Franklin Matthias Photo

Franklin Matthias

Born: Mar 13, 1908

Death: Dec 3, 1993

Birthplace: Glidden

Nationality: United States

Franklin Matthias

Date of Birth : Mar 13, 1908
Date of Death : Dec 3, 1993
Birth Place : Glidden

Franklin Thompson Matthias was an American civil engineer who directed construction of the Hanford nuclear site, a key facility of the Manhattan Project during World War II. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Matthias joined the Tennessee Valley Authority as a Junior Hydraulic Engineer in 1935, and worked on hydroelectric projects. In April 1941, he was called to active duty by the United States Army, and joined the Construction Division of the Army Corps of Engineers. He was area engineer at the Manhattan Project's Hanford site from 1942 to 1945. As such, he supervised the enormous construction effort which included three chemical separation plants so large that they were known as "Queen Marys", and the world's first three production-scale nuclear reactors. After the war Matthais went to Brazil where he helped build a hydroelectric facility. He joined the Aluminum Company of Canada in 1951, and was involved in the construction of its Kemano-Kitimat hydroelectric dam and aluminum smelter project in northern British Columbia and the Chute-des-Passes project in Quebec. He was a vice president at Kaiser Engineering from 1960 to 1973.

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