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Volney C. Wilson was among a small group of scientists on hand for one of the most important events in history — the initial release of atomic energy, in December 1942, at the University of Chicago. He received the B.S. degree in 1932 from Northwestern University, where he majored in physics and chemistry. He was a graduate assistant at Ohio State University, from which he received the M.S. degree. He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1938. In his doctoral dissertation he showed that some cosmic rays are able to penetrate as much as 1600 feet of rock. During the early part of World War II he worked on radar development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In January 1942, when the Manhattan Project was organized, Dr. Wilson returned to Chicago and became director of instrumentation and control with Dr. Enrico Fermi's group at Stagg Field. Since the war he has been with the General Electric Research Laboratory, where he has worked on magnetic materials, neutron spectroscopy, computer circuitry and devices, and energy conversion.