In Memoriam: Dr. Martin Prager

By David A. Osage, President and Principal Engineer at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc. December 28, 2023

It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I must share the passing of our colleague and friend, Dr. Martin Prager, Executive Director of the Welding Research Council (WRC), who passed away peacefully in hospice care on Wednesday afternoon, November 1, 2023.

As you may know, Dr. Martin Prager was not only a valued member of the WRC, PVRC, MPC, IIW, ASME, and API technical communities, but he was also a friend to many of us. His contributions to the field of metallurgy, modeling of material behavior, and outstanding stewardship of WRC, PVRC, and MPC resulted in numerous improvements in ASME and API Codes and Standards development that were unparalleled. The pinnacle of Dr. Prager’s work was the creation of a Fitness-For-Service Joint Industry Project that culminated in the creation of API 579-1/ASME FFS-1, and the management of a PVRC project to perform a clean-sheet rewrite of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division 2 that was published in 2007.

Dr. Martin Prager
Dr. Martin Prager

Dr. Prager also had a passion for teaching and mentoring young minds, and the transfer of his knowledge, technology, and insights into material behavior from cryogenic to the creep regime was immeasurable. Martin had a remarkable ability to make complex concepts accessible and understandable, and this ability directly led to numerous technical advancements in many API and ASME Codes and Standards.

Always controversial in his technical approaches, Dr. Prager was a man of great character with a strong sense of humor and a willingness to help with technical requests. A simple phone call to him, regardless of his workload with the WRC, and he would take the time to help solve any problem. It was always hard keeping Dr. Prager on track with projects because of this keen and generous interest in assisting others.

On a personal note, Dr. Prager had an extensive collection of Chinese art, and his New York City apartment was a museum of fine Asian pottery, including vases and other fascinating art objects. He knew the best vendors of Chinese art and introduced my wife and me to a few of them. Dr. Prager also had a passion for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and he and his wife Chinara could be found there most weekends.

Dr. Prager’s legacy will live on through the many lives he touched through codes and standards meetings, joint industry projects, and personal mentorships. Let us hold those memories close and remember Dr. Prager as an outstanding technical colleague and a good friend.

With heartfelt condolences and shared sorrow,

David A. Osage, ASME Fellow, P.E.
Inspectioneering Journal Editorial Board Member
President/CEO, E2G | The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

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Posted by Greg Julien on December 28, 2023
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