulting, Inc., and Treasurer of the Failure Analysis Society, noted of the first edition of the book, “Understanding How Components Fail was one of the first publications to present a scientific, systematic approach to failure analysis. Subsequent editions, as well as the Failure Analysis Handbook, have built on Don’s trailblazing work. The Failure Analysis Society is another step in what Don began.”

Don received his ASM Fellow Award in 1970 and was a part of the Fellow Inaugural Convocation and Rededication of Metals Park that year. He was among 200 members in the very first class of Fellows. Don’s citation as listed in the event program read:

Donald J. Wulpi—Materials Engineer, International Harvester Company. In recognition of his unselfish devotion, and significant contributions to the metallurgical literature directed toward educational development and broadening for his professional colleagues particularly in the field of parts failure analysis.

Following his retirement in 1980 from International Harvester, where he had worked for 30 years, Don started his own metallurgical consulting business specializing in failure analysis. He devoted himself to teaching the principles of failure analysis at the ASM International headquarters, in Materials Park, Ohio, and at various companies throughout the United States. He served as an expert witness in court cases internationally, and held a patent for a tool for cold rolling crankshaft fillets. A symposium was held at the Indianapolis Convention Center in November 2001 to recognize Don’s historical contribution to the development of failure analysis.

Don was a U.S. Army World War II veteran. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Virginia Wulpi, four children, ten grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

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© ASM International 2016

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