Israeli Technion Professor Dies of Injuries After Laboratory Explosion

The explosion occurred during the course of Prof. Emeritus Elazar Gutmanas’ research with hydrogen at his lab in the Department for Materials Science

The explosion in the Department for Materials Science at the Technion, Haifa, October 2019.
Israel Fire and Rescue Services

Prof. Emeritus Elazar Gutmanas, 80, died Saturday after he was badly injured two weeks ago in a laboratory explosion at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

The explosion occurred during the course of Gutmanas’ research with hydrogen at his lab in the Department for Materials Science and Engineering, according to the fire department.

A senior Magen David Adom paramedic said at the time that Gutmanas was hospitalized with burns covering his body as well as other injuries to his upper body. He was taken to Rambam Hospital in Haifa in serious condition.

Gutmanas completed his Ph.D. in the USSR in 1970, before immigrating to Israel in 1974 and joining the Technion’s Materials Science department a few months later.

His research topics included synthesis of composite materials, wear-resistant coatings on metal alloys, developing nanostructured bulk materials and developing load bearing biocompatible implantable devices, according to the Technion.

He also served as a visiting professor at Drexel University in 1982-1983, and as a visiting scientist at the Max-Planck Institute in Stuttgart in 1979 and 1990.

During his years at the Technion, he published nearly 100 academic articles, the institute stated, noting that he continued with his research even after retirement and becoming a professor emeritus.

The Technion released a notice mourning Gutmanas’ passing, offering condolences to his family and stating that the circumstances of the laboratory accident were being investigated.