Arthur R. von Hippel, 105, a pioneer in the study of material science who also founded the Laboratory for Insulation Research at MIT, died Dec. 31 in Boston of complications from the flu.
Born in Rostock, Germany, von Hippel studied physics, and once worked under Nobel laureate James Franck.
Von Hippel left Germany in 1933 after Hitler came to power, and worked in Copenhagen at the Niels Bohr Institute before being recruited to join MIT's faculty.
After World War II, he was one of the first to study the relatively new field of molecular structure of materials.
In 1976, the Materials Research Society established an award in his name as its highest honor.
Von Hippel founded the Laboratory for Insulation Research at MIT in 1940, and during the war was involved in the effort to develop radar for the Allies. He received a certificate of merit from President Truman in 1948 acknowledging the lab's efforts in radar development. Von Hippel directed the research lab until he retired in 1964.