Skip to Main Content

Roberts Collection: George A Roberts Biography

Biographical sketch, courtesy of University Archives

George A. Roberts attended Carnegie Technical Institute from the year 1937 until graduating with a Bachelor of Science in engineering in 1939. He then went on to attain a Masters of Science in Metallurgy in 1941, and finally his PhD in Metallurgy in 1942. Prior to attending Carnegie Tech he had been enrolled in the Naval Academy. After just two years of attendance, financial cut-backs meant that he had to leave the academy, and thus begin attending Carnegie Tech. While at the Naval Academy, he developed a friendship with his room-mate Henry Singleton, which would inform both of their futures.

Roberts began working at Vanadium Alloys Steel Company (VASCO) in 1940, where he studied heat treatment of simple tool steels. This work was to become the basis for his thesis. VASCO offered him employment to aid his completion of his doctorate. He began as a research metallurgist in 1940, was promoted to chief metallurgist in 1945, and became the vice-president of technology in 1953. He remained at VASCO, and was elected President of the company in 1961.

In 1966, Henry Singleton and George Roberts negotiated a merger between VASCO and Singleton's company Teledyne, Inc. Teledyne, Inc. was and is one of the most diversified Fortune 500 companies. Roberts remained a leader of Teledyne-VASCO, and Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1991...

Ask Dr. Roberts, courtesy of YouTube

Wonderful Lives video, courtesy of YouTube

Ongoing legacy

...George Roberts was internationally recognized as an expert in physical metallurgy. He published many technical papers and books in his area of expertise--tool steels. He had membership in many industry related organizations, such as: Metal Powders Industries Federation, and the American Society for Metals. He served as president of the American Society for Metals as well as for their foundation for Education and Research. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering in 1978.

Contact the University Archives to make arrangements to view Roberts' archived materials.