MIT Legend D. Bruce Montgomery Passes, Age 89

July 7, 2022

Fusion magnet development legend Donald Bruce Montgomery, 89, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2022, at Portsmouth (NH) Regional Hospital following a short illness. Bruce was born in Hartford, CT on July 1, 1933 and was a resident of Wayland, MA, Portsmouth, NH, and Sandwich, NH.

For many decades at MIT Bruce made significant and sustained contributions in the field of magnet technology for fusion experiments and other applications. He provided leadership in the development of magnet technology for numerous large scale applications including magnetic confinement fusion (notably the Alcator series of high magnetic field fusion experiments), MHD power generation, magnetic levitation and propulsion, magnetic separation, and medical applications.

He was a legendary technical leader at the MIT Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory and at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. His authorship of the book entitled "Solenoid Magnet Design: The Magnetic and Mechanical Aspects of Resistive and Superconducting Magnets," which was published in 1969, has remained a standard reference book for magnet design.

In 2008 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was a recipient of many awards, including the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award and Fusion Power Associates 1998 Distinguished Career Award.

Bruce married Nancy Ford Fenn, in 1954 and they were together 52 years until her passing in 2006. Bruce later met Elisabeth Bartlett Sturges with whom he spent many happy years until her passing in 2021.

Bruce received a BA from William, BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a DSc degree from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Bruce was Associate Director of the MIT Plasma Fusion Center, where he was chief engineer for MIT's Alcator tokamak projects. He was an active contributor to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's Tokamak Physics Experiment and the ITER International fusion project in France.

Bruce was passionate about New Hampshire history. A longtime resident of Sandwich, NH, he served as President of the Sandwich Historical Society and was a frequent contributor to the Society's annual Excursion Bulletins.

He is survived by his son Timothy Montgomery and his wife Susan of Scituate, MA; daughter Melissa Sweeny and her husband Tom of Groton, MA; as well as his grandchildren, Jenna Sweeny, Christopher Sweeny, and Benjamin Sweeny.

Visit https://www.remickgendron.com/obituaries/Donald-Montgomery-11/#!/TributeWall for more information. Services will be held at a later date. Donations may be made in Bruce's memory to the Sandwich Historical Society, P.O. Box 244, Center Sandwich, NH 03227.

His MIT email address is currently still working and being monitored:
dbm@psfc.mit.edu Remembrances may be sent to his family at that address.