Gerry Pawlicki was an American physicist.
Pawlicki was born in 1921. He received a B.S. in physics at De Paul University in Chicago, and soon after was hired to work on the Manhattan Project at the Chicago Met Lab as a member of the instruments division. He was present on December 2, 1942, when Chicago Pile-1 went critical. Pawlicki later remembered that day:
Two of us were seated at the remote control console for the reactor. The console was underneath the uppermost seats at the north end of the stadium some 200 feet from the reactor. In our position, we saw the progress of the experiment as it was indicated on meters and recorders. We also heard the activity in the reactor room over the intercom system. We had come dressed for the big occasion, and we hoped that the electronic instruments for which our group had been responsible would not fail and interfere with Dr. Fermi’s experiment.
After the war, Pawlicki worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He would go on to receive an M.S. in Physics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. from Catholic University for his research on slow neutron bombardment. He went on to teach as an instructor for the Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Argonne National Laboratory, providing training for the next generation of researchers. Pawlicki also taught physical sciences at Chicago City College.
Pawlicki died on May 15, 2013 in Darien, Illinois.