In 1976, Dr. Fortunko joined the technical staff at the Rockwell International Center in Thousand Oaks, California. As a member of the Ultrasonics Applications Group, he received six patents for the development of high performance circuitry for ultrasonic inspection systems. He made significant contributions to the development of electromagnetic acoustic transducers, eddy current instruments, and inspection systems for quality assurance.
Dr. Fortunko worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 1980-1983 and from 1988 to 1998. From 1983-1988, he was Chief Scientist and Engineering Manager for the Aerojet Ordinance Company working on electronics and sensor applications. At NIST, Dr. Fortunko was supervisor of the Materials Characterization Group in the Materials Reliability Division. His unique contribution was to bring the discipline and rigor of measurement science to the less orderly world of material testing and nondestructive evaluation (NDE). Specific accomplishments include the development of ultrasonic instruments for materials characterization, gas coupled ultrasonic inspection systems, and standards for nondestructive evaluation.
Dr. Fortunko was a leader within the NDE community. He held adjunct faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins University and Iowa State University. He served on the Editorial Board of the journal "Measurement Science and Technology"; the Industrial Advisory Board of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State University and the NDE Group of the Interagency Committee on Materials Technology. Dr. Fortunko published about 100 technical papers, chaired the Gordon Research Conference on NDE, and was the U.S. organizer for the "European American Workshop (1997) on Determination of Reliability and Validation Methods on NDE. In 1993, he received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal award for developing ultrasonic instruments for evaluating the quality of advanced materials.
Dr. Fortunko is remembered for his remarkable scientific knowledge and his broad technical experience. He used these skills to provide leadership for his research group at NIST and for the worldwide NDE community. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues, friends and family. He is survived by his wife Mira, daughter Jacqueline and brother Andrew.