University of Texas
Malcolm Eugene Ellis
April 15, 1935–



Malcolm Eugene "Sparky" Ellis


Malcoln Eugene Ennis was born in Eldorado, Texas, December 7, 1912, the son of Dora Edrington Ennis and Malcolm Elmer Ennis. In November of 1945
he married Mabel Lee Hall of Georgetown, Texas. They had three children, Martha Lee (Wall), Malcolm Eugene, Jr., and Carol Ann . Mabel was a graduate of the University of Texas. She worked in state banking before going to New York where she worked for three years with the U.S. Army Transportation Corps.

After graduation from Mexia High School at Mexia, Texas, in 1930 he attended The Rice Institute for one year and then Tehuacana Junior College
at Tehuacana, Texas, for a year. In the fall of 1933 he entered the University of Texas. In the summer of 1937 he received from that university
a Bachelor of Arts degree in applied mathematics, with high honors, and a Master of Arts degree in physics. In the fall of 1946 he reentered
The University of Texas on a part-time basis and in the fall of 1950 went to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to complete work for his doctoral degree by
doing a research problem while employed as a research assistant in the Les Alamos Scientific Laboratory of the University of California.

In 1935-36, he was secretary of the Physics Colloquium at The University of Texas and in 1936-37 he was president of that organization. He was
elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa in the spring of 1936 and to an associate membership in Sigma Xi in 1935.

In the fall of 1934 he began work for the Physics Department of The University of Texas as a grader and remained employed in that department
until he resigned a tutorship in the spring of 1938 to work on an experimental gravity meter for the Humble 0il Company at Houston, Texas. In the fall of
1938 he returned to The University of Texas as an instructor in applied mathematics and remained in that position until he left in June of 1941 to work at the Cruft Laboratory of Harvard University in an acoustics group headed by L.L. Beranek. In September of 1942 he left this group to become a member of the Columbia Research Group, an operations research group under W. Shockley and P. M. Morse. After a little more than a year with this group he resigned to join the United States Navy as a Lieutenants j.g., He served in the Southwest Pacific with an Operational Group attached to a Submarine Force. In January of 1946, He was released from active duty in the Navy as a Lieutenant in June of 1946, at which time he went to work for the Military Physics Research Group at Austin under the direction of M.Y. Colby. In February of 1947 he became an instructor in the Physics Department of The University of Texas and held that position until he left for Los Alamos in 1950.

He later was an associate professor of physics at Texas A&M for two years.

Ennis received his PhD in June 1953, thesis entitled "Small Angle Cross Sections for the Scattering of Protons by Tritons." At Los Alamos he worked exrtensively on shockwave physicis and on instrumentation for experiment in this field. In later years he turned to neutron experiments relating to weapons design and weapon effects.

Mable died on April 11, 1995. Malcolm died September 9, 1973 in New Mexico. Both are buried in Guaje Pines Cemetery in Los Alamos, NM.


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