In Remembrance: Daniel J. Shanefield ’52 Died on November 13 2013

Daniel J. Shanefield, 83, of Honolulu, Hawaii, Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University, died peacefully on November 13, 2013. He had lived in Princeton, New Jersey, for 40 years with his late wife, Libby, before moving to Hawaii in 2006.

Born in Orange, New Jersey, Shanefield attended Yale University for three years until drafted into the US Army, then served in Korea from 1953 to 1954, including service in the 25th Infantry division.  He obtained a BS (1956) and a PhD (1962) in physical chemistry from Rutgers University. Shanefield’s father received a law degree from Yale University Law School, and his son graduated with a BA from Yale in 1991. Shanefield lived at Saybrook College, as did his son when he was in attendance at Yale.

Dr. Shanefield worked at ITT Laboratories in Nutley, New Jersey, until 1967 and then at Western Electric (later Bell Laboratories) in Hopewell, New Jersey.  From 1986 until his retirement in 2001 he was a distinguished professor of ceramic engineering at Rutgers.  Dr. Shanefield also taught ceramic engineering in the Netherlands every summer for 15 years at the Center for Professional Advancement.  He was associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society from 1989 to 1999.

While at the Hopewell laboratory, Dr. Shanefield’s many inventions with coworkers included a ceramic insulator for microcircuits later sold worldwide by Western Electric and installed in almost every telephone line in the United States.  He developed 38 patents and wrote textbooks on ceramic engineering and industrial electronics, entitled Organic Additives and Ceramic Processing and Industrial Electronics for Engineers, Chemists and Technicians, with optional lab experiments.

His hobby was writing about audio for popular magazines.  Dr. Shanefield was notable for first describing the “equalized double-blind comparison” of audio components in 1974, the cover story of Stereo Review in May 1976.  This showed that some perceived differences in sound were being imagined by the listeners, especially when expensive equipment was involved. The test is now used worldwide for determining whether measurable improvements in music reproduction equipment are actually audible.

Dr. Shanefield was the recipient of four AT&T Outstanding Achievement Awards.  He received the Best Paper Award of the American Ceramic Society, Engineering Division, in 1993 and the Man of the Year Award of the Ceramic Association of New Jersey in 1996.  He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists (1979) and of the American Ceramic Society (1993), and a Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Son of the late Benjamin and Hannah L. Shanefield, and husband of the late Elizabeth (Libby) Davis Shanefield, he is survived by his daughter, Alison Bixby Buckley of Chicago; his son, Douglas Shanefield of Honolulu; and two grandchildren.

—Submitted by the family.

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