Obituary: J Badri Narayan — Metallurgical Engineer with a Distinguished Career

by Sam Palusamy, Murrysville, PA.      e-mail:

With great sadness, I record the sudden death of J Badri Narayan, my friend and a long-time resident in the Pittsburgh area, due to cardiac arrest. He died on Thursday, March 3, 2011 while working out on treadmill when he suddenly collapsed and fell down.

Born in Chennai, India, Badri was schooled in the Ramakrishna Mission School, and later earned his BS in physics in 1962 from the University of Madras through Loyola College, Chennai.

After briefly working in Bangalore, Badri came to Detroit to pursue his engineering education in Wayne State University where he received BS and MS degrees in metallurgy in 1969.

After working at Wolverine Tube, Inc., Dearborn, Michigan for two years, he joined Westinghouse Electric Company as Product Assurance Engineer in the Specialty Metals Plant (SMP), located in Blairsville, PA. His entire professional career was with Westinghouse, where he advan-ced to the rank of Fellow Engineer, a coveted title. At the time of his death, he was working as a project manager for the company’s Nuclear Fuels Division in Korea.

Badri was a key player in the early days of SMP as it transitioned from Inconel (an alloy of nickel, chromium, iron, molybdenum and other elements) to Zircaloy (based on zirconium with small amounts of tin and niobium) for making tubes needed for power generation.

During his final years spanning his 39-year career, Badri, highly respected both by his customers and peers, played a key role in successfully developing the Westinghouse Asia Fuel Business. He worked with customers all over the world, but his main role was serving customers in Korea and Japan.

In 2003, in recognition of his exceptional technical contribution to the international zirconium standards community, the International Committee of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) honored Badri with the Award of Merit and the honorary title of Fellow for his distinguished service for 30 years to the ASTM.

Outside of his love for work, Badri was interested in music, theater; and enjoyed walking the dogs in parks in and around Pittsburgh, and volunteering at Sri Venkateswara Temple. He also served as president of the Delmont Lions Club.

Funeral ceremonies for Badri were held on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Bash-Nied Funeral Home, Delmont. Badri’s son Manu performed the Hindu cremation rites for his father at St Clair Cemetery Crematorium, Greensburg with help from Shri Gopala Bhattar of S.V.Temple.

Later, in a memorial service on Sunday, March 20, 2011at Sri Venkateswara Temple, a large number of friends and acquaintances gathered reminiscing their interactions with Badri, recalling his helpful nature and his unperturbed and balanced approach to life.

Badri is survived by his beloved wife, Vatsala, and his son, Manu, a well-known singer and actor.

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